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Nintendo Wii U gets firmware upgrade, prepares for Virtual Console

The Nintendo Wii U firmware update is now available, with the Japanese console maker naming it a “major system update”.

Preparing the console for the launch of the Nintendo Wii U Virtual Console library later this month, the new system update offers faster loading time and better performance.

Available to download now, Nintendo states the “major system update” reduces the time the Nintendo Wii U console takes to launch and switch between applications, exit software and return to the main menu, Miiverse loading times and the console’s actual start up time.

Said to improve load times by 31 per cent, the Nintendo Wii U power up time has been reduced by as much as 15 seconds and 5 seconds has been shaved off the System Settings loading time.

Other improvements have been made to the way the console deals with downloads. The Nintendo Wii U now allows users to use other software while games and apps from the Nintendo eShop install in the background. Similar to the service offered by the Xbox 360, the Nintendo Wii U now goes into standby mode until all downloads or installations are complete, then it will power itself down.

The system update also brings a few other new additions, like the ability to copy data between USB storage devices, change download priorities and adjust TV screen size output in the System Settings.

Since its launch late last year, Nintendo Wii U sales have been fairly poor due to a lack of solid gaming titles for the dual-screen console.

Despite this, Nintendo posted 7.1 billion yen profit (£46.8 million) in its Q1 2013 report marking the company’s return to profitability in comparison to the previous year’s 43.2 billion yen loss (£284 billion).

To further boost its positive profit progress, Nintendo plans to concentrate on its new console and fix game delay “in order to regain momentum for the platform.”

The Nintendo Wii U firmware upgrade is available to download now and we should see the Virtual Console library landing somewhere around the turn of the month.

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