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Miyamoto Talks About The Slow Wii U Operating System And Forthcoming Update


Shigeru Miyamoto was recently quizzed about the notoriously slow Wii U operating system by Time. Miyamoto explained that the Wii U was a project on an unparalleled scale for Nintendo and that the scope of the project was far beyond their development of the 3DS hardware. Miyamoto says that even during the testing phases of the console it was difficult to ascertain the interactions between the applications which ultimately added inconveniences for the consumer.

Let’s talk about the Wii U system updates. The Wii U launched with interface issues and missing applications, including slow load times for native apps. Why weren’t the slow load times caught before release, and why is the update to improve system performance taking until spring?

It’s a tough question, certainly, but I think it’s also an accurate observation. For Wii U in particular I would say that in preparing the system for launch, it was a project on an unparalleled scale for Nintendo. We had multiple different teams working on multiple different segments of the hardware and its features simultaneously. Certainly we’d had experience with that type of development designing the 3DS, but with Wii U the scope of the project was far beyond our development of the 3DS hardware. And with many of those features, you don’t get a true sense for how they interact or where the advantages and disadvantages lie within the broader framework until you’re able to bring all the components together into a single unified system.

Even during the testing phase, it’s difficult to ascertain what facets of those interactions between the applications are resulting in inconveniences for the consumer until you have an opportunity for many people and lots of consumers to try these features out — to understand how they’re using those features and what they’re doing as they’re switching between them. Since the system was released, we’ve spent a great deal of time looking at how people are using it and where they feel it can be improved, and we’re currently continuing out preparations for this first major system update that’s coming. What we want to do is make sure that when we release it, that we address as many of the different opinions about how people would like to see the system improve as we can at once. We hope to cover a wide range of requests while simultaneously ensuring it’s a very stable update to the system.

Do you anticipate a significant performance upgrade to the Wii U interface itself?

We think that by this summer, the system is going to be very much improved over how it’s performing currently. Of course when it comes to the actual hardware, those decisions have already been finalized, and one of the things we focused on in making those decisions was the speed of the connection between the Wii U system and the Wii U GamePad. We strongly feel the transfer speed between those two devices is so strong that it’s not something that can necessarily be achieved by other devices that haven’t been designed specifically with that in mind. So as we get into these other system-based updates, our anticipation is that because of the amount of effort we’ve dedicated to the GamePad’s wireless connection to the hardware, these additional improvements are going to make for an overall device that’s even more convenient to use.



132 thoughts on “Miyamoto Talks About The Slow Wii U Operating System And Forthcoming Update”

    1. What…nothing in the interview talked about the gamepad leaving connection with the Wii U…they just talked about the connection between the two. The gamepad itself also runs off of the processor in the Wii U, I don’t believe the gamepad could survive on its own.

      1. I know it can’t survive it on own, thats what the 3DS is for. I’m being overly optimistic and hoping that the “strong transfer speed” and “strong wireless connection” ninty is touting so much can do something crazy (like let me take the gamepad on the road) :)

          1. True and a great idea
            , but I doubt ninty would do that because it’d take away some the the handheld market

    2. and the WiiU was never designed as a portable. It was the FIRST thing iwata said when presenting the new hardware controll on E3 2011 (yes, I remember as if it was yesterday)

    3. To be honest, the Wii U has an amazing interface, and the load times really aren’t that bad, but they could be improved just a bit. I don’t see why it’s such a big deal to everyone. Just shut up and enjoy the Wii U.

      1. I agree. the only thing that I don’t like about it is the lock up issues. might be because the OS is slower than it was meant to be.

      2. HAHAHA! There is nothing amazing about the Weak U. Only a Nintendo fangirl like you would think the Weak U has any redeeming qualities.

