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Wii U Day 1 Update Bricking Some Consoles
Resulting in $300-$350 Shiny New Paperweight
by Karl Bode 08:47AM Wednesday Nov 21 2012
Nintendo's launch of their new Wii U game console this week was marred somewhat by the fact that new users were greeted with a 1 GB firmware update right out of the box. Worse, if interrupted, some users are reporting that an interrupted firmware update can result in a bricked (inoperable) game console.
quote:
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LA Times reporter Ben Fritz is one of the most prominent people to tweet that his system was rendered useless by an interruption during the roughly 5GB download, which took over an hour to complete in our tests. Other users on Twitter and gaming forums around the Internet are reporting similar issues. While most users are reporting power interruptions as the cause of the bricked consoles, some reports suggest that losing an Internet connection during the download may cause similar problems.
Nintendo's networks are of course clogged with users, resulting in the download taking anywhere from one to five hours, depending on your broadband connection and good fortunes. The update is required for any online gaming component, meaning many users spent $300-$350 (more in some instances on eBay since the console is selling) on the console but never actually got to use it initially.

Users who turn the device of thinking the update stalled are now enjoying an expensive paperweight.

Updated: Users tell us the firmware update is 1 GB, not 5 GB as the Ars piece suggests.

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topics flat nest 

lerm

@in-addr.arpa

Misinformation

Misinformation here. The update is 1GB, not 5GB.
decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1

guess

Guess the folks labeled rural will need to avoid this unit then.. Those of us that have 3g are badly capped and not even running at full speed....

I want nintendo to make it, but this isn't a good sign for friendliness..

JigglyWiggly

join:2009-07-12
Pleasanton, CA

Re: guess

I don't understand this.

Wait till the download is done, verify the md5 then apply the update.

What are they doing instead...?

Also about the slow downloads, why don't they just host it on amazon s3 or something...

MrMaster
jetsetter
Premium
join:2000-12-16
St Thomas, VI

Re: guess

I don't have a Wii U but I can assure you dropped internet connections and power failures are a fact of life for some of us. Some of it is from infrastructure and others is from using wifi with codes that expire at in-opportune times. (eg, at a hotel)
--
My signature is on strike.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

1 recommendation

Re: guess

said by MrMaster:

I don't have a Wii U but I can assure you dropped internet connections and power failures are a fact of life for some of us. Some of it is from infrastructure and others is from using wifi with codes that expire at in-opportune times. (eg, at a hotel)

Agreed. Rural internet disconnects happen often. Far more than urban broadband as a whole.

Oh_No
Trogglus normalus

join:2011-05-21
Chicago, IL

1 recommendation

But it makes no sense that an interrupted download would brick it.
The download should download 100% and be checked before trying to install. You should not need an internet connection for installation.

As for power loss during installation, the only way to prevent that is to have two boot sectors or roms.
The 2nd boot sector or boot rom would still have fully intact old firmware/software on it that it can boot from if the 1st one is damaged or corrupted.
This kind of backup methodology could have been done for pennies per system and would almost 100% ensure no bricked consoles.
Many motherboard manufactures have two bios chips on the motherboard as a backup just to prevent being bricked on bios updates.

chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH

Re: guess

That what windows does when power or internet is disrupted during a update it stops it at that point it is at and starts from that point when power or internet is restored.

Gruntlord

@teksavvy.com
said by Oh_No:

But it makes no sense that an interrupted download would brick it.
The download should download 100% and be checked before trying to install. You should not need an internet connection for installation.

As for power loss during installation, the only way to prevent that is to have two boot sectors or roms.
The 2nd boot sector or boot rom would still have fully intact old firmware/software on it that it can boot from if the 1st one is damaged or corrupted.
This kind of backup methodology could have been done for pennies per system and would almost 100% ensure no bricked consoles.
Many motherboard manufactures have two bios chips on the motherboard as a backup just to prevent being bricked on bios updates.

