WiiU

Server Stress and Broken Systems Vex Wii U Launch

by Michael Cole - November 18, 2012, 5:43 pm PST
Total comments: 26

A lengthy system update and defective units may disappoint new Wii U owners.

Nintendo's Wii U launch today was met with excitement, but also technical difficulties.

Exceedingly long download times for Wii U's software update service and defective units may have put a damper on the launch day excitement. NWR staff and others have reported hour-plus download times and server errors when downloading the critical day-one software update, which enables Wii backwards compatibility, among other features. The lengthy Wii-to-Wii U transfer process also introduces additional waiting periods as part of the console's initial setup.

Compounding the problem are reports of defective Wii U units. There have been reports of broken, or "bricked," systems due to power failure during the lengthy software update process. Others have complained about quality assurance problems such as broken disc drives and problems with video output.

All this means that quite a few early adopters are experiencing a Wii U launch that is less than plug-and-play, though this isn't the first Nintendo launch mired by online technical difficulties. The Nintendo 3DS eShop launch in 2011 suffered similar network congestion as millions of users connected at the same time to download the handheld's software update and purchase their first games from the online store.

Manufacturing defects and system corruption due to loss of power during a system update are not unique to Wii U. Xbox 360 and PS3 had their share of defective early production units (remember the red ring of death?). However, the stress on Nintendo's servers and the large installation file associated with this first Wii U update increases the likelihood of something going wrong. Nintendo customer service representatives have strongly encouraged Wii U owners to avoid unplugging, turning off, or otherwise cutting off power to the console during the Wii U system update process.

Talkback

leahsdadNovember 19, 2012

My Wii U bricked itself 40 minutes ago.  ARgh.  What has been termed on Gaf as "Red Light of Death."  On the phone with NOA now.    Being good about it.  Funny how they asked me "So, on what date did you purchase your Wii U?"  I just answered "Um....today."

joshnickersonNovember 19, 2012

And this is why I generally don't get systems at launch.

My question is... is this update mandatory before you play any games? Cause, I mean, you could wait out the server outages by, I dunno, playing video games?

MasterENovember 19, 2012

I feel lucky not to have bricked system but I thought I might have a defective one earlier today. When i tried to download the update I kept getting an error code while it was updating. The code read that it couldn't connect to the server even though everything else I own worked fine. I still haven't gotten the wiiu internet to fully work. I had to reconnect and restart the update download every 5 minuets for about 2 hours just to finish. I was worried that my Wiiu had a defective wifi antennae or something. I discovered a similar issue happening on my regular wii when connecting to the Nintendo servers for the transfer process. At least its not defective hardware just poor server stress management. 


Oh and no you don't need the update to play any games, just to do anything else...

xcwarriorNovember 19, 2012

Besides not being able to post to Miiverse, I'm not having any issues. Long update downloads, sure, but nothing as bad as things not working. My Wii U gamepad ran out of juice sooner than expected, but that might have been my fault, not sure.

AVNovember 19, 2012

Quote from: joshnickerson

And this is why I generally don't get systems at launch.

My question is... is this update mandatory before you play any games? Cause, I mean, you could wait out the server outages by, I dunno, playing video games?

The Wii U will look for internet and update when you are setting it up for first time. I suppose you can just allow it or disconnect the internet. However miiverse, eshop, netflix, and wii backwards compatibility are locked out without the day 1 update.

TennindoNovember 19, 2012

why companies dont add this shiz to the system before launch is beyond me. Any Day 1 update is stupid.. making the system being able to go to eShop and the ability to play Wii games should have been already installed. Fail on Nintendo and thus why I never buy a system at launch. have your shiz ready before you try and sell it.

CyrianNovember 19, 2012

Nintendo has also apparently decided that if you don't have an HDTV you don't get to see the entire screen. No matter what settings you use there's always something cut off.

TJ SpykeNovember 19, 2012

Quote from: Tennindo

why companies dont add this shiz to the system before launch is beyond me. Any Day 1 update is stupid.. making the system being able to go to eShop and the ability to play Wii games should have been already installed. Fail on Nintendo and thus why I never buy a system at launch. have your shiz ready before you try and sell it.

