News Article

Video: Nintendo Shows Off The Wii U's Forthcoming Quick Boot Menu

Posted by Damien McFerran

Regular system boot also getting a turbo boost

Fed up of wasting all those precious seconds waiting for your Wii U to boot up from cold? Fear not, because Nintendo has the solution, and it's coming in a firmware update this year.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata revealed the new quick boot menu during the recent investor's presentation. The sequence shows the Wii U starting up instantly with a menu showing a selection of recently-used games — selecting one of these allows you to bypass the normal Wii U front-end and dive straight into the game, cutting waiting time dramatically.

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Iwata says the feature is almost ready for distribution to Wii U consoles all over the globe:

The integration of this feature is almost complete, and this is how it will actually work on the Wii U system. We will deliver this update to Wii U owners when we update the Wii U hardware either before or during summer.

That's not the only good news for impatient Wii U owners — another future firmware update will speed up the standard Wii U menu, making games load around "20 seconds" faster. Industry analyst David Gibson — who was in attendance during the Q&A session which followed the presentation — appears to suggest that this is a separate enhancement to the quick boot menu:

Nintendo is clearly working hard at making its home console as user-friendly as possible — what are your feelings about these updates? Let us know by sharing your feelings below.


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User Comments (104)



Einherjar said:

The quick boot menu sounds really interesting, but i have 2 questions:
1: Is it customizable (stickies) or does it really only list recently played titles
2: How does the console boot into the menu ? Is it the default frontend, and the WiiUs main menu requires an aditional button press or does it work like the (often faulty) Wii Mode button press boot sequence ?



Dragoon04 said:

That is handy actually. I did not know I needed something like this until I saw it.



withoutdk said:

smart feature.... but does not mean much to me... i just want my games to run flawlessly

but all good features are surely a plus



spidey1010 said:

This is awesome. I'm glad Nintendo is getting on board with meaningful software updates. The Wii never got any noticeable , performance-altering updates, so it's nice to see Nintendo adapting.
Is that "20 second" figure right? That sounds impossibly fast.



Eclipse_Dj said:

Finally we have a current generation games console that boots up and lets you play games pretty instantly.. I like it. My 360 takes forever to boot up these days and sometimes you just want to jump straight into a game and not be overwhelmed with adverts and other apps. I'd like to see if they could offer firmware for cross game chat with friends, I know my brother would buy one if we could chat whilst playing on the Wii U. It isn't essential though, personally I prefer local multi-player gaming.



ToniK said:

Yeah, I've been waiting for this. Booting the U does seem a bit slow sometimes when I just want to launch Netflix before my pizza gets cold. Good news. I wonder how much of unused potential there is still left? I bet we'll see many updates in the future.



epicdude12302 said:

Awesome! Now if I need to launch NSMBU in under 10 seconds to save my life, I can! But seriously, that's pretty cool!



Nintenjoe64 said:

I like the Wii U interface. The Miiverse plaza needs work but selecting a game is so much nicer on Wii U than any of my other consoles (except Nintendo consoles from before Wii). It's a shame that every improvement is quietly ushered in while every negative is shouted from the internets for months until the next one comes along.



absuplendous said:

That looks like a useful update. What I've been really waiting for, though, is for the Wii U to detect when the system is turned on via a Pro controller and consequently not turn on the game pad automatically. If we're talking time-savers, not having to manually turn off the game pad screen every time I boot a game that doesn't require the game pad--which is quite a lot in my case--would be very convenient.



2Sang said:

Good. I didn't see this as a problem when trying out a wii u, but improving the game pad was something that needs to be done so it's easier to work with for third party and indie developers.



yuwarite said:

Looks like one of those features you can't live w/o once you try it. They should do something interesting with Wara Wara plaza next. Like let us have analog control over our Mii and explore virtual areas, kinda like PS Home, but less lame.



datamonkey said:

This is very welcome, especially after getting used to the speedy PS4 menu's, Wii U feels very slow in comparison.



element187 said:

This will help shred the belief the system is slow to use..... That's if the media will ever tell the world about it....

