If you've been busy shaving seconds off lap times in the stunning Mario Kart 8, you'll be pleased to know that Nintendo has shaved some seconds off the time it takes to boot up the game. A new Wii U system update, version 5.00, comes with a "quick start" menu that displays recently played games on the controller screen as soon as you power the system on, letting you load them straight away rather than wait for the full operating system to start up. Version 5.00 also includes the facility to automatically download and install system updates, and Nintendo can send a new kind of notification to the GamePad controller even when the console is switched off.
The quick-start menu will save you roughly 20 seconds
The Wii U's laggy system-level performance has been a major criticism of the console since launch. The Verge noted it in our initial review, and Nintendo has since promised a series of updates to speed the OS up. An April patch brought minor improvements, and president Satoru Iwata first announced today's quick start menu back in January. The menu is more of a dodge than a fix for the system's inexplicable lag, but nonetheless in our testing saves roughly 20 seconds of waiting for the menu to load.
While Nintendo's efforts with system software may leave a lot to be desired, few are doubting the company's ability to deliver fantastic games when it fires on all cylinders. Mario Kart 8 came out last week to strong reviews, and Nintendo says that it had sold over 1.2 million copies worldwide by the end of its first weekend. It's unlikely to turn around the Wii U's poor sales alone, but it's an encouraging sign for Nintendo that its franchises still carry some weight.