Wii U Launch: Nintendo President Promises Software Updates

A line spanning three blocks at the Nintendo World Store in Manhattan midnight Saturday was full of eager fans waiting to get their hands on the Wii U.

Mario and Luigi were on hand at the store for the console’s launch, as well as bobble-headed Mii-avatar characters. Also on hand was Nintendo president, Reggie Fils-Aime.

As we have reported earlier, the firmware update for the console is rather large at 5 gigabytes, and could take between one to four hours to install. But currently, the console lacks streaming options such as Hulu and Amazon, as well as the Virtual Console transfer.

Fils-Aime said the Wii U is a “living, breathing system” and that there are “always new things coming.” The console was able to connect to Netflix at the time of its launch, but Fils-Aime said there were going to be a number of features coming in the upcoming days and weeks.

“I can tell you that Nintendo TVii is coming in December, and, for us, it’s all about making sure its perfect when it launches,” Fils-Aime said. He also noted that all of the peripherals for the original Wii — the balance board and remotes — were backwards compatible with the Wii U, so parents wouldn’t have to buy them again.

The Wii U comes in two versions: a standard version with 8 gigabytes of storage for $299, and a deluxe package with 32 gigabytes of storage and “Nintendo Land” for $349. The Wii U also has HD graphics, which its predecessor lacked, as well as the touchscreen GamePad controller.