I think the media loves to kick Nintendo while they are down ever since Nintendo decided to go above the journalists heads and directly to the fans with these Nintendo directs.



Tysamu said:

It should've had the quick start/recently used start-up screen a long time ago. Like last year or at the U's release.



0utburst said:

I'm not really affected by the boot time. I want a scrollable menu/list/icon of games and apps on my gamepad instead. Maybe choose between icons or list with some description like in windows explorer.



PJR0cks said:

yeah I agree, like if I turn the system on with my pro controller there is no need for the game pad screen to turn on, that would be great.
But this is very good news too, I feel kind of bad for Nintendo, but I love the feeling that I will be getting new features for the console I already love in the next coming months because of the low sales, like I would already happily pay 60$ for my MK8, but now seeing I also get a free game, I love it even more.



Sean_Aaron said:

Awesome, I will totally use that since I tend to fire up the Wii U occasionally for a quick play of something or other. Yet another benefit of not using discs!



McHaggis said:

This is great. I'd rather see them integrate the Wii U system menu into the in-game home menu, though. Since the system speed-ups last year, I think game loading times are more than tolerable, but exiting a game to go to the home screen to load a different game is still a pain.



Kenology said:

This is great. But can we please get folders? Why would Nintendo realize that the 3DS needed folders but not the Wii U? Get it together!



Anneke said:

It's nice, but there are problem with a higher priority.
For example to transfer data between wiiu's. So the next time my wiiu crashes i won't lose all my save files. That costed hundreds of hours instead of 20 seconds.



DinoFett said:

It's what ever is popular as far as start up times, I'm always on the Mii verse so the start up speed is not too great a concern.



Fink-Nottle said:

20 seconds? That sounds strange...

20 decimal seconds, 2 seconds or whatever, all these recent news are awesome!!!



SLiM said:

Wow this is amazing! One of my biggest complaints about the Wii U is the load times. This will be a great update!



19Robb92 said:

Same video as last time?

This should have launched by now IMO. Been a long time coming.



DiscoGentleman said:

@Einherjar in the bottom left of the quick start menu, there's a "settings" button. So let's hope so! If not, I could easily see them adding that feature in a future firmware upgrade.



HaNks said:

good stuff. now for OS level communication options, or is that too much to ask...



Sean_Aaron said:

@Anneke I have a second hard disk and try to do a monthly copy to mitigate against what you're describing and disk-to-disk copy definitely needs an overhaul. Fingers crossed this update addresses that too!



firebird3334 said:

@Eclipse_Dj i know wat you mean. there is nothing like the feeling of sitting with yours friend side by side shouting at each other and helping or crushing them at the game. that is why i like call of duty over battlefield and fighting games and fifa



ULTRA-64 said:

Glad to see some progress but 10 minutes a year extra game time will make little difference to anyone's Wii u experience overall
As mentioned by others, folders would be nice. Customisable home screens , maybe variable box sizes , and the option to integrate social media into miiverse would be my choices of update.
Also, if possible tech wise, I'd settle for viewing tv on the gamepad instead of the failed tvii........or at least remove the logo until it is available!!



Kirk said:

This whole loading crap never should have been an issue in the first place, the Nintendo of the SNES era would NEVER have released a home console with these kinds of problems, but at least it's getting addressed now to some degree.



Just_Ethan said:

Looks pretty ready to me. What's left for them to do that's pushing the release so far back?



Action51 said:

@Brickbuild101 - It's Nintendo...they are slow to do everything, but when they finally do it's almost always seamless and bug-free.

I wasn't really worried about the load times or anything, but if they want to make the menu and load times work quicker and be more user friendly...okay!



