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Customer Discussions > Video Games forum

The state of the Wii U, just three days in

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Initial post: Nov 20, 2012, 11:12:21 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2012, 11:17:16 AM PST
This strikes me as a fair article. At least it doesn't have the psychotic hyperbole the extremists have resorted to.


Nintendo's new console is just three days old and already one of the most controversial creations the company has ever produced. The Wii U is better than you may have heard, but it's in some ways worse. It's also changing. Constantly. And mostly for the better.

Just as new issues are being discovered some of its problems are already being addressed.

The state of the Wii U seems likely shift day by day. Here on day three, here's what's going right, what's going wrong, and what needs to change.

There are lots of games. There are more than two dozen at launch, which is a healthy amount for a new console. Just look at this bunch... not too bad:

There are several very good launch games. New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land and ZombiU are all very fun. There are so many games, in fact, we've yet to be able to spend a lot of time with some of the potentially interesting titles like Scribblenauts Unlimited or the apparently-improved Ninja Gaiden 3.
The GamePad controller is light, comfortable and useful. It turns out you can add a six-inch screen to a twin-stick console controller and you wind up with a better device, one that, at minimum, makes map and inventory displays bigger and more accessible.

The Miiverse is amusing and handy. Nintendo's promising new social network functions as a message board for any of the system's games and apps but also functions as a handy source of advice if you're stuck in the middle of a game. Just screencap where you're stymied, multi-task your way to loading the Miiverse, post you screen and a query, go back to playing and, inevitably, someone will answer with a tip-and you'll be able to know if they had played the game, to boot. Posting in Miiverse is moderated after the fact, so fears of delays in message-posting have proven unfounded. Moderation may be heavy-handed (we have too few examples to make a judgment), but we can confirm that users are being creative within the confines Nintendo allows. Go to any Miiverse page and you'll see as much.

Also, after a Sunday of instability, Miiverse seems to be staying online. A rep for Nintendo told Kotaku: "Due to an overwhelming response from the public on Miiverse, the servers supporting this feature went down. The service is now functioning normally." The company also claims that what appeared to be a hack of Miiverse on Sunday was actually a case of a user accessing a "mock-up menu" in the service. Nintendo says that the menu "has now been removed and is not accessible."

The eShop needs work, but already rivals its console competitors. Nintendo's online store on the Wii was slow and confusing. Its DSi shop wasn't much better. The 3DS one was a step up. The Wii U one is actually good. You navigate it on the GamePad's touchscreen, which makes reading the listings and tapping through the menus a cinch. Better still, most of the launch games, including a few download-only titles, were available for purchase on day one. The system saves credit card info, though it could use a shopping cart and a purchase history display.

Wii transfer worked well. Moving content from an old Wii to a new Wii U is easy and is accompanied by an adorable animation. The Wii U emulates the Wii and keeps old Wii content relevant. There's a flip-side to this, though... see below.

The WaraWara plaza is already evolving. On day one, the Mii-filled plaza you see on your TV when you turn on your Wii U was just showing Nintendo-made Miis and the Miis on a user's friend list. But last night, Nintendo switched things, and the plaza now features clusters of Miis representing players who have commented on various games on the Miiverse. In the center of this ring of players are the user's Miis and those of their friends. Speech balloons can pop up from any of these Miis, which pretty much means that the first thing you'll see when starting the Wii U isn't an ad nor a publisher-created image of a game. What you'll likely see are the ideas and opinions of Wii U gamers. As a result, when I'm booting up my Wii U, I'm seeing people troubleshoot Black Ops II headset support, rave about Nintendo Land, grumble about IGN's review of ZombiU. This isn't buried. This is how the system is welcoming me. It's an extraordinary gesture on Nintendo's part to put the voices of its users on the launch screen of the console.

I even saw someone making a Virtual Boy joke.


The super-slow OS is worrisome. A console powerful enough to run Assassin's Creed III and Mass Effect 3 should not struggle and take 20 seconds to go from its system menu to its system settings app. It should not take 15 seconds to close a game and go back to the main menu. This kind of tardy performance was barely tolerable on the Wii in 2006. It's worse on the Wii U and desperately needs improvement. But when I asked Nintendo if they could or would make this better through a firmware update a rep said that the company had nothing to announce at this time.