For security reasons, they could never use an old firmware image as a backup.
NefCanuck

join:2007-06-26
Mississauga, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms

Boggles my mind

That a brand new console would need even a 1GB update (NVM 5GB)

Why release a console that is so half baked that it needs such a large download before it even becomes useable?

Not a good sign for Nintendo IMO

Of course watch the next gen XBox / PS console prove me wrong by being released even less finished, though if it was, at this rate they'd sell it to you in pieces and you'd have to assemble the thing yourself and have a huge firmware update to download besides

NefCanuck
amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable

Re: Boggles my mind

Truly sucks. Can't imagine being a kid, all happy to play a brand new game, only to be stuck with this, especially via a 3G or sat. connection... seriously... what are kids who are in the middle of nowhere supposed to do? Imagine being one of the unlucky ones who ends up breaking their damn system by simply doing what they thought was "the right thing." The amount of anger and needless pain this will cause people is just sad.

Every time I fire up my PS3, seems like I'm also greeted with another mess of an update, which diminishes my time/interest in using it for gaming or Netflix. This sucks even worse for Nintendo.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: Boggles my mind

said by amungus:

Truly sucks. Can't imagine being a kid, all happy to play a brand new game, only to be stuck with this, especially via a 3G or sat. connection... seriously... what are kids who are in the middle of nowhere supposed to do? Imagine being one of the unlucky ones who ends up breaking their damn system by simply doing what they thought was "the right thing." The amount of anger and needless pain this will cause people is just sad.

Every time I fire up my PS3, seems like I'm also greeted with another mess of an update, which diminishes my time/interest in using it for gaming or Netflix. This sucks even worse for Nintendo.

3G/4G wireless would be horrible. Especially if you are over your cap for the month. It would cost you $10-15 for that download.

Satellite... if you have Hughesnet (not-gen4) you wouldn't even be able to download it with the small daily caps.

David
I start new work on
Premium,VIP
join:2002-05-30
Granite City, IL
kudos:101
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·AT&T Midwest
·magicjack.com
·Google Voice

1 recommendation

said by amungus:

... seriously... what are kids who are in the middle of nowhere supposed to do?

When I was a kid I had $5 and a pickup truck crusing around county roads and giving country girls rides! A 77 chevy 4x4 with a 1/4 tank of gas. Sometimes dad would even leave it full for me.

a 410 and a $2 box of shells at wal mart and an unlimited supply of empty bottles and beer cans came in handy as well.

The original social networking site was all of us talking off a county road and hanging out.
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If you have a topic in the direct forum please reply to it or a post of mine, I get a notification when you do this.
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Arturas

@vanderbilt.edu
To be honest, all consoles needed large updates. Go back to the Ps/3 launch and you find comments just like this about it's long update times. I've used the WII U and don't find it 'half baked' but instead find it polished and capable. Have you tried it's Netflix app? It is the best Neflix implementation and is works beautifully.

Arturas

@vanderbilt.edu

Updates are smooth and trouble free with the WII, you?

I turned my WII U on for the first time and she smoothly disabled the default one hour timeout and proceeded to update her software via my wi fi internet connection in about an hour she was finished. No strain. No pain. No brick. Netflix worked beautifully and the whole thing worked better than my PS/3 experience when I spend more than that time updating that console by using a PC and copying the updates to a USB thumbdrive then spending almost an hour updating the PS/3's sofeware only to find the web browser was barely useable...so I say this when writing about my WII U experience to put things back into real world perspectvie, all consoles need updates and my Ps/3 needed one right off the bat also and frankly it's operation could never reach the polished presentation and operation of the menu or the WII U's wonderful web browser, have you tried that yet? It even centers embedded videos in the new controller screen and plays them without a hitch. This
WII U is just amazing...this from a ps/3 and xbox 360 owner.

spewak
R.I.P Dadkins
Premium
join:2001-08-07
Elk Grove, CA
kudos:1

Re: Updates are smooth and trouble free with the WII, you?

