The Wii U Basic Pack includes 8GB total system storage, while the Wii U Premium Pack includes 32GB total system storage.
Part of the total system storage on each console is reserved for system data.
The Wii U Basic Pack has approximately 3GB available for data storage and downloads. The Wii U Premium Pack has approximately 25GB available for data storage and downloads.
To see details of the available storage space on your console, select "System Settings" and then "Data Management" from the Wii U Menu.
Scroll down for complete FAQ
1. How much storage space do I have?
Some of the storage space is used by the system software. The 8GB Basic Pack has approximately 3GB available for data storage and downloads. The 32GB Premium Pack has approximately 25GB available for data storage and downloads.
2. What happened to my storage space?
Just like other hardware with internal storage, the package indicates the total size of the internal storage capacity. A certain amount of space is used by the operating system, pre-installed software, save data, account-related data and other kinds of data.
3. I own the Basic Pack, why can't I download Nintendo Land?
- Both the 8 GB Basic and 32 GB Premium Wii U systems have enough internal storage to store save data for a large number of games purchased through retail and to support a limited amount of download activity through the Nintendo eShop on Wii U.
- Nintendo Land cannot be downloaded onto the 8 GB Basic Pack system but you can purchase the game at retail and there is room for save data.
- If you wish to download more content than what is able to be saved in internal storage, we recommend an external USB hard disc storage device to maximize your storage capabilities for Wii U software.
4. Are there any other games that I can't download with the Basic Pack?
- Some larger downloadable titles may not be able to be downloaded with the Basic Pack by itself. Adding a USB storage device solves this issue. You can also purchase the game in disc form at retail – game save data requires a smaller amount of internal storage.
- If you wish to download an extensive amount of content from the Nintendo eShop, we recommend an external USB storage device to maximize your storage capabilities for Wii U software.
5. How do I know if I have enough storage space to download a game?
If you don't have enough storage space, a message will be displayed on screen with the relevant information. You can also go to Data Management in the System Settings to see details about your available storage space.
6. How can I add to my storage space?
If you wish to download more content we recommend an external USB storage device with a dedicated power source so that you can expand your storage capabilities for Wii U software.
7. How large should an external USB storage device be?
This will depend on how much you plan to download from the Nintendo eShop and the size of the games downloaded. Games sold in the Nintendo eShop can range from requiring rather small amounts of storage space to large titles requiring over 10 GB.
8. What external USB storage devices can be used with Wii U?
To ensure maximum performance between your Wii U and an external storage device, we recommend using a hard-disc drive (HDD) with a dedicated power source (i.e., using an AC Adapter). Due to the wide range of external hard drives, usability and performance will vary.
9. Is there a maximum size for external storage devices used with Wii U?
Yes. External storage devices used with Wii U should not exceed 2TB. External storage devices that exceed 2TB are currently not recognised by Wii U, but we are working to solve this issue via a December system update.
Following the December system update the Wii U will be able to recognise a storage device that is over 2TB, but 2TB will still be the maximum amount of storage capacity. Any extra capacity in the storage device beyond the 2TB will not be accessible via the Wii U.
10. Can I use a Flash/Thumb drive as an external storage device?
Because these devices have a limited number of rewrites and are not suited to long-term storage of important game data, we do not recommend the use of Flash/thumb drives as an external storage device solution. For best results, we recommend using a hard drive with its own power supply that connects to the Wii U via the USB port on the console.
Commercial Flash memory has a limit on the number of times you can write over it and we don't recommend flash memory devices for long-term storage of important save data.
11. Is the Wii U compatible with Solid State Drives?
To ensure maximum performance between your Wii U and an external storage device, we recommend using a hard-disc drive (HDD) with a dedicated power source (i.e., using an AC Adapter).
12. Can bus-powered hard disc drives be used with Wii U?
Some bus-powered hard disc drives draw more current than the USB 2.0 specification and might not run stably, so we cannot guarantee that such devices will run properly on Wii U without the use of a supplemental power cable called a y-cable that draws power from two USB ports.
For best results, we recommend using a hard drive with its own power supply that connects to the Wii U system via the USB port on the console.
13. Can I use an SD Card to save game data on the Wii U system?
For Wii U, SD Cards can be used for saving a picture of your Mii and QR Code patterns for your Mii, but not as an external storage device for Wii U software. SD Cards can, however, be used in Wii mode to save data for Wii games. This data is managed through the Data Management feature in Wii mode. SD cards are also used to transfer data from Wii to Wii U.
14. What data can be stored on a USB storage device?
Once a USB storage device has been exclusively configured for use with a Wii U console, it can be used to store games, applications, new downloadable content, application updates and save data. Once a device has been configured for use with a Wii U console, it cannot be used with another Wii U console, PC, etc., unless it is reformatted.