Controller sync problems abound. The most common complaint we've seen from readers about Wii U functionality is that they can't get the GamePad or Wii Remotes to sync to the console. We've fielded a couple of complaints per day on Twitter and in e-mail. This is not a plague, but it is the most common malfunction we've heard. Users either need to wait a long, long time for the sync to take or they have to trade their system in. We can say that we've had no problems on our team's three Wii Us.

The Wii emulation hides all the Wii content (and your money). It's nice that the Wii U can pretend to be a Wii. It's disappointing that it keeps all of a user's Wii content, including Virtual Console games, inside the app that puts the Wii U in a Wii emulation mode. This would not be as big a bummer if the Wii app loaded quickly, but as with all other system apps, it takes its time. It's also worrisome if this signals that Nintendo won't let Wii-purchased VC games be moved to the main menus of the Wii U. And if Nintendo has the audacity to make people pay for those games again... just to have them on the Wii U menu? Let's hope they're not considering that. Sadly, any unspent money in the Wii's shop stays in the wallet held in the Wii U's Wii shop. The money doesn't transfer to the Wii U's eShop where Wii U games are sold.

The GamePad screen lacks multi-touch. As good as the GamePad is for games, its lack of multi-touch control makes the system's web browser feel archaic. Using control sticks and tilt as well as single touch is a poor substitute to modern touch-screen web-browsing standards. Good thing no one's buying the Wii U for web-browsing.

Slow, mandatory installs are another drag. The Wii U is a system that makes its users wait too much. It's nice that eShop purchases download in the background by default, but, as is the case on PlayStation 3, downloaded games must be manually installed. The system can't do anything else during installation. No problem, if the installation is fast. It's not. The 2GB Trine 2 required a 17-minute installation. Smaller games required a proportionately smaller amount of time.

Needs Fixing ASAP

Patch-nation. The Wii U simply requires too much downloading and updating. Buy the system, take it home, wait an hour while a patch downloads so you can use half of the machine's advertised features (otherwise: no online, no Miiverse, no Wii compatibility, no Netflix, no eShop). Pop in any game that uses online features? It needs a patch too. Nintendo needs to ship consoles that are patched ASAP. And it would be nice if the system, which knows which games you have once you pop them in, would start pulling down patches while I'm not using the console. The PS3 can do this; so should the Wii U.

Nintendo Network ID migration needs to be added. It's nice that Nintendo has created an account-based system to track online purchases and to save a user's profile. This is a great improvement from their old tricks of locking people's purchases to a machine and forcing people to re-buy games if they got a new console. The Wii U launches with a promise from Nintendo that Nintendo Network IDs will be transferable from one machine to another-just not yet. For now, you're stuck with the ID on the first Wii U that you register it to. Although... when asked about when migration would be permitted and about user concern that, should their Wii U break, they'd lose access to their ID, a rep for Nintendo said, via e-mail: "Anyone who experiences any issues with a Wii U console can troubleshoot at http://support.nintendo.com or contact 800-255-3700." Perhaps Nintendo tech knows something about how to migrate NNID's that we don't.

Friend requests are confusing. Nintendo promised that the Wii U, in ditching the Wii's notorious friend code system, would make adding friends on the new console easy. But friend requests only seem to pop up if people send you the request via Miiverse. You get an alert. You can choose to accept the friend request. But it seems that if you are friended via the Wii U's actual friend request app, you don't get an alert. You have to friend the person yourself to discover they did the same. So you have to communicate in real life, as you did with friend codes. That's weird. Nintendo needs to have a consistent friend request system in their console.

GamePad battery life is wretched. The GamePad needs charging every few hours. It's best used wired, plugged into the wall. As soon as possible, Nintendo needs to get a better battery in this thing.

It's good to see that the Wii U was packed with ambition. It's understandable that in reaching further on day one than probably any other console maker ever has, Nintendo has made several gaffes. It's gratifying to see some problems already being fixed and to see functionality improving. It's nevertheless worrisome that some issues may be inherent to the machine, and it's disappointing to see that in cases like Wii backwards compatibility, Nintendo has delivered an experience that technically fulfills its promise but doesn't provide an ideal user experience.

The Wii U is no more shaky at launch than the PS3 or the 360. All these machines sputter at take-off before they soar. There's potential here. Let's hope there are no fatal flaws and that Nintendo prepares to be a proper pilot for the journey that many people have already spent a lot of money to be a part of.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012, 11:19:58 AM PST
I would agree with that article too. Hopefully future patches will not take as long to download since I believe that it was the eshop and the Wii functions that took it so long. Also, I am hoping that future patches will get rid of the sync problem (I didnt have this issue) and the slowiness of the OS.

