It seems that Nintendo was somewhat unprepared for the launch of their latest console as users have been reporting that the initial system update was taking upwards of 30-45 minutes to download. The first update for the Wii U also takes a bit to install even after the download is completed.
With most users getting their consoles later in the day Sunday in the United States, and Monday for those who have them being shipped to them, Nintendo will have some time to work out the their bandwidth issues for the initial update. The update is needed if players want to access online features, transfer data from another Wii and visit the Miiverse.
After unboxing a Deluxe unit picked up at the midnight launch, it took in excess of two hours to download and install the system update. It would be a great feature for Nintendo to allow the background download of future system updates, as users on slower connections could be looking at multiple hours of downloads every time an update is released.
In addition to running the initial system update, users are also prompted to install updates for the pre-loaded Netflix application, as well as any games that you wish to play. The most surprising aspect of the system was that Amazon Video streaming icons were present but unusable until an unknown future date. It seems that other features including Hulu Plus are not available at launch. Additionally, its own TVii service, which allows users to access their TV guide from the GamePad controller and to change the channel from their set-top box using infrared technology, will also not be available. Nintendo's own social network called Miiverse is also missing.
After getting the system update installed, one of the first impressions we can give is is that the menu system, which has been reported on the forums, can be described as severely to extremely sluggish. The wait between menus varies anywhere from ten to fifteen seconds. To me, the Wii U menuing system reminded me of someone trying to run a cutting edge operating system on a minimum requirements computer. Hopefully Nintendo can get this issue straightened quickly, as it is quite painful switching between applications
Also, as reported by some users, the battery life of the included gamepad controller has been extremely underwhelming. The lack of an interchangable battery coupled with a slower than expected recharge time will be a severe limitation for serious gamers. Currently we have not had any issues concerning the signal range of the GamePad.