Nintendo’s Long Lines Extend From the Store to Software Downloads in the Home

Nintendo has confirmed that the Wii U’s software patch that is necessary to access most of the game console’s online features will take more than a hour for customers to download.

Additionally, the company said it is planning on restocking store shelves by Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, in time for the holiday rush. Inventory sold out quickly in most stores after it went on sale on Sunday. (In other words, long waits in the store and time-consuming updates at home before a game can be played.)

In response to questions about long wait times for mandatory system updates, Nintendo issued the following statement:

It may take an hour or more to perform the system update — the time required depends on the speed of your Internet connection. Powering off the console during the update may damage your system. The update enables numerous features including Miiverse, Wii U Chat and the eShop, which provides the ability to download video-on-demand applications.

On Sunday, customers reported on Twitter and Facebook that they are experiencing long waits for mandatory software updates, with download times reaching as much as four or five hours. Other customers noted how long it took to flip between applications and to load messages in Miiverse, the gaming console’s social network.

Overall, the game launch has not gone as smoothly as the videogame company would have liked. In addition to the large updates, Nintendo had to push out the launch of other core features of the console, including its own TVii service, which allows customers to access their TV guide from the GamePad controller and to change the channel from their set-top box. Those services won’t be available until December, possibly still in time for those who hope to give or receive the console on Christmas morning.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus