Wii U firmware update 4.0.0 U released
posted on 09.30.13 at 09:54 PM EDT by (@salromano)
Use the GamePad as your Wii title TV screen.

Nintendo has updated Wii U to firmware version 4.0.0 U.

The update adds a host of new features, including the ability to use the Wii U GamePad as a TV screen to play Wii software. Other additions include USB keyboard support and the ability to upload screenshots to the internet browser during gameplay.

Find the full list of changes below.

New Features:

  • A feature to output video and sound to the Wii U GamePad when using Wii Mode¹
  • Users can choose to output to the TV and GamePad, or just the TV
  • A feature to automatically receive recommended software and demo titles from Nintendo using SpotPass
  • Support for USB keyboards
  • An option to disable use of a Nintendo Network ID on non-Nintendo hardware, such as PCs and smartphones
  • Support for Dolby Pro Logic II Surround Sound when playing Wii software

Changes to Wii U Menu:

  • Added a friend list icon to the Wii U Menu for easier access to the Friend List

Changes to System Settings:

  • An option to automatically receive recommended software is now available under “Internet”
  • A setting to select which cable outputs sound is available through “TV”
  • Users can choose to output sound through an HDMI cable, non-HDMI cable, or both cables at the same time. Click here for instructions
  • A setting to adjust the hourly interval in which standby functions are performed is available under “Power Settings” when Standby Functions are enabled

Changes to Wii U Chat:

  • Added the option to view a friend’s profile on Miiverse when sending or receiving a chat request
  • Users can now chat using a headset connected to the Wii U GamePad

Changes to Internet Browser:

  • Pressing the R or L Buttons on the Wii U GamePad will skip video playback forward/back a small amount of time
  • Holding the R Button will speed up video playback
  • Ability to save username and passwords for websites that require login²
  • Ability to launch the Internet Browser during gameplay and upload screenshots
  • Added support for viewing PDF files³
  • Added features intended for website developers that allow the user to enable developer tools and set user agent

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 Wii software displayed on the Wii U GamePad cannot be controlled by the GamePad. This feature only allows Wii software to be displayed on the GamePad. A Wii Remote Plus or Wii Remote is required to play Wii software titles.

² Users can delete saved usernames and passwords from the Internet Browser settings.

³ Sometimes data may not be displayed correctly depending on the size and format of the PDF file. PDF files cannot be saved.

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  • $18114340

    Usability improvements. Nice. Subtle but it’s a good way of ensuring that your existing customers can be satisfied with your product. Off-TV Wii play sounds especially attractive. If I can find a 8GB on clearance I might be tempted enough to snag one on the spot.

  • Sevyne

    The off-tv option for wii games sounds like a neat idea, but without actual support of gamepad buttons I’m missing the point. The screen is just way too tiny to place on a stand on play as if on a tv. When playing off-tv you want to hold it close like you are playing a portable device. I’ll give it a test run though. Maybe I’m overthinking it.

    Oh, and an obligatory “Add an account system please” comment here.

    • $18114340

      It might be okay for Virtual Console titles that would look terrible on large screens anyway. I think it’s a neat addition that has really niche uses but you’re right in that having support for Gamepad buttons would have made more sense from a usability standpoint. I don’t know if they would have been able to do that though, since many Wii games do not have support for non-Wii Remote configurations anyway. It would have been cool if they could set the Gamepad to emulate a Classic Controller.

      • Sevyne

        Yup, I’d never expect it to work with the Nunchuck/Wiimote motion controls, but for games with Classic Controller support it would have been really neat if they worked on the Gamepad. Hey, for all we know, maybe they are working towards that. Definitely seeing lots of improvements.

        • $18114340

          Well in the meantime if you’re playing Virtual Console games it’ll be just like the 90s all over again! Squinty-squinty.

          • Sevyne

            Haha! Too true! Playing the classics in classic fashion.

    • papermario

      At least Nintendo Offers BC at all……..ps4 and one dont even have that

      • $18114340

        Considering that Microsoft and Sony have both been looking into streaming services, the possibility of some form of non-native backwards compatibility is actually fairly likely.

        Nintendo’s unique architecture is their strong suit, since it allows them to customize their consoles to their needs, including their recent tendency (as of the last two generations) to support back-compatibility. But it wasn’t always this way and whether it’s truly a benefit (in terms of financial value both to the company and to the consumer) is open for debate.

        • papermario

          Looking into, and having? seperate matters.

      • Kefkiroth

        They can’t because their previous consoles have much different architectures, and emulation would be dreadful.
        At least they care about it, if the streaming services are any indication.

        • AdamBoy64

          I actually think the ‘Wii Mode’ on Wii U is pretty awful, to be honest.

          I’ve just kept the Wii set up for Wii Games.
          The BC on Wii U is nothing to write home about.