That is a nice breakdown of your experience.
--
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silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA
said by Arturas :

so I say this when writing about my WII U experience to put things back into real world perspectvie, all consoles need updates and my Ps/3 needed one right off the bat also and frankly it's operation could never reach the polished presentation and operation...

I disagree! My NES has never needed a patch.

Arturas

@vanderbilt.edu

Re: Updates are smooth and trouble free with the WII, you?

Point well taken. Back then the machines only played games and never needed updates but you simply raised the lid, dropped in the disk and pushed a button. Now we expect them to control our TV, play games, movies, browse the internet and find us a friend or two thousand. Fortunately, the next gen WII U is very much able to do this. Having both other consoles, I am loath to return them as they quickly have become dinosaurs. There, I said it, the ps/3 and xbox are dinosurs compared to the WII U. Use a WII U for a day and you will agree.

r81984
Fair and Balanced
Premium
join:2001-11-14
Katy, TX
Reviews:
·row44

2 edits
said by silbaco:

said by Arturas :

so I say this when writing about my WII U experience to put things back into real world perspectvie, all consoles need updates and my Ps/3 needed one right off the bat also and frankly it's operation could never reach the polished presentation and operation...

I disagree! My NES has never needed a patch.

When the japanese NES (Famicom) was released it was glitchy and nintendo had to fix the problems, recall the system, and replace everyones consoles.
Two years later when the US version released they had all the bugs worked out.
Any "fixes" that were needed were programmed on the game catridges.
On the NES they also used chips in the cartridge and memory mappers to allow you do things the NES itself was not capable of doing.
They would have no choice but to program around any system software issues basically with "hacks" to make things work right. Game testing was very important.

When CD systems came out like playstation then they went to having patches that loaded with the CD since they had no hardware solution in a cartridge to fix issues.
Still full testing was very important as you needed all the bugs worked out before releasing the game.

Now-a-days they can start manufacturing hardware 6 months to a year in advanced before they have a final release software on the console.
Then when you first plug it in, you have to update to the final software.
Instead of them giving you a CD to update they force you to do it over the internet as it is cheaper for them.
Now they dont have to test as much since they can just patch it later when customers find the problems for them.
The game programmers dont necessary have to program around glitches if they can get the console manufacture to fix the firmware in the console before they release the game.
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mark_y_k

join:2004-06-30
Pound, VA

Wii U Update

I never had any issues with the original update but my WII U died today for about 5 minutes after installing Hulu Plus but it was fine after that

Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

1 recommendation

News at 11?

Unplugging a console or pc while it's updating is bad, OMG??!!!!???
megarock

join:2001-06-28
Catawissa, MO

???

You expected what when you bought something from a company more worried about rushing it out for the commercialized holiday season than making sure they had a good product and their systems were ready to deal with this?

moldypickle

join:2009-01-04
Haughton, LA
kudos:2

Re: ???

I really really have to rofl at the people that power cycle their units during a firmware flash.
andyross
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-04
Schaumburg, IL

Update from disk?

Do they offer an option to update from a burned DVD? That would be helpful for those who have issues. Or does Nintendo consider making their code available for download a security risk?
F34R

join:2007-10-29

bricked because of a brick user.

This was actually because he pulled the power while it was "stalling" during the installation. Ya know, never power off the system while the firmware is being flashed to the device. The installation of the update is done AFTER it's done with the download. Anyone that lost their internet connection while it was downloading did not have a bricked console.
Darkhand

join:2002-02-23
Bloomfield, NJ

This just in: DARWINISM

I can't believe that if they restarted it while it was downloading the update that would brick it. Unless it would try to run the bad update when it boots which would be bad programming.

Also I'm sure there is a disclaimer that says "Do not turn off or unplug your system during the update". So why would you do that? Just leave it on!

The title of this article should be "THIS JUST IN: IMPATIENT PEOPLE MAKE YET ANOTHER POOR DECISION IN LIFE"

odreian615

join:2006-01-18
Chicago, IL

Plug it back in

»aussie-gamer.com/news/wii-u-day-···kground/

nekkidtruth
YISMM
Premium
join:2002-05-20
London, ON
kudos:2
Reviews:
·WIND Mobile
·Rogers Hi-Speed

The only brick is the one users should be smacked with!

