News Article

Nintendo Is Sorry For Wii U Load Times, Is Working On A Fix

Posted by Damien McFerran

Satoru Iwata apologises for lengthy waits when switching between applications

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has publicly apologised for the lengthy loading times endured by Wii U users when moving around the console's operating system.

The comments were delivered in a Japanese Nintendo Direct broadcast. Iwata admitted that the load times were an issue, and stated that a solution is currently being worked on. However, he stopped short of revealing a timescale for this fix.

Moving around the Wii U OS is certainly a sluggish affair, with some procedures - such as opening Wii U Chat - taking as long as 40 seconds in some cases. It's hardly a deal-breaking problem in our opinion, but it's nevertheless encouraging to see Nintendo has acknowledged this problem so quickly, rather than burying its head in the sand as many companies would do.

The issue was given more exposure recently when an irate Japanese woman posted this video on YouTube complaining about the long load times:

[via eurogamer.net, theverge.com, nintendo.co.jp]

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User Comments (81)

C-Olimar

#2

C-Olimar said:

Takes a little longer than it should, but most people are definitely exaggerating, and now they've hurt Iwata's feelings. Good going guys :'(

Sam_Loser2

#5

Sam_Loser2 said:

One of the nicest feelings is being able to suspend my game to look on Miiverse or check a faq or something, but the load time do dampen it significantly. Never had a crashing problem.

Moshugan

#6

Moshugan said:

I haven't had a single crash/freeze after the last system update. Sometimes it loads a bit slow, but nowhere near frustrating.

Reala

#7

Reala said:

Well at least they acknowledge it and say sorry, now where's the apology for the 3DS retail download pricing

C-Olimar

#9

C-Olimar said:

@Reala Why would they apoligise for something that is your choice? If you have a Wii U you have to wait for it to load. You don't HAVE to download retail games: in fact, they're priced so high to encourage you not to download them!

Wonder_Ideal

#10

Wonder_Ideal said:

It's good to see that the problem is being addressed. It's nothing major, but it will be nice when it loads faster. Once that is taken care of, I will have virtually no complaints about my Wii U.

RetroGBHippie92

#12

RetroGBHippie92 said:

Well at least I haven't had to complain for a whole month about loading times, I haven't even opened my Wii U yet (cos it's for opening on xmas day).
Hopefully by early january we'll have a fix, but i'm not so sure yet.

DrKarl

#13

DrKarl said:

Loading times are annoying for me. It takes a few beats too long.

Another thing that I don't like regarding loading is when a disc is first launched. Take Nintendo Land for example. The "curtain" screen comes up, music plays, but that's it. It sits for too long with nothing occurring, and then the two spotlights appear. I would like to see a Loading..., where the ... is animated in some way. It feels too sterile at the moment.

Also Nintendo: Please work on getting VC games playable on the game pad. Thanks!

OracleOfTruth

#14

OracleOfTruth said:

I'm glad Nintendo is already working on a solution to this. At least the Wii U is worth the wait (alliteration!).

Icarus423

#15

Icarus423 said:

To be honest I was pretty worried about the load times between apps before buying my Wii U. Now that I've had it for a little over a week, the load times aren't any more lengthy then switching between apps on my PS3.

Shrapmo

#16

Shrapmo said:

I'm always happy to see a company take responsibility for something. Cutting the load times by at least 10 seconds would be great, cutting it by 15 seconds or more would be fantastic!

krunchykhaos

#18

krunchykhaos said:

One: has anyone recently played an xbox or ps3? Its at least 25% slower.
Two: has the advancement in technology really made us that impatient to where we can effectively wait a year or two for nintendo exclusives yet can't wait 15-20 seconds between apps? Seriously think about that. If it was a crappy developed software as far as use it would be a concern but since they work nicely, who cares?

skjia

#19

skjia said:

I don't think the load times are horrible but they are a bit longer than i'd like. Especially when it comes to the settings app and wii mode (actually i'd prefer wii mode and vc integration into the Wii U menu over speed).
it is nice to see nintendo address that it does take a while though instead of just saying gamers need to be more patient or nintendo delivers a higher quality of content so we have to deal with load times. lol.

NintyMan

#20

NintyMan said:

Sure, the waiting times could be a little better, but it's nothing for me to cry about. Japanese gamers apparently won't put up with it, and since Nintendo's systems are doing so well in its homeland, of course Iwata is going to respond. Not only does it show that he cares, but it's a smart business move too. Don't upset your native customers.

Jaz007

#21

Jaz007 said:

While It's not a dealbreaker by anymeans, it's still quite painful and a problem I would really like to get fixed. I mean it makes checking notifications alot more painful than it should be.

