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Wii Startup Disc Required for Initial System Boot

by Mike Gamin - November 10, 2006, 9:11 am PST
Total comments: 28 Source: Joystiq

You'll have to insert a disc that isn't your favorite game when you first fire up your Wii. UPDATE: Not anymore (At least in the US).

Update 11/10 -

The latest version of the console that we have seen does not come with a startup disc as previously reported. The system starts up with no update required.

Original Story 11/4 -

Joystiq is reporting that a startup disc that is packaged with Wii is required when first starting up the system. While the reason is unknown at this time, there are several possibilities. Some people think it is a last minute firmware update, meaning that Wiis were being manufactured before the firmware was finalized. There is also the possibility that it is just a tutorial disc that shows players how to get started with the system. Given that the initial request is written to the screen in three different languages, it is possible that the disc only copies the files needed for the player's spoken language. This would help keep unneeded information out of the precious 512 megabytes of memory in the system.

If the disc is more than a system tutorial (which is very likely), this would prove that the firmware in the system is modifiable in some way and that this can be done with a disc. In order to update Wii units that aren't connected to the Internet, it is possible that Nintendo could release similar discs at retail or bundle them with games in the future.

For a picture of the error message, check out Joystiq's article in the related link field above.


ThePermNovember 04, 2006

yeah i noticed on the Wii box on display at Toys R Us , includes...Startup Disk

Athrun ZalaNovember 04, 2006

I hope the spanish translation on that disc isn't as incredibly crappy as the Wii's box's one....

ShyGuyNovember 04, 2006

Oh Noes!! Ninty is da screwzup againzorz!1!

Even if this is required for every boot, Wii runs in standby mode instead of off, right?

GoldenPhoenixNovember 04, 2006


Originally posted by: ShyGuy
Oh Noes!! Ninty is da screwzup againzorz!1!

Even if this is required for every boot, Wii runs in standby mode instead of off, right?

I don't think it is required for every boot, just when you first hook up your system and turn it on. But that concern is understandable since I originally thought that is what it meant as well, everytime you turn on the system you needed the bootup dsk though from rereading it appears to be a one time thing and whatever that boot disk does will probaly be saved on the system's memory permanently.

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorNovember 04, 2006

There is no way it's required for every boot. Don't worry about that.

What is this 1995? I thought we were done with boot discs. Omfg, what if nongamers lose it before they start it up or mistake for a junk AOL-type CD? Or what if their toddler gets ahold of it and scratches it as they are slowly, dumbfoundedly reading the instruction booklet? Are they being sold online? If not, only Nintendo could be so shortsighted.

ShyGuyNovember 04, 2006

Come on MJRx9000, selling something online only is also incredibly shortsighted. They should include two startup discs in the box, or else they are evil, greedy mofos.

KDR_11kNovember 05, 2006

My guess is that they make sure to ship the most recent firmware that way, flash rom takes longer to make and program (never mind the delay of getting the firmware to the fabs in first place) so by the time the unit is boxed the built-in firmware could be outdated and it's easier to make a new batch of discs for a new firmware instead of reprogramming the Wiis. Sony shipped PSPs with firmware update discs quite often, too.

CericNovember 05, 2006

Also once your try to Hack your Wii it will corrupt and the Disc will have to be used to bring it back. I wonder if they are doing the barcode on the Disc thing

ArtimusNovember 05, 2006

I say it might have a firmware update, but it also takes you through setup. Remember you have to learn how to calibrate the sensor bar as well as connect the controllers. Most people don't read instruction manuals, especially for game systems which are familiar, so this is probably a clever way to make sure it gets set up right.

Mario323November 05, 2006

That would suck if your Wii didn't come with the disc and it wouldn't let you play games until you put the start-up disc in.

KDR_11kNovember 05, 2006

Would suck about as much as your Wii coming without the power cable or the Wii.

nitsu niflheimNovember 06, 2006

or the disc drive

KDR_11kNovember 06, 2006

Naah, that's attached to the rest of the Wii.

vherubNovember 06, 2006

you wonder if modders are drooling at the potential mayhem a startup disk might allow



Wow that takes me back to my days as Vermillion... *sigh*

Oh, but I think that perhaps Modders and Region breakers are salivating over this enws. What if changing your Wii's region coding to access other VC libraries was as easy as putting in a Japanese start-up disc? I wonder...

~Carmine M. Red

TJ SpykeNovember 06, 2006

I hope so. Japan is getting some great VC games this year that we aren't here in North America.

KDR_11kNovember 07, 2006

I'd assume that disc has to be signed like everything else.

Hostile CreationNovember 10, 2006

Hooray, I guess.

ArtimusNovember 10, 2006

So no more disc? It must have been a firmware update then, and they ended up just including it?

I take it this means PGC got a Wii?

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorNovember 10, 2006

Yeah, Wii was in my hands for an hour this morning. I opened it and fell in love all over again. Played some Wii sports, then quickly boxed it up to go to Jonny. He will have it tomorrow. face-icon-small-smile.gif

TJ SpykeNovember 10, 2006

Cool, does Wii Sports come in a normal game case? Or is it in a cheap cardboard case like they did for Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt?

ArbokNovember 10, 2006


Originally posted by: nintendogamecube86
Cool, does Wii Sports come in a normal game case? Or is it in a cheap cardboard case like they did for Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt?

According to the live Gamespot feed, it's a cardboard insert.

TJ SpykeNovember 10, 2006

Ugh, I hate that. Couldn't Nintendo have spent a few dollars more and gave us a normal game case for it?

Bill AurionNovember 10, 2006

Thankfully I have spare DVD cases lying around...I'm sure someone will make a custom Wii Sports boxart for me to print out... face-icon-small-smile.gif

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorNovember 10, 2006

It's definitly a crappy cardboard insert, but I'm sure Nintendo will have the cases up on their site soon for like a buck.

Mario323November 11, 2006

The Wiis that the news sites are getting now don't have start up discs, meaning our Wiis might not either.

CericNovember 11, 2006

You know isn't it convenient that all the internet channels don't work for the demo users. Also the disc for Europe and Japan make since for firmware updates since they are shipping later and they are bound to have fix some of the earlier bugs.

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