I would also like to know if the games that you buy on the Wii U will stay on the Wii U like it was with the Wii or are they going to somehow intergate an account only system that lets you switch accounts. If the TVii functions just like it is suppose to I would not mind having more than one of these in my house like I do for the 360. However, I want all my games to be able to be transfered with me and not stuck on a system.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012, 11:23:33 AM PST
GarionOrb says:
I totally agree with what they wrote about Miiverse. That service is sooo much cooler than I expected. And I love how active and chatty people are...and there are a lot of talented artists out there! Some of the doodles that pop up in Miiverse are hilarious!

Posted on Nov 20, 2012, 11:24:38 AM PST
That's why I've usually waited a while when consoles first release, the first ones out always seem to have the most glitches and faults. Hopefully these problems will be fixed in the next few months when I get mine.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012, 11:25:35 AM PST
GarionOrb says:
All Wii U games are tied to that one system. Further, your profile is also tied to that system. If you're on another Wii U, you will need another separate account.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012, 11:44:21 AM PST
I agree with a lot of this. The update was WAY too long, and the load times are ridiculous in the OS. It's got a ways to go, but I'm glad to hear that Nintendo is working on the stuff.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012, 11:46:21 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2012, 11:46:30 AM PST
R. Greer says:
I got to say besides the initial update I haven't had any issues with the system (no real issue with the update besides Having to do it). My gamepad synced right away and I have had no battery issues but I usuall only game for an hour or two at a time. The wait for the OS sucks but something I am sure will be addressed with a patch down the road. Like he said all the systems have problems in the first few months. I think it was a very fair article, thanks for sharing OP

Posted on Nov 20, 2012, 11:55:07 AM PST
FOGE says:
I'm kinda bummed to read this. Two things I can't stand in consoles are constant patches/updates and weak battery life. On PS3 Plus updates most of my stuff in my sleep and I have multiple controllers to handle short battery life, which neither console has. Nintendo won't let me buy another gamepad though. And at $180? I wouldn't.

Still, the games look good and that's all that matters. Can't wait til Saturday when I can play NSMBU.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012, 1:06:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2012, 1:06:54 PM PST
Turgul says:
Don't pay attention to all the hate. The menus are not that slow. I have to wonder if the people complaining about this have even ever played a 360 or PS3. The PlayStation store take awhile to boot. Installs on PS3 still takes forever. The xbox 360 menu may load faster, but icons sometimes don't load. Also the 360 menu does not display in 1080p and it shows. It isn't that big of a deal, it is people making a mountain out of a molehill.

As for the VC thing, you can thank all the homebrew channel hackers for not being able to transfer your Wii VC over to Wii-U. I doubt Nintendo ever lets that happen, since there was no account system on the Wii, there is no way to really prove you have a legit copy. Be happy they made the Wii completely BC so that at least you can play all of your purchases. Believe me I was pissed when I first read this too, I spent hundreds on VC games.
But I see no way for Nintendo to be able to link your Wii purchases to your NintendoID without letting pirates bring their bootleg VC games over as well. I for one would rather re-buy the titles I absolutely must have, knowing that at least now there are NintendoIDs to track purchases.

Yes as of right now NintendoIDs are linked to the console, but I'm sure that down the road license transfer will be possible. I don't think Nintendo was too focused on that, I'm sure they were more worried about getting the eShop running and Miiverse. The only reason Microsoft had such a good licence transfer system was because of how unreliable the early Xbox 360 were. Also, it wasn't always as easy as logging into a website and boom you were done, took years to get to where it was a smooth as it is today. Nintendo will get there, it just feels like people wanted the 1.0 version of the Wii U firmware to be as refined as an Xbox 360 or PS3 which have had how many revisions now????

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012, 1:15:53 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2012, 1:16:37 PM PST
Not to nitpick or anything but not only do I own a ps3 and 360, but I have 30+ games for each of them. I currently have 20k in achievement points and over 1100 trophies. As a Wii-U owner who has hours upon hours of experience with the 360 and ps3.... the menus are horribly slow. The Wii-U takes far too long to move around the home screen. Bare in mind I love Nintendo and they are my favorite developer. But I can't say they are in the right when it comes to OS load times. The irony of the situation is the ps3/360 each have about 256 ram for their system... the U has an entire gig just for the system, but it still moves slow. How this is possible, I don't know. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012, 1:17:04 PM PST
I did not think about all the people out there with homebrew and the games that they got from downloading. It still sucks for the consumer. I am alot less likely to buy the same game a 2nd and a 3rd time if I have different Wii U's in the house.

