Wii U owners unboxing their new hardware will find that the console needs a substantial download before being able to perform some basic functions. Promised backwards compatibility is locked behind this update, meaning those without internet access (or without Wi-Fi since an Ethernet port is not included) will be unable to play their original Wii games. The lack of online play wouldn’t make much of a difference in that case, but that’s all packed up with this download too. There’s no word from Nintendo as to what non-internet enabled homes are supposed to do.
Journalists with early access were finally given the chance to grab the online functionality late last night.
The update ranges in size from 1GB to 5GB depending on who you talk to. Whatever the case, the update is crucial and dependent on your speed, can take some time. Upon booting and accessing the update, it took roughly 30 minutes to complete the process.Note that despite icons being on the home Wii U menu, Amazon Instant and YouTube are not ready at launch.
If you can’t connect via your wireless connection, Nintendo has a work-around involving a little manual work to give it a kick start.