Oh, the internet. What was once a beautiful land of forgotten dreams has now turned into a cesspool of propaganda and unfounded rage, like the recent air around the Wii U launch in North America.
Here’s what happened: some journalist in America went out and bought a Wii U at midnight launch. He got home and saw the console asked him to perform a system update after he connected to WiFi. And so he sat, looking at the screen for a whole 15 minutes before getting bored and yanking the power cable out of the wall.
When he went to turn on the console, he was greeted with a black screen (more on this in a moment). Being a Mr. Bigshot Journalist, he took to Twitter warning people to avoid the console because downloading the “5GB update” would “brick” the Wii U, rendering it unplayable.
And so the news of consoles being bricked up spread through the internet. Many people seemed to jump on the bandwagon and most who write for mainstream media decided the console was a complete flop within hours of its launch — in fact, before the console actually went for sale in most customers eyes.
But Mr. Bigshot was wrong.
You see, the Wii U System Update is not 5GB for a start – it’s more like 1.2GB as confirmed by many who have since watched their internet bandwidth counters tick over while downloading the file. The 5GB confusion comes from the fact that the Wii U Operating System (dubbed by some ‘WiiOS’) takes up around 5GB of memory on the built in hard drive. What this means is even if you don’t run the update, your hard drive will have 5GB used up for the system software.
Further, Mr. Bigshot need not be so impatient in future. The “Day One Update” can be downloaded in the background.
When you first set up your WiFi settings on the Wii U, the console finds an update to download and asks if you wish to continue to download. You then have two options; “Yes” and “Cancel”. Hitting “Cancel” will return you to complete the system settings and will load up the Home Menu as normal, leaving you free to play your games as you wish.
The update will then automatically download in the background. You will then have to, later on when you decide to update the console, go back into the System Settings, choose “Update” and initiate the install procedure which will then take about 5 minutes.
But what about the “bricking”: that black screen I mentioned earlier?
Well, since our genius decided to pull the cord out, what he did was put Wii U into “autopilot mode” — not “brick mode”. What this means is that when the console is turned back on, it has no option but to go ahead and download the system update and install it. Since it can’t load the UI (because it was half way through updating it), the user will just see a black screen when in fact the console is actually downloading the update.
But our journalist friend cried “brick” and probably yanked the cord out again, never turning it back on due to his Twitter page being flooded with comments.
Let’s all learn from this experience: take a deep breath. These are video game consoles, not life support systems. They don’t have to be perfect and when something goes wrong, it’s probably not as bad as you think.