Patches. Updates. Firmware. All of these words are usually met with disdain for gamers, as usually they go hand in hand with lengthy downloads and/or broken features that need fixing. With the latest Nintendo Direct, we learned that the Wii U would receive not just one, but two firmware updates in the next couple of months. Although the update will indeed take away from our precious game-time, let’s think of the positives. New features!
If you had the power, how would you change the Wii U?
Faster load times
This is a no brainer and already something that Nintendo says they will address through firmware updates, but I can’t stress enough how much I wish for this to happen. For 2013, the time it takes to start a game, open an app, or return to the home screen all take far too long. I’m not sure how difficult this will be or how Nintendo plans to fix this problem, but get on it already Nintendo!
There really isn’t anything else to add here other than hoping that in addition to making load times faster, it would be nice for down speed to be higher. Which brings us to….
Improved Nintendo Network infrastructure
Maybe it’s just me (but I doubt it) but downloading ANYTHING for the Wii U takes forever. Case in point: I purchased Trine 2 from the eShop a month ago, and still have yet to play the game. Why you ask? The game simply hasn’t finished downloading. I left my console on overnight twice only to find the download failed each time. As of the time of this writing the download is paused at 54% and I plan on letting the download finish soon, but this is just ridiculous.
I understand that download speeds depend on location and the available bandwidth provided by my internet provider, but on the Xbox Live service, I have never had such trouble downloading titles.
I worry about saying this out loud, but I wouldn’t mind paying a monthly fee for improved down speeds. The service would need to be packed with other features (perhaps access to a virtual library, discounted games, etc.), but boy could Nintendo make a lot of money with the right added benefits.
System level party chat
Right now, there is no way to start a voice chat session without being inside a game that supports it. Sure, you could call a friend with Wii U Chat, but there is no way to carry on the call into a game session.
The console should have the quick and easy ability to party up with a few friends no matter whether you are playing New Super Mario Bros. U, or at the main menu. Again, Nintendo could lock this feature behind a pay-wall and charge a monthly fee and I would be fine with that.
Man, I should be working at Nintendo with all the money I’m making them today!
One of the coolest things about the Wii U is seeing the blue home button light blink when someone on your friends list gets online. Or wait, is that a Wii U Chat call I’m getting? No, no, it’s a game invite for Call of Duty. Sorry, sometimes it’s hard to tell.
It would certainly be nice to have an option to receive a pop-up notification on screen or on gamepad letting you know exactly what happened. Perhaps you could touch the icon that would appear on the Gamepad screen, and a few input options would pop-up such as inviting your friend into a private chat when they log in, or accepting a game invite.
Right now, however, the ability to go from game to Wii U Chat when a call is received is not even possible, and this is something that must change going forward. Not just for the sake of Wii U Chat, but all applications that send notifications. I’m not sure how difficult that would be to implement, but it is something that certainly should be implemented.
What else would you like to see added to Wii U? Do you agree with all the choices above?