Pokémon X and Y File Size Analysis


    By now I’m sure most of you will be aware that Pokémon X and Pokémon Y will require 1.7GB of space of your 3DS SD card should you choose to download it instead of buy a physical copy. But how exactly does this file size compare to existing games? Furthermore, what can we expect content-wise with data of this size?

First I feel I need to point out that 1.7GB is a hefty amount of data for a 3DS game, making it one of the larger ones thus far. Theoretically 3DS games could utilise cartridges of up to 8GB, though currently the largest cartridge available as a product is the 4GB cartrige for Resident Evil : Revelations (though the data of the game itself was 3.17GB). This games top-notch size owes to the cinematic cutscenes as well as some of the best graphics and tones in a 3DS game to date.


That being said,  beautiful graphics do not always require a large data size. Zelda: The Ocarina of Time and Super Mario 3D world really have their graphical moments, even though both are only a third of the file size that Pokémon X and Pokémon Y will offer.  Pokémon X and Y will be slightly bigger than massive titles such as Monster Hunter 3G or Kid Icarus : Uprising, and double the size of Animal Crossing : New Leaf or Mario Kart 7.


With that said, a majority of this data is likely attributed to the 700+ Pokémon sprites and data that will be in Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, rather than the graphics. Personally I’m really fond of the graphic style we’ve seen in trailers so far, but what do you guys think?

No matter what way you look at it, with your average 3DS game being 500MB, Pokémon X and Pokémon Y’s massive 1.7GB is something to be happy about. It’s over 3 times larger than the average 3DS game, so hopefully the extra room will be put to good use.


  1. It’s hard to judge it from size, i’m no expert.
    However from what you’ve written, it seems like a good thing. In the end quality is important than quantity though and I’m satisfied with what I’ve seen so far. 3D modellings are uh-mazing!

  2. The models and textures might actually take up less space than the sprites did. I’d say another likely space-taker is the music, since they said it’s all orchestral music now. That alone will take an exponentially greater amount of space than the MIDI files (or whatever they were) that past games used. Also if there are any pre-rendered cutscenes. I can’t recall which game, but I think one of the Zelda games’ ending cutscene takes up half the entire game size because it’s just one huge video file.

  3. Another factor is that it features 7 playable languages on a single cartridge. If I recall from the rountable at E3 about 1.4 million words in English?

        1. Only the words though. One letter = 1 byte, so 1 million letters are 1MB.
          Vectors take way more space, so that’s why file sizes are so big nowadays.

          1. Does that account for the fact that it’s going to HAVE to use Unicode in order to use Kana and Hangul for Japanese and Korean languages, respectively? They’re not going to be able to do that in ASCII. I’m only loosely aware of how letter encoding works, but it’s gonna be more than one byte per letter because ASCII simply doesn’t work. Probably won’t change things too much, but the 1 byte = 1 letter only works if you presume ASCII, right? Granted, if you go up to Unicode 32, that’s 4 bytes per letter, right? Is it possible to use ASCII for the latin alphabet languages and Unicode for the two non-latin ones?

          2. I don’t know actually. I have no idea how the 3DS development kit works. However, since it is a closed system, and with Nintendo being natively Japanese, it is indeed possible that they use ASCII (or UTF-8) and something else for Japanese characters. They still could have designed their own ‘smart’ designs with space in mind.
            However, even if Japanese characters take up more space, keep in mind that Japanese words are usually shorters than a latin equivalent and that they don’t feature spaces.

          3. Well, they do use spaces within the context of the games, actually. But since ASCII is latin alphabet only, so no, they don’t use that. Maybe using JIS X 0213 and whatever’s the standard for Korean, but the sheer number of kana required (There are 164 katakana by unicode standards, and double that for needing hiragana too)… We’ll see how it comes down to managing it, though. It won’t be the majority of the game, but it could be bigger than you might expect is all I’m speculating. 🙂

        2. For comparison, the complete Harry Potter collection in ebook file format is around 20MB, and that includes some small images and text markup.

      1. It’s not 1.4 million words for each language though is it, that’s only for English words.

        1. Yeah I know. Just a quick comparison I made. Even if some languages take up more space, the text alone wouldn’t get above 90MB.

