Day one update can brick the Wii U

News Aaron Birch 19 Nov 2012 - 19:06

Early adopters of Nintendo’s Wii U could have an expensive paperweight if they’re not careful…

It’s been tweeted online by the appropriately named L.A. Times reporter, Ben Fritz, that Nintendo’s shiny new Wii U console can be rendered totally useless by the mammoth day one update.

This update, which is automatically fired up when you start the console when online, is around 5GB and can take around 2-3 hours to actually install. Fritz, who was updating the system, tweeted that a power outage or Internet service interruption can, sadly, have the unfortunate side-effect of bricking the Wii U. He’s not the only one either, and more users have tweeted similar fates.

This is a major worry, as power outages, and more likely, Internet connection issues, can happen at any time, and if this every day occurrence can ruin a perfectly good, and brand spanking new Wii U, Nintendo has got some major patching to do (one that won’t brick the console, thank you very much).

So, if you’ve got a new Wii U and have yet to update it, you may want to make sure your power and Internet are rock solid, or wait for a fix for the fix.

This isn’t a great start for Nintendo’s successor to the Wii, and this along with the console’s miniscule internal storage (3GB), inability to port Network IDs between consoles and the game pad’s meagre battery life aren’t going to endear the unit to some. It’s early days, though, so we’ll have to see what Nintendo pull out of the hat.

Ben Fritz’s tweet

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I thought we had all been taught handily by that lovely XP log off screen not to turn our computers off during an update. Furthermore, I keep hearing disparate sizes for the patch with 1 GB being the original size reported yesterday which then somehow ballooned to 5 GB overnight.

A 5 GB patch that needs to install as it downloads due to the Wii U basic's 8 GB of storage would tally with a reason for the console bricking but, while I have seen evidence of a 1 GB patch through screenshots of progress bars and internet usage allowances, I have seen no such details for a 5 GB patch.

Uhhh, the 'power outage = brick' thing is pretty standard when it comes to updates really. What do you expect Nintendo to do, avoid software updates altogether?

nah, it's normal to write code that allows rollback (to last known good configuration) if something goes wrong with update process. For example even my cheap wi-fi rooter has this kind of system.

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