15. Why do I have to format my USB storage device?
To optimize performance and ensure a consistent experience, all USB storage devices must be formatted and configured on the Wii U console for exclusive use with the console. Once a device has been configured for use with a Wii U console, it cannot be used with another Wii U console, PC, etc., unless it is reformatted.
16. How many USB storage devices can I use with a single Wii U?
When downloading software or playing a game saved to an external storage device, you can only use one USB storage device with the Wii U console at a time. Multiple USB storage devices can be used one at a time to store your downloadable Wii U content, but the Wii U needs to be turned off to reconnect a USB storage device. "Hot Swapping" is not supported at this time.
In the future, we plan to add a function that will make it possible to connect multiple storage media to move or copy content.
17. Can I use a USB storage device formatted for Wii U to store any other content?
No. External USB storage devices exclusively formatted for Wii U cannot be used to store any other content.
18. Can a USB storage device formatted for Wii U be reformatted for any other devices, like a PC?
Yes, a USB storage device that has been formatted for Wii U can be reformatted for other devices. Reformatting the device will erase all of its data, which cannot be recovered afterwards. For instructions on reformatting your device using a PC or other device, please contact the device manufacturer.
19. Can I use a USB storage device formatted for a Wii U with another person's Wii U system?
No. External USB storage devices that are exclusively formatted for Wii U can only be used with the one system for which it is formatted. The only way to use your USB storage device on another Wii U is to reformat it.
Reformatting the device will erase all of its data and this data cannot be recovered.
20. Can I transfer my saved games from one USB drive to another?
This is possible if the game is transferred first from the USB drive to the Wii U itself, provided that the Wii U system has space to hold the game in question. Then the game is transferred from the Wii U system to the other USB drive.
Also, at the time of the Wii U launch, only one USB storage media can be connected to the Wii U system at a time. However, with a future update, we plan to add a function that will make it possible to connect multiple storage media to move or copy content to from one to another.
21. If I delete a game to make more room will I be able to download it again if I want to?
On the system where you made the initial purchase, you can re-download a deleted game at any time by going to your Profile in the Nintendo eShop Menu and selecting My Downloads.
For the latest information on Wii U, please visit www.nintendo.com.au/wii-u
- Ensure that the Wii U console is powered off when connecting or disconnecting a USB storage device.
- Do not turn the power off on the Wii U console or remove the USB device while data is being read or written. Doing so may cause damage to the Wii U console or USB device or cause the loss of data.
What to do:
- Turn the Wii U console off.
- Ensure the connector on the USB device is oriented correctly.
- Insert the USB connector straight into a USB port on the Wii U console.
- Turn the Wii U console on.
- Upon powering on the Wii U console, a message should appear that prompts you to format the USB storage device. Follow the on screen instructions to format the device.
- From the Wii U Menu, select "System Settings."
- Using the Left Stick, scroll to "Data Management" and press the A Button.
- If you did not receive the prompt to format your USB storage device upon startup, you will need to configure it for use by selecting "Delete All Data on USB Storage Device" and following the on-screen instructions.
- This will delete all saved data from the USB storage device. Once deleted, this data cannot be recovered.
- To manage data after the device has been formatted, select "Move/Delete Data."
- Select "USB Storage."
- The data displayed is currently stored on the USB storage device.
- To view specific data for a game or application, select its icon.
The Wii U systems offer internal storage for game save data and downloadable software and you can expand the storage memory by connecting an external USB-linked hard disc drive.
USB storage devices can be connected to Wii U via the console's front or rear USB 2.0 ports.
Please note that only one external USB storage device can be used at a time and you cannot remove/connect it while the power is on.
We have found that the following external storage devices work with the Wii U system; these device(s) have been subjected to basic performance tests:
- 2 TB DriveStation External Hard Drive: HD-LB2.0TU3-A3
- 2 TB Canvio Desk Black/Black: HDWC120AK3J1
- 2 TB Canvio Desk Black/White: HDWC120AW3J1
In order to use the following USB storage devices, Wii U system software version 2.1.0E or later is required. Please see our System Update section
Backup Plus Desktop Drive
2TB : STCA2000300
2TB : STBV2000300
Western Digital (WD)
Please note: availability varies by country.
We will expand this list as more devices are confirmed to work with Wii U.
- To optimise performance and ensure a consistent experience, all USB storage devices must be formatted and configured for use with the Wii U console. Once a device has been configured for use with a Wii U console, it cannot be used with another Wii U console, PC, or MAC unless it is reformatted. Please be sure to back up any content before formatting the hard drive for Wii U as this content cannot be recovered.
- Please note that we do not guarantee the performance of the devices.
- Specifications of these devices are subject to change, and there is a possibility that these devices may not function properly with the Wii U system due to a specification change.
- Please contact the manufacturer of the USB hard disc drive if there are technical issues or problems with your USB hard disc drive.