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Not Going Anywhere For A While? Update your Wii U

Nintendo has released a hefty update for Wii U owners allowing for Wii games to be played only on the GamePad, as well as a lot of smaller tweaks.

The 4.0.0U firmware will take about an hour to download (it took me 50 min using an Ethernet connection) and adds a lot of tweaks and changes:

New Features:

  • A feature to output video and sound to the Wii U GamePad when using Wii Mode

    • Users can choose to output to the TV and GamePad, or just the TV
  • A feature to automatically receive recommended software and demo titles from Nintendo using SpotPass
  • Support for USB keyboards
  • An option to disable use of a Nintendo Network ID on non-Nintendo hardware, such as PCs and smartphones
  • Support for Dolby® Pro Logic® II Surround Sound when playing Wii software

Changes to Wii U Menu:

  • Added a friend list icon to the Wii U Menu for easier access to the Friend List

Changes to System Settings:

  • An option to automatically receive recommended software is now available under “Internet”
  • A setting to select which cable outputs sound is available through “TV”
    • Users can choose to output sound through an HDMI cable, non-HDMI cable, or both cables at the same time.
  • A setting to adjust the hourly interval in which standby functions are performed is available under “Power Settings” when Standby Functions are enabled

Changes to Wii U Chat:

  • Added the option to view a friend’s profile on Miiverse when sending or receiving a chat request
  • Users can now chat using a headset connected to the Wii U GamePad

Changes to Internet Browser:

  • Pressing the R or L Buttons on the Wii U GamePad will skip video playback forward/back a small amount of time
  • Holding the R Button will speed up video playback
  • Ability to save username and passwords for websites that require login
  • Ability to launch the Internet Browser during gameplay and upload screenshots
  • Added support for viewing PDF files
  • Added features intended for website developers that allow the user to enable developer tools and set user agent

Improvements to system stability and usability:

  • Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience

The most exciting change is letting users play their original Wii games without taking up the TV. The sensor bar on the GamePad is used with the Wii remote to achieve feature parody.

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