Wii U Update, Virtual Console, and Panorama View Are Now Live

wiiuvirtualconsoleThough yesterday was the Nintendo Download, today is the day which brought forth much of what Wii U owners have been waiting for. The Virtual Console, Wii U Panorama View, and the Wii U system update are all now available for your enjoyment.

“Wii U continues to grow and evolve with new features that make it a better experience for everyone,” said Nintendo of Canada’s vice-president and general manager, Ron Bertram, in a press release. “Now owners can navigate to their favourite games and services even faster, or play some of their favourite classic games.”

With the Virtual Console launch, you can now download and enjoy Super Mario World, Excitebike, Ice Climber, and Donkey Kong Jr. in addition to the previously-released Famicom 30th anniversary titles Balloon Fight, F-Zero, Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream, and Kirby’s Adventure, the latter of which is available for 30 cents for a limited time. Nintendo says that others on the way soon include Donkey Kong, Kirby Super Star, Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2 (woo!), Super Metroid, and Yoshi, with Game Boy Advance and Nintendo 64 titles also planned in the future.

Nintendo notes that each Virtual Console title on the Wii U includes off-TV play on the GamePad controller, customizable button layouts, Miiverse community support, and the ability to instantly save your game progress. NES games will cost $4.99 to $5.99, while Super NES games will cost $7.99 to $8.99; if you have titles from your Wii Virtual Console, they can be imported to the Wii U and played in the console’s Wii Mode for no charge. If you want to upgrade them to take advantage of the above-mentioned Wii U functionality, it will cost $1 for per NES game and $1.50 per Super NES game.

Also available now is the new Wii U Panorama View, which lets you virtually explore exotic destinations by using the Wii U GamePad as a window which allows you to turn 360 degrees as you take in the sights. The program itself is a free download from the Wii U eShop, complete with samples, and each destination is available to purchase for $2 each.

Last, but certainly not least, is the long-awaited Wii U system update, which not only brings with it new features, but enhanced performance as well:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBmg_CNsQcc

Following is a full list of what the system update provides:

  • The time required to start the Wii U console, launch built-in applications, exit software and return to the main menu, jump between applications, and jump between software and Miiverse has been reduced.
  • While the Wii U logo is being displayed during the system startup, users can directly transition to the Wii Menu by holding down the B Button on the Wii U GamePad.
  • Users can install games and applications from the Nintendo eShop in the background while other software is being used.
  • When powering off during a download, Wii U will go into a standby mode, then power off when all downloads and installations are complete.
  • Users can transfer and copy data between two USB storage devices in Data Management. This allows users the opportunity to upgrade or replace a current USB storage device that is connected to the Wii U Console.
  • Users can control the priority of their downloads when downloading multiple items at once.
  • Improved account selection when powering on the system now displays Nintendo Network IDs to clearly distinguish accounts.
  • TV screen size output can now be adjusted in the System Settings.
  • An Undo/Redo button was added to the Miiverse drawing input screen.

Another update is slated for later this year; with any luck, it will allow for Pro Controller support on the Wii U’s Wii mode– that’s the one thing keeping me from porting my Wii data over. Unless Nintendo unlocks the Wii’s save data for Super Smash Bros. Brawl to be backed up, anyway– I don’t want to lose my ability to play with the GameCube controller after everything I’ve unlocked on there, though the Pro Controller seems to be close enough for my liking. Same thing for my Nintendo 64 games, at least until they appear on the Wii U Virtual Console.

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David Oxford

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