Of the many small troubles reported about Nintendo’s Wii U, not all are the fault of the Japanese video game giant. It isn’t Nintendo’s fault after all that users are unplugging their Wii Us in the middle of a 5GB mandatory system update, accidentally breaking the console in the process. Other technical issues concerning new owners definitely should have been caught by Nintendo in the quality assurance testing phase. For example: Users probably shouldn’t be able to access Miiverse’s debug mode, whether it’s active or not.
NeoGAF member Trike posted images on the forum on Sunday night after seemingly accessing the Miiverse debug menu—a debug menu is an interface built into software to let developers freely manipulate it, typically to fix problems—on accident. By navigating through menus attempting to set up a friend list, he found himself navigating menus for a prototype version of the Miiverse, as well as browsing commands including “Delete Admin” or generating new passwords. There were even references to possible unannounced Wii U games including Metal Gear Solid, Yoshi’s Land Wii U and Soul Hackers, an old Japanese RPG recently ported to the Nintendo 3DS.
The post indicated that Nintendo’s security for Miiverse was so poor that users could stumble into administrative tools, potentially accessing personal information of other users. For a fledgling online gaming network, such a security gaff could spell certain death. According to Nintendo, though, these menus are simply mock ups and don’t actually represent functioning Miiverse admin tools.
“It has come to our attention that some people were able to access a mock up menu on Miiverse following the launch of Wii U in the US,” reads a statement Nintendo issued to GamesIndustry International, “Please note that this was only a mock up menu and has now been removed and is not accessible.”
Mock up menu or not, it’s troubling that Nintendo’s fledgling network was opened to the public before it was properly polished. Between this, reports of glitch-troubled third-party software and the need for a sizable firmware update on the first day, evidence suggests that Nintendo’s Wii U was rushed to retail to make it in time for the holiday season. Nintendo’s Wii was a rock solid product from day one when it released in 2006. Hopefully for Nintendo, this rocky launch week isn’t a sign of trouble to come.