    1. I thought for sure that that had a lot to do with it, too, until I read Daedardus’s breakdown of the numbers. Thanks, Dae! Now I know what a fool I have been.

  4. It’s hard to draw conclusions from the file size.
    It is indeed bigger than the average first party title, something unseen for the Pokémon games, which normally have always been smaller than other Nintendo games.
    Without knowing how many polygons the 3D Pokémon models are, they could take up around 40MB to 300MB. Compression also factors in, as Resident Evil’s cutscenes were not compressed very well, while stuff like Zelda Ocarina of Time are mostly textures and models that could easily be compressed on the data storage front.
    Is there a second region in it? It could be possible, but I have no real evidence for that. Pokémon Platinum takes up ~50MB, around the same as Heartgold. File size isn’t a good tool for comparison, as it mostly depends on the developers programming skills. Poorly programmed games usually take up more space than game that uses nifty tricks to keep the file size down.

    1. I thought for sure that B/W and especially B2/W2 took up most of the size available on their Game Cards. I was very impressed with how much data they were able to fit on them! Somewhere near 4,000 animated sprites, almost 700 Pokédex entries, an enormous amount of Trainers, 3D environments, a huge PC system, the multiplayer options, the cinematics, and not to mention the battle system with all of its moves and stats… I couldn’t believe what they did with a DS game card. For that matter, I can’t even imagine what kind of great things they’ll be able to do with 1.7 GB of data!

  5. Although they are kind of different, can we estimate the size of 3D pokemon models by looking at the size of Pokedex 3D Pro?

    1. I don’t think so because the models from Pokedex 3D and Pokemon XY are different meaning that they would’ve probably used completely different methods for creating and compressing them.

      1. I think they are using the same models from Pokedex 3D Pro, just cel shaded version of them. For instance, If you look at Magikarp’s animation from Pokedex 3D and compare it to animation from X&Y, they’re exactly the same. Same goes for Pikachu’s standing pose for example.

    2. No. Because there just using 3D Models of 649 Pokemon. Also, the have simple animations so it wouldn’t be large. Look at the size of the Kalos Region, It is ginormous. So the size will be larger.

    3. Pokédex 3D Pro is around 400MB.
      It’s totally possible that the Gamefreak models also around this size, but it could still be less.

  6. The large data size is mostly because of the Pokemon. GameFreak now has to make moving 3D models of more than 700+ Pokemon. That will be a lot of data. The increase use of 3D Models have a effect too. Remember you have to include the 7 Different Languages, Music, Animations, Effects, Wifi, etc. So, it makes sense for a large size. I will be buying the hard copy, so I really don’t need to worry. Yet, for people that will buy the digital copy, I recommend buying a larger SD Card. 😉

    1. i think you are right a lot of that 1.7GB is graphics. i don’t really download games from the 3ds but i would imagine that it would take some to down load me i am going to game stop to pick mine up when it opens

          1. haha yeah. The only problem for me is that some of the fun has been taken out of cartridges since the DS when they became so small, and no longer are coloured (like all previous Pokémon games). I wish they’d at least make the cartridges Red and Blue for X and Y again…not much chance though I suppose…

          2. yea they really should of kept the cartridge colored, that way when i look in my game i know which games are the pokemon games

          3. Hey, good news is that the X and Y Cards will be white, so you can potentially color them whatever color you want!

          4. I miss the old-fashion bulky Pokémon cartridges. I miss the feeling of holding them in my palm, and I miss how they looked much more awesome than other GB games 😛

          5. Oh. You just want colored cartridges. It cost more money for the developers to do that. Also, it will look weird in a collection.

          6. I agree. I remember when one of my friends got a gray Emerald Game Pak, I thought it was cool in that it was different, but I was afraid that was a sign that they would be phasing out the colored cartridges. I was so sad when I saw the Diamond and Pearl Game Cards and learned that my fears had been realized. Now that the infrared features will be through the system there is a better chance they will color the cartridges, but it’s pretty unlikely.

