The Nintendo Wii U finally got a little love in the month of April on Thursday night. Nintendo didn’t release a sweet new game for its struggling console, but it did deliver the long awaited system update that brings a host of new features to the machine.
Nintendo first teased the spring update back in February and aired a preview of it at the end of March. As promised at the time, the new update dramatically improves the operating speed of the Nintendo Wii U, significantly cutting down the time necessary to switch between apps, games, and the game’s core menu. Digital Trends’ own test of the update found the improved speed a boon, though it still took a long time to load features like the console’s System Settings.
Those System Settings received a host of new features as well, including the ability to download system and game updates automatically without turning the console on. It also allows Wii U owners to adjust the screen image, a necessary function as the overscan feature in modern HD televisions tended to cut off the corners of the Wii U display.
Perhaps most significantly of all, this update also introduces the Virtual Console retro game store to Nintendo’s eShop. The store launched with 8 launch titles from the NES and SNES days, including:
- Balloon Fight
- Donkey Kong, Jr.
- Ice Climber
- Kirby’s Adventure
- Super Mario World
A second major update is expected to come out before the end of the summer, when Nintendo will finally offer some form of unified account system for both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
These aren’t fixes that will save the Wii U, but they do help bring the console up to more modern standards for consumer electronics.