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Nintendo's Iwata 'very sorry' for Wii U's launch omissions

Console buyers should be able to use all hardware features right away, says the president of Nintendo. They couldn't with the Wii U.


Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has apologized for the Wii U's missing features at launch.

"Personally I think that users should be able to use all the functions of a console video game machine as soon as they open the box," Iwata told IGN in an interview published yesterday. "So I feel very sorry for the fact that purchasers of Wii U have to experience a network update which takes such a long time, and that there are the services which were not available at the hardware's launch."

Nintendo launched the Wii U on November 18. Although the company had been promoting a host of features like the new TVii and streaming apps prior to launch, those things weren't made available out of the box. Instead, Nintendo pushed out a 5GB firmware update on launch day that took users up to an hour or two to download. Upon doing so, they got some of the features they were looking for, including Miiverse access, Web-enabled features, and backwards compatibility with Wii games.

Save for Netflix, which was available on day one, many of the Wii U's streaming apps took a bit longer to make their way to the console. One of the Wii U's most anticipated features, TVii, which allows users to interact with their television programming from the GamePad, won't be available until next month.

Although Iwata spent no more time discussing those issues, the omissions and long download proved to be the only black marks on what was otherwise a successful Wii U launch. Earlier this week, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime told CNET in a phone interview that his company sold 400,000 Wii U units in its first week of availability.

"Wii U is essentially sold out of retail and we are doing our best to continually replenish stock," Fils-Aime said. "Retailers are also doing their best to get the product to store shelves. But as soon as product hits retail, they're selling out immediately."

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