Nintendo's 'major system update' for Wii U available now

Will shorter load times and faster performance be delivered as promised?

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
2 min read

A long-promisedmajor software update to Nintendo's Wii U console is now available for download. Nintendo calls it a "major system update," and says the revamped software will offer better performance and faster load times. The sluggish menu system and generally slow system performance have been among the major knocks against Nintendo's latest game console.

The company's official list of features delivered via this software update is as follows (quoting directly from Nintendo's press release)Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Set:

  • The time required to start the Wii U console, launch built-in applications, exit software and return to the main menu, jump between applications, and jump between software and Miiverse has been reduced.
  • While the Wii U logo is being displayed during the system startup, users can directly transition to the Wii Menu by holding down the B Button on the Wii U GamePad.
  • Users can install games and applications from the Nintendo eShop in the background while other software is being used.
  • When powering off during a download, Wii U will go into a standby mode, then power off when all downloads and installations are complete.
  • Users can transfer and copy data between two USB storage devices in Data Management. This allows users the opportunity to upgrade or replace a current USB storage device that is connected to the Wii U Console.
  • Users can control the priority of their downloads when downloading multiple items at once.
  • Improved account selection when powering on the system now displays Nintendo Network IDs to clearly distinguish accounts.
  • TV screen size output can now be adjusted in the System Settings.
  • An Undo/Redo button was added to the Miiverse drawing input screen.
  • Also promised in the near future is a new library of classic games available for online purchase through the Wii U, in what Nintendo calls its Virtual Console library.

    This major software update comes just after Nintendo announced that it will not host its traditional E3 video game trade show press conference in June, instead holding a series of smaller meetings. Possible factors in this break from tradition include disappointing Wii U sales and new attention-grabbing consoles coming from rivals Sony and Microsoft coming to E3.

    We're downloading and installing the new software update now, and will update our Wii U review as needed.