        1. Certainly coming from someone that hasn’t actually played the system. Having played each system I can say that the wii u interface is very good especially when paired with the pad. It allows good flow and fast user access to whatever they want, certainly a huge step above the wii and a step above both the ps3 and 360 as they still use an old however intuitive control scheme with the controller, and for people that know their way around the system can zip through it with ease. Certainly what Nintendo needs to work on is the actual execution of the applications within the interface, as i stated on the user stand point it is very quick, easy and intuitive on the user side of things.

          1. Disagree. I love the Xbox “home” pop-up. Also, the fact that Wii U home screen pauses the game will hurt many online titles.

            1. The nintendo home button doesn’t work with most online games for that reason alone. But I’m not actually talking about in game funtion, I’m talking about the OS interface and ability to get around it. The act of choosing what app/game/function you want to do.

        2. justsomerandomguywithbadgrammargetoverit

          Meh just because your sister/mom/girlfriend love the wii u doesn’t mean the nintendo fanboys are fangirls i am a guy and i know that because i have a dick or you are just a kid to know the difference between a guy and a girl but seriously just enjoy your fucking console instead of flaming here or wait you don’t love your console you just love to hate other consoles.

      3. Oh wow, the interface has such a crappy design… Have you tried downloading and installing a game? You have to MANUALLY go through like 3 pop ups.

        Also, the loading times are hell if you use the system the way I do.

        1. I’ll certainly agree that they could likely make it easier to download and install the game. Likely the reason they have separated the actions is so that you won’t accidently bog down the system with installing automatically after downloading while trying to play another game or some other action.
          As for purchasing and downloading a game within the eshop, it could be streamlined again, but again I was talking about the actual OS, not an app within it.
          The loading times are what many people complain about, that is what I mentioned about the execution of the application, and I believe is what Nintendo is working on fixing, likely along with other fixes.

        2. justsomerandomguywithbadgrammargetoverit

          Meh they could fix that too with another update like the loading one right now in spring haven’t you read the news here? Or you just wanted to troll here?

    4. Between the Day 1 update, slow OS, and lack of non-eShop games since launch, I feel Nintendo should’ve waited a little while to release the WiiU. Seems like they rushed it.

      1. 21 non-eShop games isn’t enough? So, understanding that, the only console you were satisfied with on hard-copy games at launch was the PS2?

        1. As a WiiU owner, I have not seen new physical games since launch. Please list all the 21 non-eShop games that were NOT launch titles.

            1. I’m not saying 21 launch titles isn’t going to last, but it launched on Nov 18 in North America. MH3U comes out March 19th, which is a 4 month span of nothing. That’s pretty bad, especially considering that there have been some big titles that came out since then, but haven’t made their way to WiiU.

              1. justsomerandomguywithbadgrammargetoverit

                Dude some good games are coming The legend of zelda wind waker HD,new zelda game,New super luigi U (it another game then just a DLC but if you don’t count that then whatever),Yoshi Yarn,Another new mario game and Mario Kart U the lineup isn’t that awsome but if you count the 3ds titles too then this is gonna be a great year (i am getting a PS4 too but a bit later)

              2. justsomerandomguywithbadgrammargetoverit

                And don’t forget about Bayonetta 2 so yeah the lineup isn’t that bad as you though oh and are you the Pyro guy who like to troll on Wii U videos?

                1. Lol pyrotakun is a ninty supporter ur thinkin of another troll pyro that sucks pscock. And pyrotakun has very valid points, u ppl keep damage controlling instead of realizing we won’t have any NEW games until maybe the beggining of MAY…. like MAY bro…. u all do realize this right?

          1. I hate to point this out, but launch titles don’t actually have to be present at the direct time of launch, they are actually set to be released within a launch window. Generally 3-4 months after a system has been launched. So puting that down as a question is moot because anything released up to this point is actually within the launch window and thus are all launch titles, so there were no non launch titles up to this point. However, with that being said, they likely should have spaced out their launch titles a bit because it was game overload right when it was released, then that puts into the consumers mind that all the titles that were released at that point are discarded because there is no more hype over them. It has certainly been a dry spell for the the wii u up to this point, but March should help with that a bit as we have a hand full of titles that are supposed to be released this month. Spiderman was just released a couple days ago.
            However after the initial day of launch there has been a few games released. At least in Canada anyway.

