How Will NX Address Storage?
It's a question I've been thinking of for a while now, but no one else has seems to be asking. What is Nintendo's plan for storage regarding the NX?
Take a step back for a minute. The Wii U is available in two units (really just one now). The white box gets you an 8GB console, while the black box gets you 32GB. I've seen Wii U games take anywhere from 3GB to 22GB of storage to install! Of course you can always add an external hard drive to your Wii U, but still, Nintendo really missed the mark on that one.
Now, why did Nintendo choose to go with such a low amount of storage for the Wii U? Well the answer is a simply one. Nintendo always try to have their box be as cost effective as possible, with the belief that they can target a larger audience with a more affordable product. Not a bad idea at all. Unfortunately, when it comes to storage, that doesn't work in 2016. In fact, it didn't even work in 2012 when the Wii U launched.
Now back to the NX. If the NX is going to be this handheld console that can dock to your TV, it is going to need some serious storage. Bringing your games on the go with you loses its appeal when your device doesn't have the storage to hold many games. When I got my 3DS, I immediately installed a cheap 32GB microSD card and I haven't had to think about storage since.
This was an easy solution for the 3DS seeing as games don't take up too much storage. The average 3DS game is only a couple hundred megabytes. The NX, however, is going to have way larger file sizes. Sure, we don't know the specifics of the console yet, but we do know that the NX will run The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. These games will probably have hefty storage requirements. Of course you can always buy physical media, and maybe the NX won't require you to install your games, but this doesn't help the growing population of gamers that are going digital only. Especially when it comes to handheld devices, no one wants to lug around a collection of games when they're out and about.
Nintendo seems to be in a bit of a situation. I don't see the NX coming with a 500GB hard drive. That'll be expensive, especially in a box that will probably be quite small. Though I have a theory that, while may be a little out there, would also be a good solution.
Nintendo still has yet to join Microsoft and Sony's business of offering a premium paid online service. Perhaps the NX will change that. What if the NX offered a Nintendo Network paid subscription that included cloud storage? This way the box could be sold with a small hard drive, and players could get the desired storage they need. Perhaps Nintendo could implement a tiered system, similar to Apple's iCloud service. For example, a $5 monthly subscription could get you access to X amount of storage. From there you could bump up to a $10, or $20 monthly subscription.
Yes, cloud storage is expensive, but Nintendo needs to find a way to offer a solution to this storage issue, without hurting the price of the console. After all, Nintendo likes to make a profit off their hardware, and that won't be easy if they have to include too much internal storage. Although I don't have a clear solution for what Nintendo could do, I wanted to raise this question. It hit me a while ago, and I've been struggling with it since. Nintendo has a lot of ground to make up for with the NX, and there isn't much room for error.
What do you think Nintendo will do about the NX's storage? Will we be deleting games off our NX's constantly to make room for others? Let us known in the comments below!