Nintendo has released a major system update for the Wii U, updating the system’s firmware to version 5.0.0. This update introduces features that Iwata had previously mentioned during Nintendo’s investor briefing in February, the most notable addition being the quick start menu. The quick start menu allows for users to access recently played or recently installed games without having to go through the main system menu, effectively speeding up the Wii U’s start-up time and overall system speed.

Another new feature added through this update is GamePad Alerts. Users can opt in to receive alerts from Nintendo directly on their Wii U GamePad, even while the Wii U is powered down. Other useful updates were included, including the ability for the console to install system updates while it is in standby mode, improvements to the overall system stability, and more.

Below are the full update notes from Nintendo:

Version 5.0.0 U, available via an Internet connection, includes the following improvements:

New Features:

  • A Quick Start Menu is now displayed when users press the GamePad POWER Button or HOME Button to power on the Wii U
    • Users can start recently played or newly installed software directly from the Quick Start Menu *1
  • Wii U GamePad Alerts (special notifications from Nintendo) can be displayed on the GamePad when the Wii U is powered down
    • Users will be notified with an audio ringtone when a new GamePad Alert is displayed
    • GamePad Alerts that have been received can also be viewed through the Quick Start Menu*2

Changes to Standby Functions:

  • System updates will now automatically install after download when the Wii U is in Standby

Changes to the Wii U Menu:

  • The User Settings screen now displays when users select their User Mii from the Wii U Menu
  • The design and layout of the Users Settings screen has been updated
    • This includes the ability to switch the active user from the User Settings screen

Changes to System Settings:

  • Quick Start Menu options have been added to Power Settings
    • Wii U GamePad Alert options are located within the Quick Start Menu options

Changes to the HOME Menu

  • A Notification icon is now available on the HOME Menu, allowing users to launch the Notifications feature from the HOME Menu

Improvements to system stability and usability:

  • Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience

(*1) The Quick Start Menu is only displayed when the Wii U GamePad POWER or HOME Buttons are pressed. Other controllers, such as the Wii Remote Plus and Wii U Pro Controller, will continue to power on the Wii U

(*2) Wii U GamePad Alerts are different from the notifications received via the Wii U Notifications feature. Wii U GamePad Alerts settings can be changed via Power Settings located in System Settings.”

  • CEObrainz

    This feature works wonders, but the best thing about it is the auto-update function that will hopefully install all those updates when I’m sleeping, ultimately saving me time in the future.

    I’d really like to see on-screen notifications when friends come online, this is a feature that can seen everywhere and should be implemented into the Wii U OS.

  • Alex

    Downloaded and installed the update for myself, and the Wii U definitely feels faster and snappier than before. Nintendo has been doing a really good job with optimizing the system software, and I’m sure it’ll get even faster and more stable with future updates.

  • TheSkeletonMan939 .

    I downloaded it, and quickly realized that it somehow took the video and audio quality for me down a notch. The sound is all congested, and there are jagged edges everywhere. Colors look washed-out too. I’ve triple-checked my HDMI cable and my Wii U settings, and they’re exactly as they should be.

    Is anyone else having this problem? Is anyone aware of any possible solutions?