We reported a few days ago the promise of Nintendo President Satoru Iwata - Nintendo is finally taking the leap with downloadable retail games, as whole Wii U games will be available to purchase straight from your couch - that is, if you’re too lazy to get off your ass and go to the store. Or you’re too pre-occupied with your girlfriend giving you a… sandwich. Both are acceptable reasons.
Well, we’ve come to learn that the 3DS will also be picking up this feature for downloadable retail games, and the first title planned to take advantage of this feature will be none other than the recently-announced New Super Mario Bros. 2, which will be coming to the 3DS at some point this year. Of course, gamers can also pick up the game as a physical hard copy, if they so wish. It would be kinda silly if you couldn’t do that.
Of course, with this announcement, it comes to reason to ask ourselves how many retail games you will be able to store on your 3DS. The answer is - however large your SD card is. And sadly, there’s not a whole lot you can fit on the 2GB card that came packaged with your 3DS. This information comes from IGN’s recently conducted study on the relative size of 3DS games… in normal computer measures, i.e. megabytes and gigabytes (not those weirdly-concocted “blocks” Nintendo seems to think are the next trendy thing in informations technology). The study found that while games like Super Mario 3D Land pushed to only 310MB in size, other games like Kid Icarus: Uprising sat at 1.61GB and Resident Evil: Revelations was floggin’ something bloody shockin’ like 3.17GB (pardon my Australian).
Does this mean it’s time for Nintendo goers to pick up a bigger SD card? Well yes, most likely - that is, unless you’re comfortable with just buying physical copies of the games at the store like your forefathers had done, and their fathers before them. I can’t imagine New Super Mario Bros. 2 will really be too heavy on the gigs, anyhoo. It’s up to you!
It’s also worth noting that IGN’s study had taken a look at the relative size of Wii games and Xbox 360 games (which we can expect will match the approximate size of Wii U games, which will also be downloadable). You could guess for yourself, but the size of games like Skyward Sword was something like 4.06GB, Smash Bros. Brawl at 6.77GB, BioShock at 4.66GB, Modern Warfare 3 at 7.49GB, etc., etc., you get the picture. The point IGN was trying to make here is that it would be a little bit lovely if Nintendo could give us a hard drive to play around with, to store all of our wonderful Wii U games - even if we just wish to install our physical copies to speed up those loading times, or keep our disc drives quiet. All that good, technical stuff, you know.
We’ll keep you in the loop.