DerpSandwich

#22

DerpSandwich said:

Did the load times get a little better with the most recent update, or did I completely imagine that? I remember being slightly flustered by them at first, but it hasn't been a problem since then. Maybe I just got used to them? :/

AbeVigoda

#23

AbeVigoda said:

Never had a single system crash and never had any load times more than 10-15 seconds

Roachant

#24

Roachant said:

Its nice that they are working on this but I won't expect the, to fix it for quite some time, im guessing next summer probably..

manic221

#27

manic221 said:

She was using the basic and from what i've seen the Basic is noticeably more sluggish... which probably has something to do with it having so little free memory, It's like when you have a PC and it's running low on Storage i suspect a similar thing is happening with the Basic model... Don't get me wrong it's pretty sluggish on the premium version too but in my opinion it's MUCH worse on the basic...

manic221

#28

manic221 said:

@SMEXIZELDAMAN She's not really cute though is she? Don't get me wrong i'm slightly partial to Japanese girls myself(lol) but the girl video i mean she's okay but nothing to special at least in my opinion.

grimbldoo

#30

grimbldoo said:

@Reala #8
Do you also complain to Steam? Because the games there are full retail price. The Steam sales are irrelevant so don't bring them up, the game is still full price regularly.

AVahne

#31

AVahne said:

Freezing problems seem to be gone, but I hope the load times will be sped up by a lot. Would be nice if Nintendo asked Google for help on their OS.

AVahne

#32

AVahne said:

@krunchykhaos
It's expected since smartphones now don't give you that kind of lag while using inferior tech to what's inside consoles.

steamhare

#33

steamhare said:

@grimbldoo
The sales aren't irrelevant, though. They happen occasionally, which makes the "full retail price" (Which actually decreases over time, instead of staying at the initial price indefinitely) a whole different beast. I can't wait out software for a price drop on a nintendo system. I can wait out Steam.

nocode

#34

nocode said:

My load times aren't nearly as bad as the woman in the video...maybe she's got a bum console. Havent had a freeze either since the last update.

bonesy91

#35

bonesy91 said:

omg 15 seconds... the world is ending lol. I get what people are saying, that it takes a while to load, but its still early...

Standards people have these days just blows my mind >.>

ArcanaXVI

#36

ArcanaXVI said:

The waits are a little on the lengthy side compared to modern standards, but personally, I couldn't be less bothered. I love my Wii U, and it'll take a lot more than a few seconds of waiting between screens to change that.

a_binfahad

#38

a_binfahad said:

I have just realized that the more apps you have on your Wii U the slower it gets (Just experienced it =_=)

kyuubikid213

#39

kyuubikid213 said:

I don't care. The load times are a tad long, but after living through the horrific load times of the PSOne days, forty seconds won't kill me. Just make sure system crashes are a thing of the past and we're good.

Brody

#40

Brody said:

The load times don't bother me that much. But my console turns off when I press the eject button and when I turn the console off it removes the game. Anyone else have that problem?

DrMonk

#41

DrMonk said:

My loading times have been HEAPS better since the latest system software update. Used to take up to 5 minutes stuck on the loading screen loop, now takes less than 30 seconds for most software. So honestly, I thought this had already been addressed. But yeah, if they can continue to make it more snappy that would be great!

DarkNinja9

#42

DarkNinja9 said:

yeah i noticed it seems abit slower then it was before =/ but least its going to be fixed

Le_Gazman

#43

Le_Gazman said:

The load times are shocking. Going back to Wii menu from other minuscule apps takes an age. Considering its all from flash, there are no excuses.

defrb

#46

defrb said:

  • Load times are to long, the reason they can fix it means they made some mistakes :p Thank god they can fix it, half loading time would be a lot better.

Also i agree on "prices are way to high in the Eshop, straight from the producer should also save us some coins, 70 euro for fifa?? wicked price really -.-

mozie

#47

mozie said:

@manic221 Dont know what you've seen but there are 0 differences in load times between basic/premium, its not possible by any stretch, unless your suggesting the basic model has a slower processor/less RAM than the premium which of course would be idiotic. If you have a white wii u OR a black wii u your going to have the same issues with loading times.

Sean_Aaron

#49

Sean_Aaron said:

Load times are noticeably longer than on Wii - like longer than switching to SD menu with a lot of content. It has gotten better since the last update, but could still be improved.

3DS_excel

#50

3DS_excel said:

Everyone is so impatient nowadays. If it doesn't load in a few seconds just wait longer!

tovare

#51

tovare said:

The problem isn't the speed but the fact that the UI is a simple press of a button, if they'd provide a hand crank instead to start a new application it would be more natural to spend a few seconds ;-)

Buzzthebatgirl

#52

Buzzthebatgirl said:

Really people are complaining about 40 seconds waiting time? Get out! I had to wait 40 minutes for games to load off cassette tapes when I started playing video games, and 40 minutes was a short wait.

PinkSpider

#54

PinkSpider said:

@buzzthebatgirl yeah tell me about it my spectrum used to take 30 to 40 mins to load it's games and it would regularly crash and I'd have to start again which meant rewinding the tape, the younger generation of gamers do not have a clue or appreciate how simple things are these days.

mastersworddude

#55

mastersworddude said:

From the sounds of things, some apps are HTML, some are native, and since the OS can't tell which is which, each HTML app is it's OWN web renderer that needs to start up every time. Kind of like every VC game including it's own emulator.

And I see the Nintendo defense force has come out strong here, I guess Nintendo can do no wrong, and anyone who calls out their backwards decisions are haters.
Remember guys, if it isn't over a minute, then it isn't slow!

