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Wii U System Update Details


During the Nintendo Direct presentation Nintendo president Satoru Iwata outlined the improvements that the Wii U system update will bring when it’s released next week. There’s a number of fixes which are detailed below. These features include the ability to copy and move data between USB drives and downloading and installing software even if the Wii U console is turned off. The major update to the system is due to be released sometime next week.

  • Loading times will be improved when switching between software or when returning to the Wii U menu.
  • The ability to copy and move data between USB drives will be added.
  • The Wii U will automatically install new software that you have downloaded in the background while playing a game.
  • Software updates will automatically be downloaded (even without starting the software).
  • You can immediately access Wii Mode while the Wii U is starting up if you hold the B button.
  • The Wii U will continue downloading and installing software even if the system is turned off.
  • The Wii U Virtual Console will be added the day after the update.

111 thoughts on “Wii U System Update Details”

  1. Since the eShop typically updates on Thursdays, I’m gonna take a wild guess and say we’ll get the system update on Wednesday the 24th at the very latest.

  2. Pitfall near your door

    Great news! Not only will it fix the loading time but it will also let you download something while playing a game and also even if the system is off it will still download. Can’t wait for it and also the virtual console. :)

    1. You could already download while playing a game, now you just don’t have to tell it to start the game when there is an update available… It will automatically start the game and the download in the background. Cool! I still would like to see folders, something like the 3ds folders or iOS folders, but this will do nicely!

      1. agreed. the biggest thing, to me anyway, is being able to actually install the games while you’re doing other things. steam doesn’t even do that, and i really wish it did. but i dont really care about switching out hard drives seeing as i’m using a 1.5tb hard drive that i got for my birthday lol. never gonna fill that up

    2. @Pitfall..Can’t wait. That downloading in the background sounds similar to what the PS4 is suppose do. I’m really enjoying my Wii U!

        1. yeah it’s the same thing apparently

          but really it’s nothing too fancy, sony just likes to make a fuss about it while in nintendos patch notes it’s nothing more than an aside.. all you need to achieve that is a small co processor (likely ARM) that will stay turned on when the wii U is in a low power state (RAM and flash memory will also have to stay accessible) and which will handle the logic (modern PCs can have similar setups which handle system wake on W-LAN for example).. of course you’ll have more power consumption than when the system is completely turned off but it will be far less than when the console is turned on.. not like power consumption is much of a concern with the wii U tho^^

  3. Sleep downloads and installs and auto game updates are a big deal, thats mixing PS4 and Steam features.
    Nice one Nintendo.

  4. I’m curious to see how the automatic updates will work even without the software being started.

    Presumably it will only do it for the disc in the drive or any downloaded games.

    I normally sell my games when I’m finished with them, so I don’t really want the Wii U downloading updates for games I don’t have anymore, just because the Wii U has a record of them being played on the system.

    1. I never seen a gamer play games and return like its a movie, do you by any chance get a refund or something?

      1. I used to actually.

        When GAME used to offer a 10 day no fuss return policy, I would buy a game on the first day for £40, complete it that night, take it back the next day, exchange for another game, and repeat for the next 9 days, and I’d get 10 or so (maybe less depending on how long the games lasted) games for £40. I’d either keep the final game or just get a refund at the end of it.

        They really hated me in that store.

        I think I’m largely responsible for why they basically have absolutely no return policy at all now. But I couldn’t have been the only one doing it.

        Nowadays I just sell a game on ebay or locally when I’m finsihed with it. I don’t trade games in anymore, as you just don’t get enough for them. If I buy a game for £40 and trade it in a week later, it’s suddenly only worth about £15, thats just ridiculous. I generally sell them for about £30.

        I don’t sell all games. I’d never sell a Mario Kart or Smash Bros for example, I’ll happily play those games forever. But I will probably sell Luigis Mansion when I’m finished with it.

    1. It could come down to a few different things, but likely the biggest obstacle is figuring out how to distribute the games and implement the different features GameCube had into Wii U. Things such as memory cards saves and GBA-connectivity, to name a few. I’m wondering the same thing though, I’d really love to get some GameCube games on there!

          1. question is.. will the wii U be able to handle virtualisation of a gamecube.. obviously it can’t run native on the hardware so the wii U will have to create a virtualisation layer just like for the other VC games and that has a big impact on performance (also the reason why the PS4 isn’t BC to PS3, it wouldn’t be able to handle software emulation)

            1. The Wii U enters a ‘Wii Mode’ when it plays Wii games. To my knowledge, the reason they can have perfect backwards compatibility is they have some Wii hardware buried in there somewhere, and if there is Wii hardware (which ran GC games perfectly) then i’m sure they can work out a way to use the Wii hardware thats in the machine to play Virtual Console gamecube games.

              1. there is no extra hardware in the wiiU to emulate the wii, the hardware in the wiiU is practically the same

                all the wiiU has to do is switch off the extra cores and lower the frequency and it’s effectively a wii

                the wii actually had to use additional hardware to fully emulate the gamecube and that isn’t present anymore in the wii U

      1. PS3 is already able to save PS1 games to the hard drive even though they originally required a memory card. And the GBA connectivity is simple, don’t include it. Unless they make it connect with GBA VC games on 3DS or something.

      2. Well they could disable those features since Mario Tennis (N64), Mario Kart 64 (N64) on Wii VC do not support transfer or save pak.

    2. Probably the emulation process. More difficult to do a VC gamecube game that any other, and have it run smoothly, where as the NES-N64, Genesis ect have all been done for years.
      Also along with Wind Waker HD, there’s probably other games that Nintendo is wondering wether or not to just put on VC, or do a full remaster.