            Cabela’s Dangerous hunt
            Family party… (unngh….)
            Marvel Avengers: Battle for earth
            Rapala Bass Pro Fishing
            Rise of the Guardians
            Wheel of Fortune
            007 Legends

            The ones to be released in March are the aformentioned
            Lego City
            Need For Speed
            Monster Hunter 3
            The Croods
            The Walking Dead

            So I don’t think it is all that bad to be honest. The problem is that the majority of the games have been crap or very niche games like Cabela’s, Rapala, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, so the majority of people skip over them.

            If I could I would buy nearly every game coming out this month but I am probably only going to be able to get 1 or 2 at the most.

          2. Nintendo doesn’t like to rush their titles. A lot of their consoles have had a dry spell after launch. We have 2 exclusive games this month (Lego City and Monster Hunter), as well as other games launching on other consoles and the 3DS. I don’t believe that you have enough time to devote to two games in a month, and more if you have multiple platforms. Monster Hunter alone is going to take up a lot of time. After March ends, it will be time for the second round of games with Game and Wario, Wonderful 101, and Pikmin 3. We also have 3D Mario and Mario Kart, which I believe are going to come out during holiday season, Bayoneta 2, and all the games announced in the January Nintendo Direct which some of them I think will release in 2013. It doesn’t take rocket science to know that Nintendo is working on other unannounced titles too. Nintendo knows what they are doing.

            1. Funny story, all of that still doesn’t make up for the four months of no quality retail games that weren’t launch-day titles. Yes, the games start picking up in March. Yes, I will easily drop 1,000+ hours in MH3U, and yes, there are more games on the horizon.

              But guess what? I still stand by my previous statement. Why? Because of the 4 months that went by where only a few games came out, none of them being memorable. Because of the ridiculous day 1 update that gave us features that should’ve just come out of the box. Because of the slow OS which I’ve never experienced on a Nintendo console.

              As a Nintendo fan I am currently disappointed in the lack of polish on the WiiU. Nintendo is a name I hold in high regards, and the WiiU hardware feels rushed when compared to the past Nintendo systems.

    5. I’m sure looking forward to the updates to the OS. I wonder how many features were held back til the updates come into being?

    6. Short answer: We were getting desperate after that two dry games years on the Wii and launch the Wii U one or two year before actually finish the software.

    7. The only thing I would ask to be adressed is the Hard Locks my system is having and ”back to menu” speed. even though, my PS3 is very slow compared to the WiiU.

    8. Yeah, that connection between the pad and the Wii U is VERY fast. Sometimes I feel sure that the gamepad shows stuff before the tv does. And that is freaking impressive.

      1. Wen I play 2k it actually does play faster, so does BLOPs2. Actually 2k was so bad that it was near impossible to play on the tv it lagged so far behind, thank goodness they just came with a update patch for that :p

      2. yeah, it actually does show faster on the pad in many cases because the connection between the pad and the system is faster then the refresh rate of your tv.

          1. What I stated was actually a fact, not an opinion. However, what you stated also has it’s part to play. Still doesn’t change the fact that it is displayed faster on the pad then on most tv’s.

    9. I honestly dont understand the issue.
      I dont know what people are supposed to be used to, or whatever, but the loads times from what ive seen arent even bad. And are we really that impatient?….

      Least theyre fixing it though.


        i bet this people will have a surprise on ”next gen” systems, it’s gonna have soooooo many issues with those facebook interfaces and streaming things… lol

        I stream to twich TV and all I can say is that its veryyy stressful sometimes :)

        1. I remember when people used to play games rather than compare m hardware and irrelevant loading times.

          1. yup, I had to blow my cartriges to get them working, and my PS1 only worked when upsidown. lol

            I didn’t even bother, as long as it was working and playing :)

                1. I’m just trying to imagine how you came to that realisation. At what point did you decide “I know, I’ll try it upside down!”

