Alasdair Preston looks at the Wii U’s US launch and discusses the problems users have been having
Nintendo’s Wii U was released stateside last week, marking the dawn of the next generation of home consoles.
As with all launches, there were teething problems. The biggest complaint that arose from the first wave of Wii U owners was about a firmware update. Gamers were complaining of a slow download that was required to get most of the Wii U’s online features to work. Despite rumours of it being a hefty 5GB, official sources claim its only 1GB.
Frustrated fans took to the web to complain. With one Twitter user summing up gamers’ frustrations: “Things I have enjoyed doing so far with my Wii U: Waiting for things to download. Waiting for things to install. Entering passwords.”
Worse still turning off the console during this update bricked the machine completely for some. Word eventually got round about how to shift the download to the background, and Nintendo of America hastily released a warning to those yet to download. But for many this was too little, too late.
The Wii U’s online space suffered some day one downtime. For a new system this kind is to be expected, but it surely caused disappointment for those who had been looking forward to launch since summer 2011. One user reported accidentally hacking the admin side of the social hub, and being presented with the option to moderate all submitted messages (although he claimed that it wasn’t fully functional). Nintendo were quick to point out that this menu was just a mock-up, and has since been removed.
Despite all this, Nintendo should be pretty happy with the launch. They successfully avoiding the usual stock shortages that we have come to expect, and launched some great first-party titles.
The MiiVerse, Nintendo’s biggest step into the online world by far, seems popular and is being compared favourably to the Xbox Live and PSN services by many. There is plenty to look forward to on November 30, but early adopters would do well to prepare for that big download, or risk turning their Wii U into a £300 paperweight.