It's a smart idea. They have to start manufacturing the system several weeks in advance, so a day 1 update lets them continue working on the OS stuff after they start manufacturing the system.

azekeNovember 19, 2012

Hopefully the system will already be updated for European launch.

Or at least that they will include firmware updates on the game discs.

ShyGuyNovember 19, 2012

No major issues on my end, except for Miiverse being down for half the day.

RasNovember 19, 2012

I set my Wii U to downloading and went to eat, so I don't know how long it took.  I haven't had any issues.  I checked out a website, transferred my Mii from my 3DS, played a very little bit of NSMBWU, and bought and downloaded Trine 2.  I assume that went fine, because I set it to turn off when it was done downloading, and everything was shut down after I watched The Walking Dead.  I guess I should check that, but so far, so good. 

To the person above complaining about the screen being cut off on non-HDTVs, it happens on my old CRT 16x9 set.  Find out if you can adjust the overscan.  I used to know how to do it and will have to figure out how again. Then again, I'm temporarily using component video until I can get an HDMI switcher (old TV, one HDMI input), so I may wait and see if my HDMI input is more correct.  As it is, Mario looked much better on the Gamepad than my TV.

While I'm at it, I was under the mistaken impression that those 3DS/Wii U eShop cards went into a pool and could be used for either system.  Nope.  Only works on the systems on which you redeem it.  Sucks.


I was able to confirm that Trine 2 downloaded.  That's super swell. I do wonder why it and New Super render on both the TV and the pad.  I wonder if you can tell it just to render on one or the other.

Pixelated PixiesNovember 19, 2012

I've also been hearing reports of very unresponsive menus, freezing, and even some hard locks. Has anyone else experienced these issues?

Yes, all of them.

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterNovember 19, 2012

Luckily I've had a fairly flawless experience. Remember when the first generation cube controllers all had those deflated B buttons? It's always something, and with all these gadgets and wifi updates things were bound to not go well.

NeifirstNovember 19, 2012

Wow, I feel badly for those with the video output problem.  I have something similar, but much less severe.  When running the HDMI through my 5.1 receiver (just like my PS3 and cable), I kept getting flickering and lost video signals.  I tried other cables, moved around other components, but only the Wii U was having trouble holding the signal.  I finally gave up and used my other HDMI input on the tv directly, but now of course I have to use my TV's speakers.  I went ahead and ordered the Turtle Beach headset for $35 on Amazon since I planned to get something for voicechat anyway, but I am disappointed and not eager to run out and try another receiver just to see if that's the problem.

EJtheKNovember 19, 2012

Did anyone else get a GamePad with a damaged screen?  Mine has three very large and permanent rainbow marks that look like a screen does when you press your thumb into an LCD.  Does anyone else have this (either extreme or slight)?


I'm trying to decide what to do because Nintendo said they can't cover 'damage' under the 90 day warranty of the GamePad even if it arrived that way.  However, they said they'd make an exception in my case since I called so quickly and set up a repair (not a replacement or advanced replacement, though).  Best Buy agrees this sucks and is willing to replace the whole console, but they have no idea when more will come back in stock.


Anyone else?


Thanks!

CyrianNovember 19, 2012

Quote from: Ras

To the person above complaining about the screen being cut off on non-HDTVs, it happens on my old CRT 16x9 set.  Find out if you can adjust the overscan.  I used to know how to do it and will have to figure out how again. Then again, I'm temporarily using component video until I can get an HDMI switcher (old TV, one HDMI input), so I may wait and see if my HDMI input is more correct.  As it is, Mario looked much better on the Gamepad than my TV.

My TV doesn't have any settings like that, it's and old-fashioned square-only-has-S-video set.  This is popping up all over the internet though so it's not just me having this problem.  It's hilarious that this has never been a problem with anything else ever but Nintendo finally goes HD and they screw something this basic up. 

Quote from: Ras

I was able to confirm that Trine 2 downloaded.  That's super swell. I do wonder why it and New Super render on both the TV and the pad.  I wonder if you can tell it just to render on one or the other.

