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Major Wii U update adds new features to console

3:44 PM, Apr 26, 2013   |    comments
Nintendo's Wii U video game system.
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Nintendo was issued a major update for its Wii U home video game console.  Downloadable through the console itself, the update delivers a host of new services and enhanced features, such as improved stability and performance, as well as faster load times when switching between applications.  It also lays the groundwork for the upcoming launches of the Wii U Virtual Console service and Wii U Panorama View.

"Wii U continues to grow and evolve with new features that make it a better experience for everyone," said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's president and COO. "Now owners can navigate to their favorite games and services even faster, or play some of their favorite classic games." 

Immediately added to the Wii U with the update is a reduction to the amount of time required to start the console, launch built-in applications, returning to the main menu from applications, jump between applications, and jump between software and Miiverse.  Furthermore, while the Wii U logo is being displayed during the system startup, users can directly transition to the Wii Menu by holding down the B Button on the Wii U GamePad.  Users can also install games and applications from the Nintendo eShop in the background while other software is being used and when powering off during a download, Wii U will go into a standby mode, then power off when all downloads and installations are complete.

Also included in the update is the ability for users to transfer and copy data between two USB storage devices in Data Management, allowing users the opportunity to upgrade or replace a current USB storage device that is connected to the Wii U Console.  Users can also now control the priority of their downloads when downloading multiple items at once.  Nintendo is also making Wii U account recognition easier by clearly displaying Nintendo Network IDs.  Also, TV screen size output can now be adjusted in the System Settings and an Undo/Redo button was added to the Miiverse drawing input screen.

While technically not a part of this latest update, the groundwork is now set for the addition of Virtual Console on the Wii U.  Nintendo is planning a library of quality classic games planned with old-time titles such as Balloon Fight, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Excitebike, F-Zero, Ice Climber, Kirby's Adventure, Kirby Super Star, Mario Bros., Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream, Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario World, Super Metroid, and Yoshi on the way soon.  The company says Game Boy Advance and Nintendo 64 games are scheduled to be added in the future. 

Each game in the Wii U Virtual Console library has been developed to include off-TV play on the Wii U GamePad controller, customizable controls, Miiverse community support, and the ability to instantly save game progress.  NES games will cost $4.99 to $5.99, while Super NES games will cost $7.99 to $8.99.  People who have already downloaded these games to their Wii System can transfer them to their Wii U consoles and play them in Wii Mode at no charge with the option of upgrading them to take advantage of the improved Wii U features for an additional $1 for NES games and $1.50 for Super NES games. 

As for Wii U Panorama View, it opens a window to the sights and sounds of some of the world's most exotic destinations.  Wii U owners will be using the GamePad controller to look in every direction to control an immersive 360-degree video guided tour as these destinations come to life from the comfort of your living room.  Wii U Panorama View will be available as a free downloadable demo from the Nintendo eShop and includes a sample of different experiences the application has to offer.  The full versions of each individual video tour will be sold for $2 each.


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