I'm considering buying a Wii U Basic set, but I really do not want to attach external hard drive to the system. I know that it's little opionated, but still, if I would use only disk based games (say 10 at max) and would download about 10 SNES games from virtual console, would internal 3GB would be enough for saved games and possible patches?

As @fbueckert correctly mentioned that that's depend on particular games, I reformulate question a bit: what's the largest patch on Wii U so far (if patches are applied in stack then full patches stack size)?

  • Isn't the Wii U basic system 8GB?
    – Niro
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 3:29
  • Yes, but only about 3Gb is available for usage (other is reserved by OS and stuff).
    – pabdulin
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 3:30
  • It would depend on the number of games, and which games. Some games might not get patched at all, while others could get patched every other day, necessitating lots of space.
    – Frank
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 4:44
  • @fbueckert agreed. I reformulated question a bit, to be more specific.
    – pabdulin
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 4:57
  • 1
    I have the black (32 GB) Wii U. Right now I am left with 24 GB of free space. Pikmin 3 and Nintendo Land both have update data eating up over 300 MB each (Pikmin 3's patch data uses the most spaces, with 380 MB); I'm using 941 MB in total, system updates not included. Not sure how much data I have in Wii mode, but I believe the Wii mode's storage isn't accessible to the Wii U at all (system reserved storage space). So, my guess is that you'd have about 1 GB of free storage (unless you decide to skip the Wii U's system updates), which may be enough for 2-3 large patches.
    – Nolonar
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 5:32

3 Answers 3


As a response to the titled question, the largest single firmware update on Wii U was the 4.0.0 update which was 701MB.

Regarding the actual file size of Virtual Console games, currently the largest SNES game on the market appears to be Earthbound at a download size of 43MB. Assuming that all the titles you download are at 40MB, you'd be around 400MB of storage for all your titles.

  • The 8GB Basic Set has approximately 3GB available for data storage and download.
  • A certain amount (~5GB) of space is used by the operating system, pre-installed software, save data, account-related data and other kinds of data.
  • Nintendo Land cannot be downloaded onto the 8 GB Basic Set system but you can purchase the game at retail and there is room for save data.
  • 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.


List of Virtual Console Games

  • Thanks, good answer. I've ended up buying Deluxe Set though.
    – pabdulin
    Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 1:15
  • The first update was around 5GB, according to multiple tweets and sites. See here for an article, and links to those tweets.

  • The 4.0.0 update was indeed around 600/700 MB, as said above.

  • 2.1 was around 600 MB source

  • 3.0.0 downloading could take up to an hour, according to Nintendo, according to this site. Assuming Nintendo assumes not everyone has a > 1 MB/s speed, it is well under the 5GB of the day-one patch.

  • 4.0.2 was "rather small", according to this site.

  • Update 5.0.0 was also small, very small compared to other in my opinion: it was ~530 MB according to this Reddit post. I bought my secondhand WiiU while it was downloading this update, it was done in under 15 minutes. I don't know the download speed where I bought it, but that's rather fast.

I didn't search for more file sizes, but I think we can take a conclusion here. I found the x.0.0 updates, which should be the largest. The first update, the day-one patch, was by far the largest - 5 GB. After that, each update was between 500-700 MB, with the largest one the 4.0.0 update (from the updates I found and listed above), which is 701 MB. I think that in the future they will most likely be around this size again.


Bear in mind that firmware patches will replace many files as well. It's not like each patch takes up an additional 700MB space on your console - a lot of it replaces existing older files. So in the end the actual space taken up on the console should only increase a little with each firmware release.

  • It certainly doesn't replace any of them until they are all downloaded, otherwise cutting the connection could brick your system... Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 6:35

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