          7. Ha, not sure I’m familiar with it, but sounds nice. “Your Pokémon is smelling a nostalgic scent.”

          8. Yet, it does have pros and cons to buying the physical copy versus a digital. Yet, I love owning hard copies more. Lovin’ the new game hype. 😉

    2. Can’t they use vectors and shit nowadays, yo? That’s how them kids tell me it gonna be

  7. Cool article, I have no idea why its so big but it’s a good thing 😀 and maybe we’ll find out soon enough. CoroCoro is nearly here ><

  8. It really depends upon how much of the objects in the world they made 3D models for. They’re also using the same 3D models from the 3D dex (Guess we should have seen it coming). It’s most certainly too small for featuring all the other 5 regions. Even if they did, the amount of game-time in them would be really small. Maybe just one other region? We can only hope.

      1. To be fair though, I think the wild Pikachu has a bit of a “fish eye lense” effect going on.

      2. It looks like different because camera was in zooming motion when that’s taken. Actually it looks like this:

        1. There are even small differences in the model,
          -XY Pikachu is missing toes and fingers
          -XY Pikachu has a bigger head (slightly)
          -3DS Pikachu’s ears are longer
          -3DS Pikachu has a bigger tail

          FYI, I’m using belmad’s picture as reference.

        1. Don’t you think that they released a 3D Pokedex, because they’ve already had 3D modeled Pokemon in their hands while devoloping X&Y (or let’s say the first 3D Pokemon game)?

  9. I’m guessing that the game music is taking more space than usual this time.
    Masuda said something about not having to alter the music data very much this time, right? And then there was something about being able to chose battle music which I hope means a few extra tracks.
    Of course I don’t think the music data accounts for a large portion of the 1.7GB, but I would like if some of that was dedicated to the BGM.

  10. One other region is feasible, definitely not all the other regions. Or maybe there’s some Islands like in the Sevi Island in Fire Red and Leaf Green and when we complete the main game, we can travel there.

  11. Long time reader and first time poster:p
    I recently downloaded Shin Megami Tensei IV and it was about 14,300 blocks. It’s a fairly massive game and I’ve already racked up 40 hours without completing the actual game. It has hundreds of demons in the game and it’s the only thing keeping me sane until October 12th! That being said, I think X and Y will have far more detail than the Demons in SMT IV, as the demons just pictures(unless you fuse them). I’m excited to see what this game brings and I know I won’t be disappointed!

  12. Well some people seem to be getting a little confused, so I hope I can help shed some light.

    3D models aren’t that big, and to be perfectly correct, sprites take up a lot more space than models. The bit maps and massive amount of pixels eat up the memory and sort of put restrictions. The models and textures would really only take up a small fraction of the games memory. And since the music is fully orchestrated this time around, the use of MIDIs is gone and add even more free space.

    With that being said, only about 1.2GB would be dedicated to the models, textures, backgrounds, music files, and the text files, so that last 5mb must be put to either post-game stuff or just be unused data.

    And one last piece if trivia; Pokemon X&Y are larger than Colosseum, XD, and PBR combined.

    1. Why do you now it’s 1.2GB and not 0.8 or 1.4?
      Also MIDI’s are used because they are so small in file size, since they are only some synthesiser instruction. Don’t know why you would think orchestrated music will add free space.

      Also, there are easy compression techniques for images, just like there are ones for 3D models.

    2. The combined file size for Coloseum, XD and PBR is 6.8 GB

      I think your trivia is wrong my friend. 😉

        1. I doubt PBR is only 3.9MB, I’m sure it is 3.9GB, which makes the 6.8 likely correct.

          1. Ohhh. That’s game manual size xD
            The actual game is 4.266GB

            3.9MB is way too tiny seeing as that is more than the size of Pokémon Ruby

    3. Whoa, where did you read the music is fully orchestrated? I didn’t hear that anywhere.

  13. They really have out done themselves with these games; this is a major stepping stone of the Pokemon series! Having to include 700+ animated models, attack reactions for every Pokemon, attack animations, probably fainting animations (because Wynaut), coming into battle animations, battle scene backgrounds (they change), Lumiose city, cutscenes, storyline, graphics, music, 7 different languages, Pokemon-Amie animations, riding Pokemon, sky battles, horde battles, new features we haven’t heard about, and many more… A lot of work is going into these games, but all of the above probably wouldn’t take 1.7 GB maybe around 800 MB-1.2 GB. There has to be something else included that takes up to 1.7 GB (traveling to an island? e.g. Decolora islands??)