@Buzzthebatgirl What does that have to do with anything? It's nearly 2013, it's dumb that loading the Youtube app takes so much longer than the function does on pretty much every other modern hardware.
But hey at least it's faster than 20 year old hardware, you ungrateful haters!

luminalace

#57

luminalace said:

Wow after watching the vid I'm surprised by it. Obviously I'm more patient because I haven't really noticed. Anyway If Nintendo can indeed speed up things it will be appreciated..especially by that woman.

Araknie

#58

Araknie said:

Thank you Iwata, please put Firmwares in the discs also, i can't have Wi-Fi in my area...sob.

rjejr

#61

rjejr said:

"an irate Japanese woman"

If she's irate than I'ld hate to see a happy japanese woman, she'ld literally die laughing.

I wonder if that woman has ever played MNR. She WOULD be irate then.

Sun

#63

Sun said:

She is not irate. I think the cultural differences make you see her that way. These loading times are way toooooo long. Even Iwata say so.

Pikachews

#64

Pikachews said:

eShop prices are full RRP in order to ensure retailers are kept happy. If Nintendo sold games cheaper than RRP, retail would sell less copies or need to match the eShop price, thus losing them money/margin. Nintendo don't want to fall out with retail yet as the majority of sales come from boxed versions. If everything goes digital in future, that would change things. For example, if Mario was cheaper on the eShop than it is in a real shop, why would I buy it from the real shop? Then real shop owner gets annoyed as no-one is buying it from them, so stops stocking Mario...which equals less sales overall for Nintendo as the game isn't on shelves across the country......see?

bezerker99

#65

bezerker99 said:

I don't have a Wii U but the 3DS is pretty slow and laggy in my opinion. It's nothing as slow as the lady in the video demonstrates with her Wii U Gamepad, but my cell phone definitely performs functions and loads infinitely faster than my Nintendo 3DS.

andrea987

#66

andrea987 said:

What about the freezing games issue? It's annoying having to pull the power cord every other time I'm playing Sonic Racing or Fifa. I would have thought that was the priority...

billychaos

#67

billychaos said:

Re: Freezing. Not sure if this helps, but My console froze a lot when I plugged in an external drive (that was not supported). It would freeze a lot! I started troubleshooting and found that it froze when it tried to write or access the hard drive. I disconnected it and installed DLC and saves to system memory. I don't think it's crashed in about 3 weeks since.

berenlazarus

#69

berenlazarus said:

@Reala Hey, the 3DS price slash apology came in the form of all those Ambassador games! Pretty good apology if you ask me.

As far as her being "irate", perhaps its me not understanding a single Japanese word, but she comes across more as slightly annoyed than "irate". Irate implies a much higher level of anger than this woman demonstrates. Maybe I would think she was irate if I was from her culture.

Hokori

#70

Hokori said:

@mastersworddude Yeah exactly, it's 2012 not the year 4000 :/ things don't have to be a nano second geese people, I'm only 19 and think kids and some young adults want to be spoiled too much these days

emiru69

#75

emiru69 said:

Yeah, the loading times are pretty bad and I'm trying Nintendo TVii and is not great either. I just hope that with Nintendo TVii is just a "first day" thing because too many people are trying it at the same time. If the loading times are as bad as today I'm never going to use it.

K1LLEGAL

#76

K1LLEGAL said:

Seems like Nintendo are always apologising these days. Shame they can't realise the problem before they release it to the public.

Ren

#77

Ren said:

Oh, I see why she's mad. She uses a Mac so she's not used to a crappy OS that crashes and loads everything so slowly. If you're a PC user you're probably used to it so it's no big deal.

gundam00

#78

gundam00 said:

Don't forget the sluggish load times for Mario Kart 7! OMG the courses take forever to load! The online multiplay is even worse!

manic221

#79

manic221 said:

@mozie No that's not true a PC with 4gb's of RAM will run as quick as anything when there's nothing on it's Harddrive but once the Harddrive gets to being full loading times drastically slow down... I'm not saying that that would carry over to the Wii U however my Friends premium black Wii U "seemed" to run much faster then the white Wii U in the video however i only used it for an hour so i wouldn't know for sure, i was just carrying over facts about PC over to the Wii U which i think as far as behavior with systems in general is something you can assume but not claim as fact which i never did.

DrSlump

#80

DrSlump said:

I got no crashes from my wii u. System is olso enough reactive but in the settings menu. Maybe the system settings closes all other tasks before the execution, this may explain the increased load time.

Deneteus

#81

Deneteus said:

My WIIU has locked up on 2 occasions so far playing ZombiU and when my battery in the gamepad went dead. I charged the battery back up and I couldn't exit the menu where it says you have to have a gamepad. The power button didn't work either. I had to power cycle by removing the power.

Also I work in QA and the load times for the menus would be unacceptable in any recent user interface. 20 seconds can be an eternity in some cases. People are paying for a fast and stable gaming experience so I am sure the comments finally had some impact after that video. Also I am sure Nintendo is mining data from console uptime as well.

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