Mysterious Wii startup disc is… a Wii startup disc

That strange “start up disc” that was shown on the back of a Wii retail box is, wait for it, a start up disc, probably loaded with a last minute firmware update. Over at Joystiq a commenter makes a good point: that this disc probably means Nintendo started manufacturing the hardware before the firmware was 100% complete. This move, in theory, would ensure more units available at launch.

Joystiq blogger Ross Miller asks why Nintendo didn’t just push the start up disc data via the Virtual Console when the Wii boots up, but I think I have a simple explanation: Online can be notoriously buggy the first time its summoned to life — especially if it’s being summoned almost simultaneously by millions of North American gamers on Nov 19. If the update didn’t work right away, then you’d have more than a handful of pissed off players on your hands with a bunch of bricked — but shiny brand new — Wii consoles. So, push the update via a disc in every box. Problem solved, especially if you don’t happen to have online access. Duh.

This news also bodes well for you Infendo readers who have signed onto the Wii DVD codec update theory, since the Wii is capable of accepting updates both from disc, and online formats.