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Miyamoto - Wii U update will make the system 'much improved', Wii U vs. smartphones/tablets

A portion of a Time interview with Shigeru Miyamoto...

T: Let’s talk about the Wii U system updates. The Wii U launched with interface issues and missing applications, including slow load times for native apps. Why weren’t the slow load times caught before release, and why is the update to improve system performance taking until spring?

SM: It’s a tough question, certainly, but I think it’s also an accurate observation. For Wii U in particular I would say that in preparing the system for launch, it was a project on an unparalleled scale for Nintendo. We had multiple different teams working on multiple different segments of the hardware and its features simultaneously. Certainly we’d had experience with that type of development designing the 3DS, but with Wii U the scope of the project was far beyond our development of the 3DS hardware. And with many of those features, you don’t get a true sense for how they interact or where the advantages and disadvantages lie within the broader framework until you’re able to bring all the components together into a single unified system.

Even during the testing phase, it’s difficult to ascertain what facets of those interactions between the applications are resulting in inconveniences for the consumer until you have an opportunity for many people and lots of consumers to try these features out — to understand how they’re using those features and what they’re doing as they’re switching between them. Since the system was released, we’ve spent a great deal of time looking at how people are using it and where they feel it can be improved, and we’re currently continuing out preparations for this first major system update that’s coming. What we want to do is make sure that when we release it, that we address as many of the different opinions about how people would like to see the system improve as we can at once. We hope to cover a wide range of requests while simultaneously ensuring it’s a very stable update to the system.

T: Do you anticipate a significant performance upgrade to the Wii U interface itself?

SM: We think that by this summer, the system is going to be very much improved over how it’s performing currently. Of course when it comes to the actual hardware, those decisions have already been finalized, and one of the things we focused on in making those decisions was the speed of the connection between the Wii U system and the Wii U GamePad. We strongly feel the transfer speed between those two devices is so strong that it’s not something that can necessarily be achieved by other devices that haven’t been designed specifically with that in mind. So as we get into these other system-based updates, our anticipation is that because of the amount of effort we’ve dedicated to the GamePad’s wireless connection to the hardware, these additional improvements are going to make for an overall device that’s even more convenient to use.

T: How worried are you about the elephants already sharing the room with the Wii U, meaning tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices along with set-top boxes from players like Roku and Apple?

SM: I look at it from two different angles. One is how you can use a device like Wii U — to make an experience that up until now has happened on a single screen — into a better and more convenient experience. And I think that the Wii Street U powered by Google application we’ve recently released for Wii U is an example of how we’ve taken an existing application and really enhanced it through the use of Wii U and the GamePad.

I think the other goes back to, as I was mentioning before, the response time between the streaming of visuals from the Wii U hardware simultaneously to the TV and to the GamePad. Certainly from an interactive standpoint, when it comes to interactive content, because of the strength of that streaming capability of Wii U, my feeling is that the more you start to see other devices that are integrating connectivity with smartphones or tablets through special applications, the more that that’s simply going to illustrate the benefits of having Wii U because of the advantages it has in terms of its interactive elements and how the system streams graphics to the Wii U GamePad screen.

As people are using the system and getting familiar with everything it can do and really learning how to use Wii U and the GamePad, I think the last remaining hurdle for Wii U becomes one of storage in terms of being able to store media. But since we’ve designed the system in a way that allows people to simply add the amount of storage media they need to supplement Wii U, we think it essentially gives people the greatest flexibility within a single device to really make the most of their entertainment in the living room.

Full interview here

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14 total comments (View all)
User avatar
07 Mar 2013 16:02

Well, when offline my wii u loads much quicker (or at least it feels that way) and I recently haven't had much problems with the system despite me using it almost daily. There is room for improvement and I appreciate that they are working on in. I look forward to the update in a few months
User avatar
07 Mar 2013 16:20

So Miyamoto/Nintendo thought 20 second load times between each application was okay and fly by with consumers? :lol: wow...
User avatar
07 Mar 2013 16:35

mariomaniac45213 wrote:So Miyamoto/Nintendo thought 20 second load times between each application was okay and fly by with consumers? :lol: wow...


Miyamoto also once said that it wasn't possible to have online multiplayer for Pikmin 3?! I have respect for Miyamoto, but sometimes he can be a little too old school or take the simple way out of things. Nonethless, I always look forward to a Miyamoto project.
No Avatar
07 Mar 2013 18:34

I wonder what the differences are between the two updates :o... can't wait till that first one. I already love my Wii U as it is, though I wish there was like Miyamoto said, a more unified system than what we currently have. But if he mentioned it, they must be working on it hard so this should be interesting.
User avatar
07 Mar 2013 19:12

With these mystery updates I wonder if Nintendo is going to try to rerelease the wii u as a different system or operating system?

If Nintendo could pull it off it be a interesting strategy...

Would they , COULD THEY?! Nintendo pull that off, Guess we will have to wait & see.

My guess is it won't be a new wii u system, just a patched up operation system update, but I would luv to see them pull something like that under everyone's eyes, lol!

SO NOW WE WAIT... .. .
User avatar
07 Mar 2013 21:04

I hope one of those suggestions is making Wii mode not exist...

...that would be most satisfactory to have Wii games load properly and all download titles work from the home screen.
User avatar
07 Mar 2013 21:33

I don't really understand why some people think 20 seconds is some excruciating amount of time. I can't imagine what it feels like when you order a pizza or something and it takes an entire 20 minutes to cook it. That must be the epitome of hell. Would I like the load times to be shorter? Yes of course, but 20 seconds is a very short amount of time, I can't really complain.