There was an article on Kotaku that said there's no way to turn off the gamepad screen.  That was one of their major complaints about the system, since that would be a great way to conserve batter power on it.

Quote from: EJtheK

Did anyone else get a GamePad with a damaged screen?  Mine has three very large and permanent rainbow marks that look like a screen does when you press your thumb into an LCD.  Does anyone else have this (either extreme or slight)?

I noticed a slight rainbow effect with the screen off and tilted, but it's not noticeable while the Pad is operating.

OblivionNovember 19, 2012

You can turn off the screen by pressing the home button and going to controller options.


EDIT: For some reason my screen is being cut off on my HDTV. Is there settings to fix that? I looked in the manual and the settings and couldn't find anything. Anyone have that issue?


ANd I also noticed a rainbow effect when the screen was off.

leahsdadNovember 19, 2012

Just thought I'd share that NOA has been very good about this....I like how I was on hold for no longer than 5 minutes before talking to a human being (who was obviously in the North America and not in some other country).  Didn't get transferred to someone else, like an "escalation manager" or "higher tier technician" or whatever.  And since it's launch, they're doing expedited shipping, for free.  They projected turnaround time for me to be about 7 business days, from the moment I drop it off at UPS.  And I was on the phone for a total of 17 minutes.

You might think that what I described should be no less than expected from a company whose product I purchased on launch MORNING, but...we've all called customer support for other products and had far worse treatment.  Apple, HP, Seagate, I'm looking at you.

Not being a fanboy, but just saying...

Oh, and when they put you on hold, the OoT music is a nice touch.

Pixelated PixiesNovember 19, 2012

Quote from: leahsdad

Not being a fanboy, but just saying...

Oh, and when they put you on hold, the OoT music is a nice touch.


Such a fanboy.


:P:

EJtheKNovember 19, 2012

Quote from: MegaByte

I noticed a slight rainbow effect with the screen off and tilted, but it's not noticeable while the Pad is operating.

Thanks for responding, Aaron.  That's good to know.  Is it the whole screen you see it on, or just part?

Mine has three large spots that are visible with and without tilting it and with the GamePad on and off.  In some lighting, it's less noticeable, but everyone I've shown it to so far has agreed it catches your eye.  :Q

I lucked out though!  Best Buy really came through an hour ago with an awesome solution for me that will let me use this console and this GamePad for now and, then, when they get a new one, swap out just the GamePad.  This allows me to keep all my downloads/saves/data/NintendoNetworkID/etc. by keeping the same console, while getting a good GamePad when they get more consoles in stock.  I'm really thankful to them, and Best Buy just earned my gaming business in the future!  ;D

beta4attackNovember 19, 2012

So I pre-ordered my Wii U last week (in the Wii U) but today I have been reading some chaotic problems occurring to many people from the Wii U not reading discs, bricking from update, pixels missing, something like a scratch on the screen, freezing to not giving a signal to the TV. I am actually very very worried now after what I read so I wanted to ask if any of you had these problems. Also, do you think these problems would be fixed by the UK launch? (In other words, do these sort of problems get fixed in a week or two even if they already manufactured the system?).
Currently, I can just go and cancel my pre-order while I still have the chance, should I do that?

Sorry for all those stupid questions, I am just a big worrywart, I know. So, please, bear with me.

Quote from: EJtheK

Thanks for responding, Aaron.  That's good to know.  Is it the whole screen you see it on, or just part?

Just one spot. It's like the digitizer film isn't quite uniform.

EJtheKNovember 19, 2012

Quote from: MegaByte

Just one spot. It's like the digitizer film isn't quite uniform.

Bummer that you have the issue too.  Sorry to hear.  I was wondering whether this problem was isolated or not.  Thanks for responding though.  I'm glad yours isn't too noticeable!  Happy gaming!

NeoThunderNovember 19, 2012

Has anyone else connected and formatted a USB hard drive yet? I've tried 2 different ones and each one just says "checking USB storage device" and never does anything, and I've let it sit there a long time and it never does anything and there's never any activity on the hard drive

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