Nintendo: Wii U won’t come with necessary firmware until 2013

wii u firmware

There was a very simple reason that video game consoles stayed so popular even as PCs surpassed them in technological versatility back in the ‘90s: Plug in and play. You could put a game in a console and be guaranteed it would work when you hit the power button. That all changed seven years ago when the Xbox 360 made downloadable games a console standard, so now you have to look at a console’s operating system before you can even choose a game to play. The wait between boot up and play has gotten extensive. Just look at the Wii U: When new owners fire up that system for the first time, they have to wait in excess of an hour for the console’s firmware to download! That won’t be changing any time soon either, according to Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime.

“Nintendo developers want to make sure that the very best product is available to consumers,” Fils-Aime told Gamasutra on Tuesday, “That creates a dynamic where our developers are working on elements until the very last point possible. That’s why the system update was required on day one—and this is quite similar to what’s happened with other consumer electronic products.”

That’s also why the Wii U won’t come with the current firmware preloaded in the console for months to come, continued Fils-Aime. It won’t be until 2013 that the Wii U is fully functional right out of the box. Technically speaking that’s still in the “launch window” as described by Nintendo, but it’s a strange shift away from the instant usability that made the company’s past gaming machines so appealing to people.

The Wii U’s mandatory update has been more than an inconvenience for pampered consumers, though. Many Wii U owners thought that their consoles were broken due to the excessive firmware download and install times and unplugged their consoles hoping to reboot. Doing so unfortunately destroyed their consoles.

It’s increasingly common for Nintendo to promise features for their gaming machines and then not deliver them for long periods after their release. The Nintendo 3DS released in March 2011 without its digital storefront the eShop. Even after the firmware download for Wii U, the console still doesn’t have support for marquee apps like Nintendo TVii. That’s the nature of consoles in 2012: They don’t have to work out of the box for months after the power button’s pressed.

Deals

Play ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ the best way with a Switch GameCube controller

If you're a longtime Super Smash Bros. player, then you know there's only one true way to play. Alongside the recent launch of the new 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,' Nintendo has brought back the iconic GameCube controller.
Gaming

The DualShock 4 is one of the best controllers ever, and you can use it with a PC

Sony's new DualShock 4 controller has become a fan favorite, and some people want to use it with a PC. Here's how to connect your DualShock 4 and start using it, either with an official adapter, or unofficial software.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Computing

Here’s how to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ removes the Infinity Blade weapon after player backlash

Following player backlash over the Infinity Blade weapon's inclusion in Fortnite's battle royale mode, Epic Games decided to remove the weapon from the game completely. It was not limited to a special mode.
Gaming

Want every suit in 'Marvel's Spider-Man' for PS4? Here's how to get them all

Marvel's Spider-Man features a whopping 33 different suits for Peter Parker to wear as he swings across New York City knocking out baddies. Here are all the suits and how to unlock them.
Gaming

Everything about 'Red Dead Online', including its new microtransaction store

Red Dead Online will gradually rolled out to Red Dead Redemption 2 players via a beta. We've got all the details about the beta's suite of competitive and cooperative modes, as well as what to expect going forward.
Computing

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Gaming

Find the perfect weapon in 'Call of Duty: Black Ops 4' multiplayer with our guide

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has several different guns to choose from in its multiplayer mode, and they're split across multiple classes. Here's a guide to all of them and when you should use them.
Gaming

New ‘Stardew Valley’ content on the way, as game’s maker freezes next project

Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone said that he will continue working on new content for the indie farming simulator. The developer previously said that he will devote all his time to his next game, but that has been placed on hold for now.
Gaming

Underwater survival game ‘Subnautica’ free on Epic Games’ online store

The award-winning underwater survival game Subnautica is currently available as a free download on the Epic Games store. The Steam challenger looks to attract players with a new free game every two weeks.