Nintendo Direct: Wii U System Update Brings Virtual Console And More Next Week

by Mike Futter on Apr 17, 2013 at 05:52 AM

Starting next week, it's going to take a little less time to navigate your Wii U. During this morning's Nintendo Direct presentation, president Satoru Iwata shared details about next week's planned Wii U system update.

A number of convenience improvements and features are on the menu, with faster loading and transition times coming. Additionally, Wii U owners will soon be able to move data between external USB drives, automatically install downloaded software (currently requiring manual intervention), update software automatically, and put the console into standby without terminating downloads.

The Wii menu will be accessible directly upon booting up by holding the B button on the GamePad, but those that access that emulation for the virtual console will be glad to know that a Wii U version of that service is on the way. Coming next week after the system update, gamers will be able to play classic titles in new ways. 

Off-screen mode will be enabled for all Wii U Virtual Console games, which is an enormous improvement. Additionally, each of those titles will have a Miiverse community.

The bad news is that Wii Virtual Console titles will not transfer to the new Wii U service. If you want to take advantage of the functionality, you'll need to pony up another $1 per NES title and $1.50 per SNES title. No explanation was given for the upgrade charge, and it seems that only a select number of titles will be available at the start. Game Boy Advance and Nintendo 64 titles will be coming in the future. No mention was made of the other platforms that were featured on the Wii's Virtual Console.