And the idea of Phone games taking over console and handheld games is laughable at best. I finally upgraded to a smart phone this week, and it has made that fact even more apparent. Touch screen controls are terrible, pretty much unusable even. Plus, I've deleted every game I've tried because they waste my data while playing them even if I'm not playing online. It's also made me appreciate the resistive touch screen more. I know that's not really feasible to use on a phone because it's more easily damaged, but it's so much more accurate, and your finger and hand aren't covering half the screen. I've played quite a few of these games before, and nothing ever stood out as being great. I thought actually having one would make me appreciate them a little more, but the opposite has happened. I like some of the things the phone does, like checking the weather and maps, or looking something up on the internet, and of course calling and texting, but it's not going to be used much for playing games on.
User avatar
07 Mar 2013 23:56

Well as long as the April Update brings the VC service to the Wii U and I can redownload my games for a 1.00 and 1.50 a piece and N64 games for like 4 or 5 dollars a piece I will be just fine with how things go.
User avatar
08 Mar 2013 00:00

@Koopzilla
20 Seconds is really bad when you're trying to do various thing. It is especially bad when you accidentally click on an app.
User avatar
08 Mar 2013 01:35

Koopzilla wrote:I don't really understand why some people think 20 seconds is some excruciating amount of time. I can't imagine what it feels like when you order a pizza or something and it takes an entire 20 minutes to cook it. That must be the epitome of hell. Would I like the load times to be shorter? Yes of course, but 20 seconds is a very short amount of time.


Ok, now say you phoned your favorite pizza place to order a pizza. They used to take ten minutes and the pizza would be at your door. They opened a new location to much fanfare and you make an order. It takes ten hours to arrive. So you phone them and want to be put through to the old store you love and they send you to a switchboard where you wait for ten minutes more, and it's another ten minutes to get back the new store to tell them to "screw off I am never buying a pizza from you again". This is what its like to own a wii u.
User avatar
08 Mar 2013 02:30

Gakdudes wrote:
Koopzilla wrote:I don't really understand why some people think 20 seconds is some excruciating amount of time. I can't imagine what it feels like when you order a pizza or something and it takes an entire 20 minutes to cook it. That must be the epitome of hell. Would I like the load times to be shorter? Yes of course, but 20 seconds is a very short amount of time.


Ok, now say you phoned your favorite pizza place to order a pizza. They used to take ten minutes and the pizza would be at your door. They opened a new location to much fanfare and you make an order. It takes ten hours to arrive. So you phone them and want to be put through to the old store you love and they send you to a switchboard where you wait for ten minutes more, and it's another ten minutes to get back the new store to tell them to "screw off I am never buying a pizza from you again". This is what its like to own a wii u.

So your saying it takes the Wii U 60 times longer to open an app than the Wii took? I don't think so, but I never really timed it on the Wii, so maybe your right, but that would mean it took around .3 seconds. Not sure about where the calling back to say screw you part comes in unless you are going to call Nintendo up every time you start a game to tell them screw you before you play the game, but I can't imagine that taking less than 20 seconds. Still, I can't look at the 18 or so seconds it takes as a long amount of time. If it took 5 minutes to open, then yeah, but this is not even one third of a minute we are talking about. Sure I would like it to take .3 seconds, but I just can't complain about a 18 second wait. I own a Wii U and I have never thought, "god after this 18 second wait I will never buy another game for this thing again."
User avatar
08 Mar 2013 21:26

The calling back part was in reference to having to wait forever to go to wii mode in the wii U, then waiting again to go back to the wii u interface. The system is so far from the Wii it makes me angry they soiled the wii's reputation with this thing.

Maybe I'm just getting old and grumpy, but I would never let a vehicle I have worked on leave the shop is such a sorry state, it's like they have no pride in their work.
User avatar
09 Mar 2013 01:09

I still can't consider 20 seconds a long amount of time, and it doesn't really bother me. I can see what you are saying about releasing a product that is not entirely finished. I blame that on the internet though, and maybe even partly on peoples impatience these days. I think this is pretty much standard now, and it's going to be no different with the other consoles. Microsoft is probably the worst of all, they didn't even have the hardware itself finished for the 360 as far as I'm concerned, with all the hardware failures. The sad thing is people continued buying new ones to replace their old broken ones, not really sending the message that they want a quality piece of hardware that's built to last. I don't trust they are going to make quality hardware with the next X-Box either, because it worked out so well for them this time. And look at Windows, I would never buy a new version of Windows, because it takes a few years before they actually get it finished and most of the bugs worked out. I just got a new computer, and I had to buy a refurbished one because I don't want a crappy new Windows 8 on my computer (although in that case it's also the fact that I think Windows 8 will be garbage even when they get all the bugs worked out). It's the same with the games themselves. Companies are increasingly releasing games that are incomplete, untested, and sometimes completely unplayable. All because it can be updated at a later date, and people want the stuff now, not a finished game later. If they had waited to release the Wii U until they could fix the load times before shipping, people may well have lost interest. I miss the days when you could go buy an NES, and Super Mario Bros, and never have to update your system, or download patches because the game is incredibly buggy. Unfortunately I think those days are over. I won't even get started on how I feel about them releasing purposely unfinished games so they can charge you for the rest later, and requiring you to be online to even play games even if they are single player.
User avatar
09 Mar 2013 21:40

I think they are leaving a gap in the market, that could be snatched up with a quality system with a user friendly OS and online eco-system. They are taking a huge risk and leaving the door open to competitors. Time will tell.

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