Warning: Don’t switch off Wii U during firmware update

Warning: Don't switch off Wii U during firmware update

Nintendo has warned owners of the newly-released Wii U console not to switch it off midway through an epic firmware update as doing so could brick the device.

It turns out that anyone who wanted the Wii to have features taken from the PS3 has got their desire — it’s just that unfortunately that feature is an irritating and enormous update. In this case the files themselves are around 1GB and even if you are able to download them quickly, Nintendo confirms you could be looking at an hour for the installation process.

With that in mind, it’s hardly surprising that some users got tired of waiting and powered off the machine, particularly as there appears to have been no on-screen warning or selectable option to cancel the update. Unfortunately that’s proving to be a mistake as some users who’ve done so have found their consoles become completely unresponsive. That’s particularly bad news given the Wii U has only been on sale a couple of days.

For once users outside the US who are still awaiting a local release might benefit from the delay: it’s possible, but not confirmed, that Nintendo may apply the update before shipping the console in other countries.

Those who’ve bricked their machine can call Nintendo customer service on 1-800-255-3700 to arrange a repair. LA Times reporter Ben Fritz, who was among those who turned their new toy into a “big black paperweight” says Nintendo is shipping him a replacement with the update pre-installed.

There is some good news for Wii U buyers however. Rockstar Games VP Dan Houser has said that Wii U and PC versions of Grand Theft Auto V are still “up for consideration” even though the initial release is currently scheduled for PS3 and Xbox 360 only.

5 Responses to Warning: Don’t switch off Wii U during firmware update

    • Batteries down? Power outage? Accidents happen…
      It's silly for an update that takes that long to brick the device if it's shut down.
      Even more if the device doesn't say something like "Please do not turn off the device."
      If the screen didn't show anything, the user might've thought it was freezed and tried the usual "turn it off and back on"…

      • DOES IT MATTER? Since DAY ONE of upgradeable firmwares, it has ALWAYS been said to never EVER turn off power while an update is running. You would THINK it is common sense by now

      • I just went through this yesterday, and the whole time there was an active "working" visual as well as the annoying chiming sounds saying "hey! I'm still working!". The ONLY valid argument is power outage.

        Batteries run out? The instructions state plainly to charge the Wii U Gamepad before setting up the Wii U. (We had ours plugged in the whole time, just to be safe)

        Turning it off? Sorry, but ever since the dawn of save-states and updates has it been the rule to never disconnect power supply, memory device, peripheral, etc etc. Furthermore, before the update begins, the system tells you to not turn it off. So just because it's not there to remind stupid people throughout the whole process it's the Wii U's fault? You know, this is the whole reason curling irons have the warning label stating "Do not insert into any body orifice." You'd think it needn't be said, and yet…

        Need to do something else? Switch your TV's input. Then you can play Mario Kart or God of War or Halo 4 or whatever your chosen platform is, or watch your shows. Heck, we went to the pharmacy and dinner while it was uploading. We just let it go.

        Sorry, but I've grown up with video games and this is second nature to me to not turn anything off in the middle of the updating process. So forgive me for being totally incredulous to the idea that this could even ever be an issue. User-error. The end.

  1. With regard to each electronic device capable of upgrading it’s own firmware, if there are still people on this world that don’t know that they deserve their own fate.

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