It’s been a little while since I’ve given an update on my Wii U experience. I still don’t think I’ve made full use of the game system yet and I’m still waiting for a game to come out that is going to make the world want to go buy a Wii U. I purchased my Wii U at midnight from a local Wal-Mart on the night of it’s release. I purchased the white basic model rather than the black deluxe model that night. I wanted the black one but since there was only a white one left, I settled and got it. There is a lesson here and I may need to write about it in a future post – but when you settle for something, you almost always end up regretting it.
There are two key differences for me between the two systems. 1. A charging cradle for the Wii U Controller and 2. 32 Gig of storage vs. 8 Gig. The need for a charging cradle may seem insignificant, but I’ve had a hard time trying to find a place for my controller to call home. I’ve tried different plugs in the room but it always looks ungainly. Plus there is the issue of relatively short battery life (3 to 4 hours) and sometimes I forget to plug it back in. A charging cradle provides a permanent place for the controller and charges it up for the next gaming session. The difference between 8 and 32 Gig of storage was noticed almost immediately. When I purchased and downloaded my third game, I discovered that I had no more storage. (Please note that the operating system is also using some of that storage space.) For a while I used a 4 Gig memory stick but Nintendo does not recommend a USB stick as a storage solution. Plus 4 Gig is just not enough extra storage.
I recently added a USB hard disk drive (320 Gig) to my Wii U and I had a few challenges. Nothing major, but I thought it would be helpful to anyone else who has thought of adding a USB hard drive to their Wii U. I started by purchasing a 1 Terabyte USB hard drive that I use for backup. It connects to my wireless router and is available as a network drive. This purchase made my old 320 Gig backup USB drive available for other purposes. So I took my old 320 Gig hard drive and decided to connect it to my Wii U. After connecting, I turned on the Wii U and…..nothing happened.
I did some research online and discovered that Nintendo does not recommend using a notebook USB hard drive with the Wii U. They recommend a USB hard drive with it’s own power connection. Great. Apparently the USB port on the Wii U does not provide enough power to make it work. But I did not give up. The next day I asked my friend Squiggly if he knew of a solution. Since he is so smart he could build a computer out of paper clips, a pack of gum, and pocket change – he gave me a recommendation. He told me to order a double USB cable. The extra USB port would provide the extra power to make it work.
I bought one on Amazon for about $6.50. For a link click here. It arrived quickly because Amazon is awesome.
I next installed the double cable to the Wii U. One downside is that I no longer have any more USB ports for the device, but for now I think I can live with that. I connected all of the other cables and turned on the system. This time it recognized the drive and informed me that it needed to be formatted. I had no problem with formatting since I had already removed all important information from the drive. It did not take very long to format.
I had no problem transferring games and save data over to the new storage. The available memory increased on the system and I still have tons of space for more storage on the hard drive.
I have to say that the experience was not too difficult once I discovered what to do. Now I can purchase downloadable games and try out demos without the aggravation of having to make room on the system memory. The little drive sits nicely on top of my Wii U. Of course, it would all match nicely if I had purchased the cool black deluxe Wii U. But I settled…. I still think this system has a lot of potential. Hey Nintendo! How about some achievements or trophies? I love those things on the Xbox 360 and PS3!