    1. Yeah I would think Pokemon amie would take up quite a bit of memory. Plus the EV training will be different an all the new mechanics

    2. That could be it! I’ve been wondering how they are going to make it so we can get many pokemon from different regions in-game with X and Y. And now we’re all wondering how this game could take up 1.7GB of space. Ash and the gang have encountered many different kinds of pokemon from all regions in the Decolora Islands. If X and Y were to include adventures in the Decolora islands, that could be where a lot of that space is going since there seems to be a lot of Decolora islands, and that would offer a way to get tons of pokemon from other regions.

          1. apparently sevii orange and decolore islands are horizontal with eachother via various pokemon memorobilia

  14. Is everyone forgetting that the game can be played in 6 languages ?
    i’m surprised it’s not more than 1.7 gb

  15. well, i know for sure that these games will be at least as long as a usual main pokemon game (let’s say like B/W). even though 3d graphics and models can use a lot of memory, Kriffix is right in his article: we have seen better games graphically talking like Kid Icarus or MH or Mario 3D and they use less space, so we can expect this games to have some content in terms of story, exploration and characteristics (i’m hoping for a Pokeathlon-esque minigame)

  16. One thing is for sure, I have very few complaints about this generation so far, unlike some other generations. This generation might just surpass all of them. I am really hoping that if cross-compatibility is not possible, that we are still able to capture all 700+ pokemon with a combination of x and y in-game and through DLC.

  17. maybe there is a extra space for DLC, some cool DLC could be costumes to make you look like characters from past gens

    1. Well costumes for DLC would be cool but I am expecting post game DLC content like islands or an entire reigon with a small story, that’s probably how most DLC roll nowadays (New area + side story + new features)

  18. You have all the 3D Models, textures, code, data, sprites, animations. Animal Crossing tends to have simpler textures and models and re-uses assets, etc…

  19. I don’t need any of this digital mess – I want a physical copy, dangit!

    Btw, anybody know if GameStop is gonna have any kind of preorder bonus?

      1. Whatever happened to pre-order deals like the platinum Giratina figure? I miss those.

  20. I didn’t realize that 3DS Game Cards could be up to 8 GB, impressive. There is so much potential for future Pokémon games! I bet we could almost have a remake of Generations I, II, III, AND IV on one Game Card in X & Y style within a few years after they’ve had time to learn more about working on 3DS and compressing. Personally the knowledge of the maximum size makes me excited, because if Mario Kart 7 could fit on less than 1 GB, I can only imagine how incredible of a Smash Bros. game (which will surely make full use of 4 or 8 GB) we are in store for!

  21. Is it true Coro Coro is out on the 11th this month? Pretty sure we’ve had leaks 5 days before release before, just saying… 😉

  22. Any word on an e shop demo release? I would assume by then that the types of the starters evolutions would already be know. Though if not it would be funny to see someone level up through the demo, however the developers would have program a demo where the pokemon can’t evolve.

  23. I hope a lot of the data is on the region. I hope its not filled with looonnnnggg roads like in BW.

  24. they need to make a map of the pokemon world, one of gaming’s greatest “unown” probably my most wanted now that zelda timeline is “revealed”, and i hope they make it north of unova, it seems likie it could go slightly northwest

  25. i want a thing were you get a sort of wifi gym and you can make your own puzzles but have to make sure it works

      1. I saw the video… DUH.
        And I don’t know if they are real or not, we’ll just have to see.

  26. Not trying to be “that guy,” but the largest 3DS game is actually Metal Gear Solid 3D, which clocks in at 3.24 GB.

    1. no one is saying it’s the largest game where saying that it’s the largest pokemon game and it’s one of the larger 3ds ones thus far but not the biggest

  27. do you think that some day they will create pokemon game like Colosseum on the 3ds or the new portable console??

  28. I wish pokemon had alternate endings depending on your answers. hahahaha

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