A brand new firmware update has pushed its way across the Mushroom Kingdom and landed on Wii U consoles across Europe, North America and Japan.

The prompt for the update began after the scheduled extended maintenance for the Nintendo Network and Miiverse ended.

One of the big changes included is the use of Wii software on the Wii U GamePad while the TV is switched off; however it's still necessary to use the Wiimote to control the game that's inserted into the console.

It's also worth mentioning that the new update has allowed for users to share screenshots directly to social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Simply press the Home button, choose Internet Browser and type https://i.nintendo.net; now whatever is on your TV or GamePad screen at the time can be sent to your followers or friends, with the automatic inclusion of hashtags.

See below the full list of features posted on the Official Nintendo website.

New Features:

  • A feature to output video and sound to the Wii U GamePad when using Wii Mode
  • Users can choose to output to the TV and GamePad, or just the TV
  • A feature to automatically receive recommended software and demo titles from Nintendo using SpotPass
  • Support for USB keyboards
  • An option to disable use of a Nintendo Network ID on non-Nintendo hardware, such as PCs and smartphones
  • Support for Dolby Pro Logic II Surround Sound when playing Wii software

Changes to Wii U Menu:

  • Added a friend list icon to the Wii U Menu for easier access to the Friend List

Changes to System Settings:

  • An option to automatically receive recommended software is now available under "Internet"
  • A setting to select which cable outputs sound is available through "TV"
  • Users can choose to output sound through an HDMI cable, non-HDMI cable, or both cables at the same time
  • A setting to adjust the hourly interval in which standby functions are performed is available under "Power Settings" when standby functions are enabled

Changes to Wii U Chat:

  • Added the option to view a friend's profile on Miiverse when sending or receiving a chat request
  • Users can now chat using a headset connected to the Wii U GamePad

Changes to Internet Browser:

  • Pressing the R or L Buttons on the Wii U GamePad will skip video playback forward/back a small amount of time
  • Holding the R Button will speed up video playback
  • Ability to save username and passwords for websites that require login
  • Ability to launch the Internet Browser during gameplay and upload screenshots
  • Added support for viewing PDF files
  • Added features intended for website developers that allow the user to enable developer tools and set user agent

Improvements to system stability and usability:

  • Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience

Have you downloaded the update yet? Let us know what you think.