UPDATE: Wii U Virtual Console is Live With System Update

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

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Wii U Update is Live

UPDATE: Now that the system update has gone live, Nintendo has followed through with launching Virtual Console onto the Wii U. Launch games include Excitebike, Super Mario World, and previously released Virtual Console trial games, as covered by our weekly Nintendo Download. More are on their way, including Super Metroid and Kirby Superstar. Those who already own these games on the Wii Virtual Console can buy them at a discount for the Wii U. You can find more info about the Virtual Console launch, the new Wii U Panorama View, and the system update at Nintendo’s website.

Original Story Below:

Nintendo has pushed out the latest Wii U update version 3.0.0 U for systems in the U.S. It improves load times considerably and adds a few new features. In particular, there is an option now to complete any downloads in standby when you power down the console. You can also launch Wii Mode directly from the system start up and use Miiverse with the Wiimote and Classic controllers. The virtual keyboard will switch to the screen instead of the Gamepad when using these alternatives. It is not confirmed at this time whether this update is also available in other regions.

In addition, Nintendo also released Miiverse on its own website, and can be accessed from a web browser. We have tested this both on the PC (Google Chrome) and on a mobile device (Android-based phone) and it seems to translate the quintessential Miiverse experience pretty well. Keep in mind this is in beta, and was prone to error at times when we tried to access it. Posts you can make are limited right now to replying to others, you cannot add new posts by yourself just yet.

To give you an idea of how much faster the system performs now, we timed the loading screens at select moments. Keep in mind these times are not exact, and may include some delay in reaction time.

Before the Update

Start up, from pressing the power button on the Gamepad to the log-in screen, was about 19 seconds.

Log-in, from selecting my Mii to the Wii U menu, was about 5-6 seconds.

Miiverse loaded in about 12 seconds.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, our test game for this update, loaded from the Wii U menu to the Capcom logo in about 25-30 seconds.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate closed and entered the Wii U menu in about 25 seconds.

Keep in mind my copy of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is the digitally downloaded version from Nintendo’s eShop. Disc versions may vary.

After the Update

Start up has not changed considerably, and is now about 18 seconds.

Log-in however, is now near-instantaneous. Loading took about a second, as far as I could tell.

Miiverse loading has also not changed very much, and took about 11 seconds.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate now loads in about 20 seconds.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate closes in about 12 seconds.

Start up and Miiverse did not change all that much, and the difference could be just as much due to human error in recording the time rather than Nintendo’s update. However, logging in and the loading times for starting and closing a game are very much improved now, with start up improving by as much as 10 seconds, and the time it takes to close a game being cut in half at least. These results can vary from game to game and system to system, so it’s possible you may get better results than we did.

Check out a full outline of the update from Nintendo below:

Version 3.0.0 U available via wireless Internet connection includes the following improvements:

New Features:

  • A standby function to download and install software while the system is powered off
  • Software purchased from the Nintendo eShop will automatically install in the background once the download is complete
  • Holding down the B Button while the Wii U logo is displayed during startup will load the Wii Menu *¹

Changes to System Settings:

  • An option to transfer and/or copy between two USB storage devices in “Data Management”
    • To facilitate this feature, you will now be able to connect two USB storage devices to a single Wii U console*²
  • The ability to select multiple software titles when transferring, copying, or deleting data in “Data Management”
  • The option to adjust screen size is now available under “TV” *³
  • “Auto Power-Down” has been renamed “Power Settings”
    • Options for the standby function are located within this menu

Changes to Miiverse:

  • Added support for the Wii Remote, Wii U Pro Controller, and Classic Controller
  • Handwritten posts will now also display on the TV screen during creation
  • “Undo” and “Redo” buttons are now available when creating a handwritten post
  • Removed screen size setting. This option can now be adjusted from System Settings

Changes to Nintendo eShop:

  • Software downloaded from the Nintendo eShop will include released updates and will no longer need to be updated after installation
  • Removed screen size setting. This option can now be adjusted from System Settings

Changes to the Internet Browser:

  • Added support for the Wii Remote and Wii U Pro Controller
  • Added the option to change search engines when performing a keyword search
  • Added the option to return to the start page from the bookmark menu
  • Removed screen size setting. This option can now be adjusted from System Settings

Changes to Download Management:

  • Added the option to change the priority of downloads

Improvements to system stability and usability:

  • Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience

*1 User selection may be necessary

*2 Only one USB storage device can be used during normal use

*3 A similar option has been removed from Nintendo eShop, Miiverse, and the Internet Browser



About Raymond Dwyer

Former Contributor--Raymond is an architect in Chicago who has been playing video games for as long as he can remember. For all that the city offers, he mostly prefers sitting down to a good game when he can spare the time. Buildings look better rendered than they do in real life anyway.