Wii U Firmware Update: Off-TV Play for Wii Games and More

Monday, September 30th, 2013

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Nintendo Wii U I Deluxe Edition

Nintendo has released a gigantic firmware update for the Wii U today, as users who once played Wii games on their Wii U’s via Wii-mode can now play their games away from their TVs and into their Gamepads. So if there’s that favorite Wii game that you always wanted to play away from the TV–be it Xenoblade Chronicles, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, or the original Monster Hunter Tri— this update will make for an essential gaming experience.

This new update, Version 4.0.0U, will allow video and sound output to the Wii U Gamepad when it is in Wii-mode. Users now have the freedom to play their Wii games on either the TV, the Gamepad, or both if they choose. Furthermore, the update allows the Gamepad to support Dolby Pro Logic Surround Sound when playing Wii Software. Other new updates for the Gamepad allows users to plug in keyboards or headsets through the Gamepad USB ports to chat with friends more conveniently. Wii games cannot be controlled with a Gamepad and still require use of the Wiimote and Nunchuck.

While that alone sounds great, there’s much more. There is a Spotpass feature to allow updates for recommended software and demos. There is also an option to automatically receive updates for recommended software through the “Internet” setting. Default setting is for one hour but can be adjusted within Power Settings. Users have the option to use Nintendo Network ID on non-Nintendo hardware, such as smartphones or computers, can view other players’ Miiverse profile upon sending or receiving chat requests, and has an added Friend List icon on the Wii U menu for easier access to the Friends List feature.

In addition, when using the Internet Browser to watch videos, pressing the R and L Buttons on the Gamepad will skip video playback forwards and backwards, and holding down each shoulder button will help speed up the video footage. Usernames and passwords can be saved for websites that require logging in, and they can be deleted from the Internet Browser settings. The Internet Browser can now be launched while playing games to upload screenshots and view PDF files (though they cannot be saved, and can be displayed incorrectly depending on size). Website developers now have access to tools that allow themselves to set user agents and enable developer tools.

Also, users can finally select sound options through cable outputs such as “TV”, “HDMI cable”, “non-HDMI cable”, or both cables. Other improvements have been made to upgrade stability and user experience.

What an update. For those of you who are itching to fire up your Wii games and project them on your Gamepads, tell us what it’s like when you try it out. Also, for those of you who are planning to use your keyboards and headsets for Miiverse chats, definitely tell us how it’s like on the comment below.


About Andy Na

Andy was a member at Operation Rainfall since the beginning of its campaigning days. Though something of a troublemaker at the time, he now contributes to Operation Rainfall and shares his love for all things gaming and the visual arts. His favorite games include Xenoblade Chronicles, Kid Icarus Uprising, and No More Heroes. Andy currently holds a Bachelors degree in Cinema, which he uses to pursue filmmaking.