      1. The Wii was able to emulate GC games, Wii U is able to emulate Wii games.
        I think performance emulation isn’t the problem. The problem however would be to re-code the games’ saving features or creating a custom virtual memory card for each game. Not to mention controller inputs such as the GC’s analogue shoulder buttons, or simply just the button layout.

        1. Wii to GC wasn’t done trough software emulation, but hardware emulation. Same for Wii U to Wii. They essentially have the hardware of the previous system in them.

          Virtual console games are done trough software emulation. The games don’t have to be rewritten that much, but the rewriting is included in the emulator (which also offers things like the saving features).

          1. not to forget the controller schemes.. you wouldn’t be able to play any of those games had they not been modified for a new controller scheme^^

  5. Other great news is that Microsoft is giving 2 days free if multy player… now i can play the features of a 60 game for 2 f*ing days. Damn i cant wait to get my wiiu.

  6. Good news about being able to boot straight into Wii mode. But what I really want is to be able to play virtual console on the controller screen. Really if you have that expensive new screen in your hands you should be able to use it for anything, not just some new releases.

          1. Awesome! I bought it on the Wii virtual console, and have transferred my old Wii data to my Wii U. Do I need to buy it again? Or what do I have to do to get it to work on the handheld?

              1. Result! I will doing that tonight. I wonder if the zig-zag boosts work with the Wii-U controller, you used to have to open up the snes pad and modify it but I don’t want to crack open my expensive wii u controller.

                1. I think you bought it a bit too early. Wii U VC games would be probably about the same price as Wii VC games. So you basically you paying a dollar or over just for a “upgrade”. So just ignore the Wii mode if you really want Wii U VC games. Only things that effect the Wii U VC games from Wii mode is that it trying to figure out if you are eligible for discount price if you owned the same game on Wii mode. Wii U VC hasn’t (official) launch yet to let you know.

                  1. Sorry for the double posts but you can’t transfer old save data from Wii mode to Wii U. Also I don’t know what are you doing by opening up the controller so I going say the Wii U VC games support mappable buttons. So you can map out the buttons on Wiimotes (NES), Classic Controllers, Pro Controllers, and even the Gamepad.

                      1. They are already… it’s just the Nintendo Network is under maintenance with the Wii U at the moment. The update should be ready by tomorrow.

      1. The only reason you can’t is because the Wii software isn’t designed for GamePad use. Each VC game would have to be retooled for the Wii U hardware including Off-TV Play. It’s not that they don’t want gamers to play their old games (that’s what Wii mode is for) but it’s just sort of impossible unless they redesign those games ground-up for Wii U, which is what the current small lineup of Wii U VC games represent.

          1. If all the VC games were coded with GamePads in mind, there would be no need for a Wii U Virtual Console. Give it time, those games are well on the way and even if you bought ’em already you automatically get them at a reduced rate!

    1. This update… It’s so beautiful… it makes me scream… YEAHHHHH!!! (like the CSI Miami intro) xD

    2. Booting straight to Wii mode is a huge blessing in disguise. It’ll really cut down on the start-up time for playing my back-catalog of awesome Wii titles.[and it will get me into my first playthrough of Pandora’s Tower all the quicker]

      1. My only question is when you do boot into Wii Mode will you have to reboot back into the Wii U menu like you do already or will the Wii U menu boot back automatically after you turn the console off?

    3. good going nintendo I did not expect such a good update even though I’m wii uless now i know it will be better when i get one just too play pikmin 3 because i got all the past ones for the gc

    4. This is more than delightful. Just like the 3DS, the Wii U shall have the most diverse games this generation. With 3DS Wii U cross game gems like Monster hunter 3 Ultimate good things have started.

    5. That ability to download AND install a game without the Wii U being on sounds like what the PlayStation 4 can do, awesome!

    6. A lot of good, and much needed, improvement in this update. Will be interesting to see what the big summer update does, as this one seems to solve a lot of people’s current issues with the OS.

      Also wondering whether we can expect a Wii U-centric Nintendo Direct after the update and before E3. Maybe mid-May?

    7. well, the virtual console is coming in a little earlier than i thought it would. Unfortunately there are no n64 games supported yet. I wish there was at least one n64 game in there. LIke Mario64 at least.

      Hopefully when the n64 games do come, they output at 720p at the very least.

      1. They confirmed that N64 supports is coming but not yet as well GBA supports. As for 720p it will be 360p or 480p but your TV will show 720p or 1080p depending on the TV or setting you have.

        1. well I know they confirmed it, I was just hoping for a 3d game right off the bat as opposed to later on.

          I really hope its not 480p, knowing Nintendo it would be, but im hoping they go the extra mile and aim for rendering at 720p. That would breath new life into those titles.

    8. And where are the Friend List improvements?
      – I want to send a message directly and not through Miiverse.
      – I want a popup where you can see what of your buddies is connected. I hate the Home button blinking and you have to pause the game and go to friend list just to realize, the buddy you are wating is not there.
      – Groups for chatting in a game

      Improvements that already has Xbox360.

      1. I’m with you on that, but I’m still hopeful that these things will be implemented with the summer update. Maybe we will get Folders in the Summer update as well.

        1. well the added features at least were obviously intended to be in working condition from day one.. these features aren’t just software.. you need specific hardware for them to work so they’ve been planned since the development stage of the hardware.. goes to show that the wii U wasn’t really ready to be released

          and of course nintendo would have known that the system is slow.. i mean they are capable of testing their own software right? the long loading times would have been immediately obvious but i suppose they just needed the extra time to actually fix it

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