However, with the ps3 and the 360 all games were tied to a account from the start. The ps3 had like 5 system account and game activation and the 360 you had to go online and deactive your system and reactivate it. If I remember correctly.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012, 1:32:33 PM PST
Turgul says:
Your purchases are tied to your Nintendo ID on the Wii U, its just there is not transfer system set up right now. I would expect this to change, I could be wrong. With the 360 you used to have to call customer service in the very beginning to do a licence transfer, though you could always put arcade games on a memory unit and play them on a friends console as long as you were connected to Live. Microsoft has a good online system, but it also has a subscription fee. I would rather have a free alternative.

As far as the menu speed goes, I was a 360/PS3 guy for a long time, 94,000 achievement points etc. The menus are a little slow, but it isn't like PS1 era loading speeds or anything. The Xbox 360 gets pretty sluggish at times when navigating menus, especially on the newer updates. I know for a fact that if I would hit the guide button on my console and go to the dash from a game it would sit there and load for a bit, it was not instantaneous.

What I'm saying is that it is a silly criticism, it is literally the difference of like 5 seconds. PS3 takes longer to boot an blu-ray disk game, that crap takes forever too but I don't remember pitchforks coming out because of that. I think part of the slow speed is that you have to remember the GamePad is constantly being streamed information from the Wii U, I don't think it really handles any of the processing itself. So really Miiverse, the internet browser, etc are all constantly running in the background. Wii U is doing way more when you play a game or navigate the menus than a PS3 or 360.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012, 4:49:39 PM PST
Stop making excuses The Wii u OS is really slow Just admit it.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012, 4:50:48 PM PST
Graphic still look subpar for me.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012, 4:59:28 PM PST
Dang, I've spent a LOT of money on VC games on the Wii. Looks like I might wait until my Wii dies to buy them again.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012, 5:29:15 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 22, 2013, 5:33:06 PM PDT]

Posted on Nov 20, 2012, 5:49:09 PM PST
I can agree with a lot of this, there are problems but they are being addressed fairly quickly and things are improving each day. The update thing sucks but the games themselves don't take long to patch at all. It was like five minutes for ZombiU and two minutes for New Super Mario Bros. U, haven't popped in Nintendoland yet since I'm saving that for a drinking day coming up here soon with Finger and two of my buddies.

The OS is indeed slow when booting up something but once whatever you started boots up it moves fairly quick. Navigating around the Miiverse is a breeze and I'm really surprised at how much it has taken off. Also some of the doodles people are posting ARE REALLY COOL! Like I'm baffled as to how they pulled them off with the Gamepad. I spent awhile trying to doodle up some cool stuff but I'm just not that talented it would seem...

So far I haven't really seen any system ruining problems that make me worry about the future of the Wii-U. These just feel like kinks that need to be worked out as the system comes online and people start putting it through the paces.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012, 5:53:56 PM PST
FOGE says:
"with Finger and two of my buddies"

TMI bro

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012, 6:28:28 PM PST

Nah Finger is one of the doods on here and a pretty cool guy. Went out drinking with him about two weeks ago now and we're getting together here soon to have a video game and beer day. Gonna ruin some friendships with Dokapon Kingdom!

Posted on Nov 20, 2012, 6:29:43 PM PST
Cinema Fan says:
State of the Wii U: went to Best Buy today and they had 16 deluxes and 8 basics.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012, 6:36:50 PM PST
But were they rotting?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012, 6:38:44 PM PST
Cinema Fan says:
Rotting occurs at Target, decaying occurs at Best Buy. It's ok babe, you're new to this.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012, 6:43:36 PM PST
"It's ok babe, you're new at this."

I haven't felt so creeped out since Uncle Jason's last thread.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012, 6:45:05 PM PST
There are a lot of issues so far, plenty to keep away the whiners, which is great!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012, 6:46:44 PM PST
Cinema Fan says:
Sorry, I'm still in "harass Holly" mode.

Anyways, pretty sure it's a bunch of flippers returning their lost sales.
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Initial post:  Nov 20, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 20, 2012

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