Chubblings said:

Since I think quick boot will only apply to digital games, it won't affect me (I buy physical). However, I am liking the improving loading times in games. Seems like Nintendo is slowly starting to fix things on Wii U (hopefully account-based systems next?)



Action51 said:

@zool "......shame we don't have much to boot up."

Software sold separately. (you have to buy stuff once you get the console)



SecondServing said:


I think he's talking about the lack of games...I don't really have that problem though. Some people don't like ALL of the games Wii U has to offer.



Action51 said:

Just this year? Are all game purchased in 2012 and 2013 no longer functioning?

Well...this year we have Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, Lego Hobbit, and Amazing Spiderman 2 at retail. NES remix 1+2, Child of Light, Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate HD edition, Abyss, Stick it to the Man, UnEpic, GBA on VC along with NES and SNES titles, and Wii Sports Club.



Omarsonic9 said:

More updates and things that I would like:
-More speed of course
-Making the Gamepad optional, I hope Nintendo considers this, sometimes I don't want the gamepad's screen to light up or I don't want to waste battery and I'd want to play with the Wiimote and Nunchuck.
-Gamepad sleep mode pls.
-Sound from a game on the GamePad (probably SM3DW) should be optional or can be disabled, because I still wanna hear the satisfying sound coming from typing + posting Miiverse posts and drawings and I don't want it to be repeating or echoing or something like that, kind of feels annoying.

If Nintendo does this along with more better updates, I'd gladly return to playing Wii U



ultraraichu said:

I never had a problem with the load speed since the last update, so this will have a big impact on me when it comes out.



AVahne said:

20 seconds faster is very much needed, but kinda proves that Nintendo released the Wii U too soon.



bezerker99 said:

Great job, Iwata. Now, can we make it so the Gamepad can go further than 15 feet away from the Wii U console??????????



Kaze_Memaryu said:

20 seconds?! Does the WiiU really need that long to boot up? I'm pretty sure it's somewhere close to 10 seconds, but okay. I'll take it!



Dark-Link73 said:

Because it is such a burden to wait 2:00 minutes for your system and game to boot up. Btw, this only going to work on DLed games. I seriously doubt it'll work with disk games.



Action51 said:

Nintendo: "here's an unexpected improvement to our hardware you pay nothing for, but it adds many features people asked for."

Internet: "Why did it take so long for this? Why isn't it red? Now if you could just do these twelve other things! Nintendo sux! Why isn't it purple? Why is there so much purple? Where is the new Starfox game I probably won't buy? Iwata should be fired! Why didn't it do this on launch? Now if you could just make it instantaneous and load directly into my eye socket I'll think about being pleased...maybe."



DreamOn said:

@Action51 Demands and dissatisfaction are everywhere you look these days when it comes to Nintendo. Demands and dissatisfaction all the time.



dok5555555 said:

Why can't the Wii U (or Wii for that matter) boot up a disc automatically without having to load the main menu screen first? All other consoles give u the option to just open the disc based game automatically when you turn on ur system. Never understood why Nintendo changed this with the Wii.



Pod said:

THIS is what I expect from Nintendo in terms of tempo and usability.

The standard menu with all the crazy live web updates and music and Miis and icons flying around in the background is a little too over the top for me.

As some say, I too would enjoy the ability to tell the system that you want it to boot the disc in the drive per default. If I then want the menu, I can go through the home menu. Though I can see why they would want that, it has become entirely too cumbersome to use your supposedly simple machine.

I hope they've also gotten the setup-process dealt with. Having to spend an hour and search on the internet on my lap top just to set up the WIFI on my Wii U, and then having to wait an hour for an update to download and install is NOT user friendly.



rjejr said:

@yuwarite - "kinda like PS Home, but less lame."

In my head, Nintendo Land was supposed to be the startup Wara Wara plaza, but each doorway would be one of the Wii U menu icons - Netflix, Hulu, internet, games, etc. The more icons you had, the bigger the circle would get, adding doors to the perimeter. Of course you could still use the quick menu that NL has. Wara wara plaza is so bland.

