Don’t Turn Off Your Wii U During The Day One Update

    November 19, 2012
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

The Wii U is a fun machine with a lot of promise. I’ve only been able to play around with it for a day now, but the potential is there. Unfortunately, the launch was marred by a sizable day one update that takes about an hour to download. In even worse news, those who lost power or turned off the Wii U during the update are now finding themselves with a $350 paperweight.

The first report came in Sunday morning from Ben Fritz, a reporter for the LA Times. He had just purchased the Wii U and was met with the day one system update. He had thought that his Wii U had frozen due to the agonizingly slow update process, and turned off the console. Upon resetting, the worst case scenario had occurred.

Some users have said it was Fritz fault for powering off the console during the update. I have to agree with Fritz on this one though, and argue that Nintendo’s own update process is largely ambiguous. There’s no progress indicator beyond a blue bar to tell users how the update is going. Nintendo needs to take a page out of Sony’s playbook, and show a percentage as well as the amount of data that has been downloaded to disspel any ambiguity.

After the initial story from Fritz, other users came forward with their own stories of the Wii U bricking during the update. Some turned off the console during the update, but others suffered something that was entirely out of their control – a power outage.

Going back to Sony, the PlayStation 3 used to have this exact same problem. My console shut off during a system update and was rendered unplayable. Later on, Sony introduced a firmware update that would analyze and restore the hard drive after an unexpected shutdown. Nintendo needs to introduce something similar before others, especially bright-eyed children on Christmas morning, run into the same problem.

Nintendo has yet to acknowledge the problem while those affected are becoming more vocal. The company will have to address the issue at some point, and we’ll update this story if, and when, the company comments.

[h/t: The Verge]
  • xnamkcor

    This just in: Ben Fritz; Don’t Let Him Near Your Electronics.

    • Disappointed

      I think your being harsh…we have just been told by the store (after we called about having problems|)that it could take up to two days for the update. Any normal person would think it had frozen and try do do something….oh, and I have never put my hand in hot water to check my spagetti

  • xnamkcor

    PS: I just read the part where the article writer agrees with Ben Fritz. Extra, Extra: Zach Walton; Also Not Trustworthy With Electronics.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/zach-walton Zach Walton

      Does Fritz bear the responsibility of his console bricking? Yes, he does, but only partly. Nintendo needs to make its download progress indicator less ambiguous. There are moments where you think that the download has frozen, or the console has frozen. It’s a potential issue, and one they need to fix.

      P.S. I had to sit through the update on my Wii U Sunday, but i left the room and let it update. If you were actually watching it, like Fritz was, you may be inclined to think that it had frozen as it moves so slowly. It has nothing to do with being bad with electronics, but misplaced expectations that Nintendo would embrace standards.

      • xnamkcor

        Unplugging something during a firmware update? That has everything with being bad with electronics. It’s like putting your hand in the water to see if your spaghetti is done boiling. There is no excuse for it.

        • lfbyrne

          Remind me, what year is this? Have Nintendo totally lost sight of technological advances over the past 40 years. Where’s the factory reset option? My son’s Wii U updated on Christmas Day no problem, but for some reason became a brick after he was using it for 2 days. I suspect there was an aborted update. He’s ten years of age! We are worse fools to let Nintendo away with this crap. There should be rollback and factory reset options.

  • Anna

    And there’s nothing wrong with an electronic device requiring an update right out of the box that takes 2 days?? THAT is the real problem.


    Christmas Day Wii U frozen solid after i turned off during upgrade, i thought it was not downloading properly, kids gutted, there should have been a warning once internet had been established to say how long it would take. P**sed off.

    • Grumpy parent

      Same here. Xmas morning wasn’t supposed to be about tears and upset.
      These are supposed to be consumer devices.

      No backing up and restore option if an update fails for any number of reasons? Shame on you N.

      • DUCKY

        I,m no computer wizz but it is ridiculous. I hope the rest of your christmas is hassle free. Merry Christmas.

    • steve

      Set up my sons wii u today and he was playing a game for 5 minutes and the thing just froze. I cannot to get it to do anything right now, The pad isn’t recognized by the console..And ofcourse, nintendo is closed.

  • rstern

    I have a 8 year old kid that just got the WII U on Christmas, he played for 4 days, and suddenly on the 5th day the gamepad would not connect to the console, nothing would show up on TV. Wii U was connected on a NO-BREAK device, so no power outage or power issues. I declined the UPDATE on day 1 when asked. Even though, it is like a black , expensive brick. Needless to say the kid disappointment. Went to their support forums, and hundreds of messages with the same problem.
    Nintendo really screwed up big time a lot of kids Xmas Eve. Way to go Nintendo, how to convert thousands of loyal customers into enemies.
    Guess WHEN I will ever buy anything new ( if anything ) from your company again ?