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Just how much space do Nintendo's games take up?

With the announcement that 3DS and Wii U titles will soon be available both physically and digitally, we investigate just how much current Nintendo games fill their disc or cartridge.

While the Rayman Legends Wii U trailer leak dominated much of today's news, it's worth bearing in mind that another potentially bigger story broke earlier today. At an investor's conference Satoru Iwata explained that as of New Super Mario Bros. 2, first-party Nintendo games on 3DS and Wii U will be available both as packaged games and digital downloads.

Immediately our first thought was storage. The 3DS of course comes with a 2GB SD card provided, and while it hasn't been made clear yet how big the Wii U's hard drive will be, Nintendo has already confirmed that users will be able to add either SD cards or USB hard drives to increase their storage space.

But just how big are Nintendo games? Are we going to be talking gigabytes at a time here? We've done some sneaky investigating based on current software and you may be surprised.

It's difficult to tell right away how big a Nintendo game actually is because they're released on media that have a fixed size. All Wii discs are either 4.7GB or 8.54GB, for example, and 3DS cartridges come in various sizes with the highest currently offering 4GB of storage. This doesn't tell us much, because each game is just dumped on one of these discs or cartridges and whatever free space is left is just ignored.

The only way to tell how big the actual game is, is to backup the game. This is a process that is morally dubious, and usually results in illegal shenanigans so we're going to make it clear right now that we don't endorse it, and as such we're not going to tell you how to do this or where you can find out. What we've done for the sake of this feature however is access the sites that have already done this and found out how big each game actually is.

Naturally, you can expect Wii U games to be a little bigger due to the higher quality of the textures and models stored on the disc. But for the moment we're looking at the sizes of Wii and 3DS games, just to see out of interest which takes up the most space.

Wii

Sizes in GB from biggest to smallest:
Metroid Prime Trilogy - 7.45
Metroid: Other M - 7.28
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- 6.77
Xenoblade Chronicles - 5.98
The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword - 4.09
Punch-Out!!
- 3.66
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
- 3.59
Kirby's Epic Yarn
- 3.59
Wario Land: The Shake Dimension - 3.55
Donkey Kong Country Returns
- 3.34
Super Mario Galaxy
- 3.28
WarioWare: Smooth Moves - 3.27
Mario Kart Wii
- 2.60
Mario Sports Mix - 2.30
PokePark Wii - 2.03
New Play Control! Pikmin - 2.00
Wii Fit Plus - 1.92
Mario Strikers Charged - 1.84
New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis - 1.46
Mario Super Sluggers - 1.41
Mario Party 8 - 1.38
Super Mario Galaxy 2
- 1.30
Pokemon Battle Revolution
- 1.24
Kirby's Adventure Wii
- 1.19
Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree
- 1.19
The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess
- 1.09
Wii Party
- 1.02
Mario Party 9
- 0.95
Sin & Punishment 2
- 0.91
Wii Sports Resort
- 0.83
Boom Street
- 0.74
Excite Truck - 0.71
Wii Sports
- 0.63
Wii Play Motion - 0.63
Rhythm Heaven Fever (US)
- 0.45
Super Paper Mario
- 0.41
New Super Mario Bros Wii
- 0.36
Animal Crossing: Let's Go To The City
- 0.33
Wii Music - 0.29
Wii Play - 0.23
Link's Crossbow Training - 0.23
Super Mario All-Stars - 0.03

3DS

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