                  1. A friend told me, that someone else told him that it would work. than I tried.

                    I don’t know how people found this out LOL

        2. uhhhg, the idea of cloud gaming… Most people do not have good enough internet connections to stream high def gaming to their consoles. It’s gonna be a smack in the face when people try this and there will be the initial buffer or everything will be blurred because of a lower rate of transfer. Also if too many people are attempting to use the cloud service at the same time it will slow down as well… or they will cap it and you will get a message like “Sorry, we are unable to supply the requested title right now, please try again later or try another title”. Netflix and Amazon are two of the largest cloud based video mediums out there and this still happens to them. I forsee a sony cloud server crash after it’s released, similar to what happenes with nearly every mmo and diablo 3 when it was released.
          Hope they create a medium for downloading the software to the hardware to play from that instead of streaming…

          1. Completely right, though it’s only set to improve.

            “Hope they create a medium for downloading the software to the hardware to play from that instead of streaming…”
            Not gonna be possible. The whole point of the streaming service is to take the processing off the PS4 hardware. It might be feasible to emulate PS1&2 games, but PS3 games are likely to be out of the question.

      2. the problem is that the WiiU is capable of much better speeds, and that’s what people expect

        it legitimately DOES take much longer than it should to download game updates

        1. That has nothing to do with the speed of the system, that has to do with your internet connection speed, wireless speed, intereference and the server speeds as well as how many people are trying to download the same thing at the same time.

            1. How is that NOT what I just said? Downloading has nothing to do with the OS or system specs unless someone borked the drivers in the OS, or the hardware (the NIC) in the system is out dated (it’s not). If your connection is fine then it is on the other side where the information is being downloaded from ie, the server. Or perhaps there is a bottleneck between your connection to theirs.
              So why we’re you arguing? Seems like we said the same thing no?

    10. Do you anticipate a significant performance upgrade to the Wii U interface itself?
      Miyamoto: ‘We think that by this summer, the system is going to be very much improved over how it’s performing currently. Of course when it comes to the actual hardware, those decisions have already been finalized…’

      Aeolus February 7, 2013 at 10:22 pm
      ‘A rebranding and relaunch. Matte Black console named Ultra Nintendo Entertainment System with a bundled eGPU to have it compete on par with upcoming consoles and built-in user-upgradable HDD. Pro controller for main controller while GamePad becomes an optional peripheral for casual games. $300-$399 depending on options.’

      This is Virus. Until next time guys…

        1. No? He is not a troll, just a man with a strong opinion, some facts and a will to share them both.

          1. He’s disrespectful at almost every turn. Anyone can have a strong opinion without being disrespectful- he chooses to try to make people feel bad (worst case senario, worthless). Maybe you haven’t seen all of his posts, but he really needs help, and I’m not trying to be funny.

            1. I personaly do not find him so disrespectful. I think you guys are more disrespectful against him than he is against you. I would also act disrespectful if people was complete jerks against me.

              1. I wonder how long it will take before Firesplitter gets labelled a troll or an alt of Aeolus. But honestly, I can see both sides of the argument.

      1. Pfft! Game pad becoming an optional peripheral and Nintendo trying to play power-/graphics whore with the rest of the industry…….
        Yeah, that’ll happen.
        When Aeolus takes over Nintendo as part of his master plan to put them in an early grave with bad decisions.XD

        1. Nintendo Commander

          High Command knows everything there is to know about the Sony Assassin Aeolus…

          There is no danger in any way…

      2. Nintendo is not Sega. its not gonna launch a system and let it die a year after. The WiiU is here to stay for the Next years to come. It doesn’t matter the ”fire power” a system have, it needs games. Also, the WiiU is HD as well as the PS4 and Xbox8 so, we are talking about the same image technology, I’m sure Nintendo games on WiiU are gonna compete in terms of visuals even with PS4.

      3. I actually sorta like aeolus’s idea, however change the part about the gamepad to ability to play most games off tv and play it directly on the game pad, also with the games released thus far, the pad cannot be optional.