Plugged my Wii U in, it explained it needed to update and I said "Go for it!" Waited the 45 minutes or so that it took, let it do it's thing and surprise! No issues. People need to learn to be patient and stop playing with shit they don't understand
--
Weeeeeee
PsychoSy

join:2001-01-15
Monroe, MI
Reviews:
·Charter

Serious Question

Why in the world would people plunk down that kind of money -- state of the economy be damned -- for consoles and handhelds that absolutely MUST phone home to the mothership, MUST ask permission if its okay for for the welfare kid to come over and play, MUST stand in the doorway when your food-stamp chuffin' narrow ass arrives where she grumbles "Papers, bitte" in her native dialect, and then suddenly pops open her blouse and says, "You vill suckle 1GB auf virmware NOW, und maybe I vill make you borscht pizza rolls - iv I veel like eet, javoord"?!?!

No wonder people still clutch their Ataris, their NES and SNESes, Genesises and Dreamcasts, PS1 and PSTwos -- they were as true as "Plug N Play" and you could possibly get. And in case the dimbulb BIOS/Firmware engineers made a very big oops turning the consoles into hotbeds for "unauthorized" homebrew and piracy, their only recourse was to suck it up, and try to out think the hacktivists the next time around.

The scary thing about all of this is that for the better part of the last 10 years, PC gamers would stand there like Toe Jam and & Earl pointing their fingers, flashing gang signs, and laughing at all the RRODs and other hoops console gamers had to go through all the while rapping about they could update their BIOS without issue, cheat whenever they wanted to (where's Codebreaker for the X360?!?) and thinking they were all gangsta when their hip-hopping PCs would run just about anything they could throw at 'em. Suddenly, the SecureBoot jack-in-the-box snuck up behind them and bellowed "BOOGIE! BOOGIE! BOOGIE! BOOGIE!" It's sad to see the control freakery of consoles bleeding over into PCs, but it's not like we weren't warned. The infamous "Halloween Memos" showed exactly what Microsoft always intended for PCs (i.e. total control; no linux), and the Xbox was their Secure-Boot Skinner box all along.

nekkidtruth
YISMM
Premium
join:2002-05-20
London, ON
kudos:2

Re: Serious Question

.....

Not much else to say as that was one retarded mess of a random rant.
--
Weeeeeee

NixNightbird

@comcast.net

It is NOT Bricked!

It goes into recovery mode. If you leave it the hell alone while it's in this mode, it will finish the update you screwed up by pulling the plug, and then reboot to the Wii U menu.

The "journalist" who made this claim was a fool on two counts. He unplugged a device while it was doing a firmware update (and he's a tech journalist?!?) and he freaked out and didn't even give it a chance to recover before he took to the Internet to scream Brick!

Just plug it back in, turn it on, and WAIT AN HOUR. Maybe longer if you have a slow Internet connection or if the networks are running slow. Honestly, have some patience, kids!

Eddy120876

join:2009-02-16
Bronx, NY

No issues on mine and mind you i have DSL

Yes I have verizon dsl and it downloaded the patch in less then 4 minutes(mind you while everybody was using: 2 iPads,pc,android phones and one iPhone) and yet no bricking here. So people if thats the case then call Nintendo and they will take care of the issue.

SatUser

@direcway.com

Not Bricked, but 1G?

My satellite provider allows me 700M/day downloads without restriction, after that my download speed drops to xxxK (yes K). It would have been nice to have been warned the download was going to be/exceed 1G before I started. As it is I'll probably be spending 2 days downloading/installing this patch. That more than sucks. They really should give you an estimate and alternate was of getting the download. If warned and a way was provided, I could have done the download at work or a friends house burned a CD and installed that way, or USB whatever.

After all I went through to get the darn thing I was expecting more, and I'm a first time game console buyer, they are not doing much to impress me and encourage me to 'upgrade' when the next one comes out.