Nintendo is recommending that people who are giving a Wii U as a gift this Christmas update the console prior to wrapping and giving it to the recipient.
As we previously reported, the out of the box firmware update for the Wii U takes a long time to download, but the size of the update and how long it takes to install vary. Reports vary from 593MB to 5GB and 30 minutes to four hours to download.
Either way, what better gift to give than saving the intended recipient the trouble of sitting through a lengthy download and allowing them to jump right into their new console?
Nintendo tweeted, “Giving #WiiU as a gift? Pro-tip: Perform system updates before wrapping so it’s good to go as soon as it’s opened!”
The console cannot be used until the update is completed. But once the firmware is software update is installed, the Wii U’s online features — such as MiiVerse, eShop, and Nintendo Chat — will be unlocked. Of course, those planning to update the console should make sure they don’t turn it off or unplug it during the download. This can “brick” the console and make it unusable.
Los Angeles Times reporter Ben Fritz experienced this firsthand when he grew frustrated with how long it was taking to download the update and unplugged the console. He tweeted, “Warning: don’t unplug your Wii U during the 2 hour plus software update or the console stops working.”
He also said, “Seriously. I never played a single game and now as far as I can tell its unusable.”
Some Twitter users were skeptical about Nintendo’s advice.
— John Sebastian (@johnsebastian) December 21, 2012
@nintendoamerica Ugh, you see, that’s basically admitting that there’s a ‘huge’ issue right there.
— Stephen Staver (@sstaver) December 22, 2012
Others (semi) defended the company.
@nintendoamerica Good advice. But I think this should have been said a few weeks ago before most everyone wrapped the package.
— Kevin Harvell (@STLTechTalk) December 22, 2012
— Derrick Metras (@DerrickMetras) December 22, 2012
Wii U consoles will be shipped be with the update pre-installed next year.
Are you giving a Wii U for Christmas? Will you download the update for the recipient?