    11. I know that I complained about the Wii mode on the Wii U, but complaining about the “so called slow load time” is so annoying. Are people really so impatient these days? Talk about being spoiled.

      1. yup. I never had an issue with it or even thought about it till I read forums about it. The occasional crashes for people and the couple I have run into were certainly more imporant for me.

    12. What I feel they should target after the update is a multi voice chat feature like the Live Parties in the Xbox 360. Also, being able to use those chat parties while you are playing any game.

      1. you mean cross-chat? That would be cool, but maybe they are planing something more interesting, like cross-videochat! ;)

        1. justsomerandomguywithbadgrammargetoverit

          That would be cool but meh i don’t do video chats that much so if they are planning something like that then they better have cross-chat too.

    13. I can already see the Wind Waker remake looking as gorgeous as ever. So clear and colorful, like my heart is full of rainbows!

    14. I’d rather they did focus on the gamepad latency, and they did a great job of it. it’s negligible and if you’re not a computer or something, it feels instantaneous.
      On the subject of the OS speed, as I time it it currently takes 17 seconds to move from the main screen to the Settings. What he means by “very much improved” I have no idea but I’m kinda worried the update will only make like a few seconds difference

      1. The problem is that people loose interest in something generally about 8 seconds after starting something if nothing happens lol. That is actually a fact, feel free to look it up. So all they need to do is get it down to that point or slightly faster and most if not all the complaining will be gone.
        After the most recent update I have actually noticed most apps opening faster, however once in a while I will get a longer load time. But from pressing the netflix button on the pad to the initial netflix screen has dropped to 1-2 seconds down from 3-4, and the red netflix screen will show for about 10-14 seconds down from 15-20. However, this is not consistant enough at this point, Nor is it quite a short enough time yet. I think they will be able to get it down though after seeing this slight improovement.

    15. There is one way to get rid of loading times. Cartridge.

      I remember when I was a little boy and there were no loading times

            1. While some of the games may be under the 8GB limit of the dual layer DVD the Wii U can and does use/read a 25GB single layer disc that is essentially a Blu-Ray.

        1. No… (omg people don’t know hardware on this site)

          A 3DS cartridge can have up to 8GB space. A cartridge six times as thick, three times as broad and double or three times the height would be a nice format for modern cartridge. In that volume you can surely store at least one WiiU game, lol.

          Haven’t you seen the 1TB usb memory stick?

          1. Yeah, the problem is the cost, not the medium. Last I heard quite a few years ago now mind you, a cd cost about 17 cents to make, so I will go ahead and assume that the cost of the new high density scratch resistant dvd’s that the wii u uses are probably a buck. A cartridge costs a few dollars to make. So there is the difference. Pretty sure that Nintendo stuck with thee cartridge format for the 3ds because they can take a beating being carried around in a back pack or pocket, and it allows for a smaller size then a discount, so in that case it seems more logical.
            I for one would love to see games on cartridges again, remember the complete lack of loading times and lack of random loading rooms. It was awesome!

      1. I believe it is more of an issue with the initial execution of the application as opposed to in game loading times. But I could be wrong. I haven’t noticed too much of an issue with in game loading to be honest though.

        1. Overall game loading times would be extremely faster. With the right amount of effort and money, they could boost the internal memory if the cartridge is quick enough. The downside is that WiiU games would cost significantly more than the same game on another platform.

    16. Miyamoto always confusing me with their wise words. But in short words I think he just said: “With this update, we are going to speed up everything in this console like hell, and improve other stuff as well, with the goal of making a better gaming experience to our users”.

