Space is set to be the final frontier for the Wii U, as Nintendo reveal that the 8GB basic console will need to dedicate nearly 5GB of storage to system software and user account info.
The latest Japanese Nintendo Direct presentation explains this unexpected (and somewhat worrying) state of affairs [via Kotaku]. Though the basic Wii U has 7.2 GB of flash memory to start with, initial setup fills up the vast majority of it with account data and essential system information, leaving you with 3.2 GB to play with. This means that you won't be able to download and install full-size Wii U games to the system - there simply isn't enough room.
The 32GB Premium version will have 25GB of usable space - but even then, Wii U discs can hold a maximum of 25GB themselves (though most launch games will only use a fraction of that amount.
As previously reported, the Wii U will support external hard drives of up to 2TB (so long as they have their own power supply), as well as USB memory. By the looks of things, we won't have much choice...