          • John Gallacher

            how? its pretty simple

          • fallen

            What don’t you like about the ‘Wii Mode’? I’ll be getting a Wii U solely for DKC Returns 2 this Fall, so I’m curious about what to expect in terms of BC.

            • AdamBoy64

              Well, the first thing to note, it’s not well integrated into the Wii U system. It’s basically, start this mode and the console will reboot itself into Wii Mode.

              It feels similiar to how the Wii acheived GameCube compatibility.

              Secondly, I’ve never had any console (or game mode) lag on my TV. (I’m saying that to state something about the Wii U, not brag about a TV).

              However, I get lag from the ‘Wii Mode’ on Wii U, whereas I never have from any other console.

              So I don’t know what they’ve done – maybe it’s the upscaling that’s causing it? Or perhaps it’s just the way it’s emulated? It’s not a huge amount of lag, but it is there.

              So even though Wii U has BC and the others don’t, I think when/if PS4 gets backwards compatibility it will be fully integrated into the PS4 operating system / all the services, and it’ll be a lot easier to use than Nintendo’s BC.

              In summary I’d say if you have a Wii console, use that instead. If not, the BC on Wii U is usable – like you’d get use to it, not a worry – but it’s not quite as good as actually playing it on the Wii.

              To be fair, it is a good sign for the future that they’re adding Wii U GamePad functionality to the ‘Wii Mode’, that’s really neat. As in, unbelievably fantastic. And it might make me rethink what I’ve said here. Here’s hoping.

              • fallen

                Thank you!! Lag, even a small amount, totally kills most games for me — especially platformers, the genre which describes most of my favorite games for the Wii. A lot of people just don’t notice lag, or can account for it mentally. But when we’re talking about games I have on VC like the Super Mario Bros. series, playing which are basically about as natural to my body as breathing, accounting for it mentally isn’t a desirable option.

                I won’t include “backwards compatibility” in my list of reasons to buy a Wii U, then, until such a time as it is improved. Many thanks for saving me the disappointment, AdamBoy64!

                • AdamBoy64

                  No worries man.

                  I was in the end, able to reduce the lag quite a lot by putting my TV in some odd mode. However, that basically made the colours look really bad. And, as I kind of stated previously, no other time (incl. the Wii normally) have I had to activate this mode.

                  My suggestion would be, particularly if you’re planning to play some Wii Games (and there’s some gems out there), would be to even just pick up an old one second-hand. Should be fairly cheap, and worth the expense if you’ll be doing a lot of Wii gaming.

      • Sevyne

        Could you not turn this into one of those topic please? It’s annoying. This isn’t a war. Can’t we just talk about Nintendo’s system without comparing and bashing another?

  • AdamBoy64

    Being able to choose your sound output, or output to multiple sources, is a neat feature. That’s really good.

  • SuperLuigi

    Played some Xenoblade and Paper Mario while laying in my bed…I love this update!

    • almostautumn

      Must have looked and felt pretty strange

      • SuperLuigi

        Not really. I have a nightstand right beside my bed and I set the gamepad on it’s stand there. I wouldn’t imagine playing a motion control game though haha. That would be a nightmare in bed.

  • Zackasaur

    I got super excited about the Wii games being playable on the GamePad… Until I learnt that it’s pointless. I’d have to set up the tiny controller on a table and get my Wii Remote out to play them… Which requires the Wii Sensor Bar… Which is under the television… Pointless.

    If Wii games playable with the Classic Controller were playable on the GamePad truly, that would have been awesome.

    • SuperLuigi

      The gamepad has a sensor so you do not need a tv at all.

    • Sevyne

      The Gamepad’s camera actually also acts as a sensor. No need for the actual bar.

      I agree on the second part about classic controller support going to the Gamepad though. Would be awesome.

      • Zackasaur

        Okay, thanks! That’s good news, at least.

        Despite that, I still have no use for this. I’m not looking for a mini-tv. I’d have liked some Xenoblade I can carry around my house.

        • Sevyne

          Ha! That’s exactly what I was thinking. I would have loved to just lay around in bed with Xenoblade right in the palm of my hands.

  • Bob Obb

    “Wii software displayed on the Wii U GamePad cannot be controlled by the
    GamePad. This feature only allows Wii software to be displayed on the
    GamePad. A Wii Remote Plus or Wii Remote is required to play Wii
    software titles.”

    What’s the point then?

    • AdamBoy64

      I guess Virtual Console titles. But yeah, seems a bit impractical for most Wii titles.

  • HeatPhoenix

    They should’ve waited until it had gamepad support.

  • Elvick

    Dang, on 4.0 already?

    This is one thing I never understand. Some people complain about all the firmware updates we get, but I don’t see the problem. More features and improvements are a good thing.