Several new Wii U owners have reported a serious issue with their new consoles related to the large launch-day update from Nintendo. The update, required to enable online functionality on the console, is estimated around 5GB (though some sources say 1GB) and can take more than an hour to install — and some users say that interrupting the install process can "brick" the console, making it unusable. It's not clear why the issue is happening, or how widespread it is, and we're also not sure yet exactly what it takes to brick the console — some users say just interrupting the download for the patch caused issues.
The tweets keep coming from people whose power or Internet went out during the 5 gb update and now, like mine, their Wii U is a brick— Ben Fritz (@benfritz) November 18, 2012
Nintendo decided to issue an enormous patch minutes before the console went on sale
Unplugging a system during an update is never a good idea (and, of course, some innocent gamers may have just happened to lose power), but the onus is on Nintendo for creating this situation: the company decided literally minutes before the console went on sale to issue an enormous patch. Without the patch, customers can't use the Wii U online — if you want to do more than insert discs and play games, you have to install the day one update. Obviously this is potentially a huge issue for any new Wii U owner, so if you've got your hands on one, be sure to install the update with care. We've reached out to Nintendo for a comment on the issue and will update you as we receive more information.