But yes, at the very least, control our Mii to walk to whatever floating icon we want to play. The Animal Crossing plaza is also nice. Wara wara could at least be decorated like inside the cardboard box in Little Big Planet. At least let us change the color, white is too brite on my big tv screen.



jasonbra said:

Looks good. But other stuff is needed as well. When friends come online, we should be notified. A better messaging system needs to be implemented. Same with voice chat. Lets be honest, the whole online experience needs a lot of work. This is what they need to be working on as well.



JaxonH said:

Nintendo, I salute you!

Iwata has gone on record to state that he doesn't want to focus on new hardware until the current crop of customers are satisfied. My man. I don't care what anyone says this is a good dude at the helm. Keep up the good work, the Wii U is getting better and better all the time, and I do appreciate it!



AshFoxX said:

I'm glad this is finally almost here, been waiting for the update since I heard about it several months ago.

Too bad my N64 will still load my games faster



Action51 said:

@AshFoxX - "Too bad my N64 will still load my games faster"

I know you were just kidding around, but isn't it funny that an 8-bit Nintendo from 1985 will load up faster* then pretty much every video game or multimedia system of today?

*time spent blowing into cartridge not included!

The first time most of us old timers ever had to wait for a dedicated video game console to boot up was the Sony Playstation. We didn't care though, the little time spent waiting for that Sony logo and chime to fire up was nothing compared to the hours of life wasted for every single level to load once we were actually playing those CD-based games.



FJOJR said:

Good. I'm tired of waiting for the jingle then click the user name, wait for all the Miis, wait for menu icons to load. The Wii was so easy and fast. The 3DS is as well.



CliveWinston said:

@Action51 lol no doubt.. you just can't please some people... i'm oblivious to all the nonsense at this point, i love this console, and spend far less time singing its praises than haters that don't even own one do complaining... it'd be like me going to some old lady's knitting site to talk about how lame knitting was... that sure would be lame



Dauntless said:

Quick boot sounds great if it doesn't mean standby mode. When I turn something off I want it to be off and not use more than 1 watt of vampire power/phantom load.
The future update that makes games load 20 seconds faster will be the real winner.



heathenmagic said:

Err Nintendo if you are reading..........please add TVii for Europe! Long overdue, but I am enjoying the games on Wii U, don't get me wrong



booopn said:

Great feature as we use it mostly for Netflix, this will make it that much easier to start watching video as soon as possible!



WindWakerLink said:

Is it backwards now? The menu comes up; then you pick what you want to do; after that then you pick which mii to use? Huh?? I'm not knocking the feature. It's cool but it seems backwards based on the video.



gohanrage said:

When does this update become available to the public. If they can show a demo why not release it already



B3ND3R said:

I love my Wii U, and I love the updates to make it better! Now I want to go re-play Mario 3D World or Wonderful 101... Maybe Wind Waker HD..? 19 days til Mario Kart 8!



WaxxyOne said:

Very cool addition. Younger gamers might not even remember what it was like to put in a cartridge/disc, turn on the power and have the title screen appear, but this is pretty dang close to that experience. Well done, Nintendo!



WaxxyOne said:

@gohanrage Assuming that demonstration is even running on real hardware and is not just a pre-stitched video being streamed to a Wii U gamepad, they still need to do testing, localization, etc.

They're showing a prototype version in Japanese that works with a single first-party game. Before they can release the feature to the wild, they need to translate the appropriate text for all the different countries and languages they support, and also test a wide variety of games to ensure the titles and icons appear correctly and whatever magic they're doing on the back-end to reduce load times doesn't cause those games to become unstable. Once that's done, they need to push the various region-specific versions to their patch servers, test that the patch downloads and installs correctly under real-world conditions, and then flip the flag that lets consumer systems know there's a new update ready to go.

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