    17. The Wii U locking up us more of an issue to me than the load times.

      I am constantly having to unplug my console after it freezes

      1. Glad to know I’m not the only one with this issue.

        Mine has froze on me quite a bit, even with all the recent updates

    18. Pingback: Miyamoto: La velocidad de sistema de Wii U mejorará bastante con la actualización prevista para este verano |

    19. I can live with slow menu functions, it is the overscan issue that bothers me the most. I hope they fix that.

        1. All TV’s are setup to “over scan” by default. That means they cut off like 5% of the screen. You never notice because all broadcast tv, dvd video, etc automatically accounts for this. I first noticed because the Wii U symbols and buttons on the menu pages were suspiciously close to the edge of the screen (like right on the edge), but they were not on my gamepad. Popped in Mario and noticed the same thing. The gamepad is showing a copy of the full screen and my TV is cutting like 5%. I had never even heard of over scan until this moment but then I did an Internet search and found there are many people complaining about it as well. So far it hasn’t affected my gameplay at all or I would be really mad, but they should fix it any way. Some people can change their TV settings to fix it but I have an older Vizio that doesn’t have that setting. Search for Wii U over scan issue using a search engine and you will probably find a better description about it.

      1. You have to change your TV settings to full or Best fit or something. It has seemed to have fixed it for me :)

        1. I wish I had that setting! Old Vizio 720p TV that was a base model when I bought it in 2007 :( It does not really affect my gameplay at all so it is not a huge issue, but I notice it more than the slow menu issue. I went all in on the Wii U and a few games so can’t afford to replace the TV too, plus I simply don’t want to because it still works fine….

    20. Nintendo Commander

      I’m sure High Command is doing everything in their power to improve and fix many problems…

      Unlike those Xbots who forced you to buy several Xbox360s during their first years…

    21. Got 2 Miiverse bans today…my 2nd account got banned cause my Miiverse characters name is Retro…lol fucking fail. Nintendo you better fire the admins and get better people or my 16 years or so of supporting you comes to an end.

      1. Nintendo Commander

        Maybe you should file a complaint to a Command Base near your area and see if they can do something if you have been mistreated poorly…

        We at Nintendo will terminate these Admins if they have miss used their power…

        1. I sincerely doubt that’s the reason he was banned. Calling himself Retro on Miiverse?
          I’m sorry, but the moderation I’ve seen so far has been far more fair than that.
          There’s more to his story. I’d place bets on it.

            1. I even emailed Nintendo which they told me to phone and so I did, they guy himself said yah thats unfair. I told him my Nintendo Network ID he looked up my case and was like wait why did they ban you for saying people were silly? He sent the admins an appeal from Nintendo themselfs (well the customer service guys)

          1. No I had a ban and warning saying Change your Mii Nickname its against the rules…This was after my main account got banned because when I said people were silly thats apparenty bullying!!! Calling people silly is bullying? Really now. Admins are just biased against me cause people actually like me on Miiverse lol.

        1. Retro Studios has there own offical one. Plus I wanted noobs to think I was Retro Studios, it was basically a trolling account…allthough I never did use it… Cant copywrite the word Retro, Retro clothing and stuff man.

    22. That’s what happens when Nintendo doesn’t prioritize power. The experience sucks. Not to mention the slow Internet speeds.

      Nintendo, Please don’t tell me again that gaming is not about power. Yes it is!

      1. No.
        No, it really, really isn’t.
        If it was, then the 3DS would not have ever out-sold the Vita, among other examples.
        In fact, only once in all these generations has the most powerful system ever “won” a console gen.

    23. nintendo isnt what they used to be, i just beat secret of evemore, what a underrated gem, why cant they be like they used to, who knows what the wii u will be like though.ive been playing there old games through an emulater because they refuse to release any of them

      1. That was developed by squaresoft. Has nothing to do with Nintendo other then it being on their console. For that game to be released on the virtual console both Nintendo and square Enix need to create an agreement. But yeah, it is a good game.

        1. i know it was square soft, im talking about what games and relationships hit there consoles, i waited so long for them to release games on the virtual console but they never did, so now i have to use an emulater

    24. Pingback: POST MAKE-UP DAY: One Big Article, 3 New Stories, And The First Extra Story(X-Box 360, Wii U, and DLC of The Week) | Information For The Video Gamer

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