Jan 31st, 2014

quick start menu wii u

Nintendo of Japan CEO Satoru Iwata’s corporate management policy briefing Wednesday night revealed several juicy details regarding the company’s plan to turn the Wii U around —a key highlight being a renewed focus on the gamepad.

In addition to announcing a shift in company resources towards further development of the gamepad’s NFC capabilities, as well an increase in gamepad-focused marketing, Nintendo revealed that it plans to release a new software feature this summer dubbed the quick start menu.

Nintendo stressed that the idea behind developing the quick start menu was to simultaneously cut down on load times while reinforcing the off-TV play functionality of the gamepad. The following was taken directly from the company’s brief:

“…one of the major benefits of the GamePad is that we can easily play video games without using the TV, and this has been well received. Unfortunately, however, after starting up Wii U, there is a wait of over 20 seconds before we can select a video game title, and hence it is not an ideal situation for users now. …We think that this function will make you feel that the time to start up a Wii U software title is cut by more than 50 percent, and that it will also lead to more Wii U users understanding the appealing nature of the GamePad.”

As you can see in the video below, when the gamepad is first turned on the quick start menu allows users to choose from a list of recently played games (and possibly any software). Upon making a selection the Wii U menu is bypassed and the user is taken directly to the game.

These are the types of software innovations Nintendo desperately needs to prove it knows exactly what makes the gamepad worth while. There’s undoubtedly a lot of hidden potential for that second screen, though I don’t mind playing Mario Kart 8 while I wait for the summer update!


What do you guys think about the quick start menu? What ideas do you have for the gamepad?


local_offer    Nintendo  wii u  
  • Luciano

    That’s reminds me the old way to put the cartridge on the SNES and power on the console.
    Good feelings,thanks Nintendo,sometimes I just want to do this directly!

  • Captinn2

    Looks great. Can’t wait for the update.
    This is reminding me a lot of the Playstation 1 days…

    • D.M.T

      We don’t need achievements, we just want achievements. The Wii U doesn’t need fake awards/trophies. The only purpose of achievements is bragging rights and Nintendo is about having fun, nothing more and nothing less.

      • Captinn2

        Hm….good point. 😛 NO ACHIEVEMENTS IT IS THEN!

        • DarkK

          Besides, some developers add their own “achievements” in their games. Take Nintendo Land and Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed for examples, they have this “stamps” or “stickers” that you unlock by completing a certain task. The fact that the Wii U doesn’t have an achievement system gives the developers the freedom of choosing whether they want to put achievements in their games or not.

          • Captinn2

            And The Wonderful 101 has 101 Bottle-Caps(Achievements)!

  • Old School

    I will say the Wii U has been extremely slow on start up but happy to know this can be improved. I use the Wii U to play Mario Kart Wii (bored of Pikmin, SM3D and NSMBU) and if you hold B it is supposed to be a “shortcut” to quickly access the Wii menu. Well it’s the longest menu shortcut I have ever seen! It takes just as long if I didn’t use this “shortcut”

    Looking forward to the update 🙂

  • LJay

    “Unfortunately,however after starting the WiiU,there is a wait of over 20 seconds before you can select a video game titile”

    Over 20 seconds!thats completely outrageous!-it absolutely amazes how impatient can be these days.

    • Captinn2

      Yeah. Blame it on how quickly we get our stuff and stuff on the internet.

      • Shy Guy

        And yet my PC still takes about twenty seconds to load up as well.

    • RyuNoHadouken

      that is way too long to start a game…you know the Wii U is slow all across the board…

      • Stephen Davis

        This is unacceptable by any standards. I am patient and frankly it doesn’t bother me. But come on, I mean its unacceptable in todays standards.

        • NintendoNoob

          OH NO ONE MINUTE!! THAT’S SIXTY SECONDS THAT SUCKS HORRIBLY!!! Commercial breaks are 2 minutes long and no one complains about those but when a console takes 30 seconds to boot up people rant, wow I’m sad for our societies lack of patience

          • paddle008

            30 minutes?

          • Daniel Brown

            I used to complain about commercial breaks all the time. Back when I had TV…

    • Mario

      Tell me about it.

    • Stephen

      See, I know what you mean here, but think about it.

      SNES. You boot it up, you’re in the game playing it within about 10 seconds. I’m astonished at how fast it is every time I pop in DKC2 and boom, I’m in. Same with the N64, but it’s about 30 seconds.
      GameCube, about a minute.
      Wii… maybe 2 or 3 minutes.

      Wii U? 3, maybe 4 minutes before you can actually get into the gameplay.

      PS3, 360, etc, are all just as bad. We’re talking 5 minutes on some of the biggest games these days. It’s pretty bad, honestly.

      I understand, the more complex games, hardware, and operating systems become, the more time it will take to load it all up, but still. There’s something to be said for fast loading times, and programmers (for the systems’ OS and/or the actual game programmers) COULD do better, given the time and effort.

      Don’t just call everyone impatient. Loading times (if not JUST for the main operating system on a console that is all about games) really do matter. Reducing the time you have to wait to choose a game to play on Wii U is a good thing.

      • paddle008

        Wii isn’t that slow.

        • Levi Johansen

          He is talking about the menus in the game.
          How long it takes from turning on the system until you’re actually playing.

          With the SNES, it really is 0 seconds, because it starts up right into the game, but it would usually take a few seconds to see the company logo and then selecting 1 or 2 players before the gameplady started.

          EDIT: Spelling correction.

          • Stephen

            Right. I’m talking about how console OS’s and game menus/loading have become much slower over the years.

            As I stated, the more complex games/consoles become, the longer it will take to load it all. Sure. But again, as I said, developers (console OS devs and gamedevs) COULD reduce the loading times significantly with enough time and effort.

            Nintendo games, though, as always, don’t really have massive loading screens and all that. Nintendo games have always loaded up probably at least 50% faster than other games. They put the time and effort into making everything in their games load efficiently ( = quickly).

            But still, even Nintendo games have gotten slower over the years. And they should have. You couldn’t make a 10GB game load up in 10 seconds like an old SNES game.

            I’m just fed up with how long these consoles’ OS’s take to load, then you have to “choose” the game (that’s in the drive already) and then most games have insanely long loading times, dozens of menus before you can even get into the game.

            Just wish things loaded more efficiently like Nintendo games, heh. :p

            Sorry for the rant.

          • Wagner Pinto Macedo

            No, no. You don’t need to apologize. I totally agree with both you and LJay. It’s ridiculous how people can wait weeks for a job interview, to get a doctor’s appointment, start a course or make a significant change in their lives, but they can’t wait an extra day for a delivery of a new gadget, a few minutes to get a ticket to a concert, a few minutes to see a friend without having to text them on the way (and possibly crash the car), or in this case, 1-2 extra minutes to entertains themselves? Go get a fricking glass of water or read a news headline while you wait!
            Having said that, I don’t agree with the fact that we are getting ridiculously advanced graphics and complex games that take forever to run on the console that’s only meant to do that and we pay 400-500 bucks for state of the art hardware just to be given constant loading screens. What’s the point of the games being so hardcore fast paced if every 5 minutes you have to wait a minute staring at the screen? BS!!
            I do think it’s a great move for the WiiU to get that improvement but I wish the loading times within games, no matter what console, would be better. I love Lego City but it drive me nuts how much loading time there is!

          • paddle008

            If you go fast enough you can be racing in Mario Kart Wii in less than 2 minutes. 1 Minute if you’re REALLY quick.

  • Andrew W Garttmeyer

    I could care less about the load times, what I DO care about is getting it to extend the range of connecting to the Wii U from a bit farther away.

    • Fred

      I would also love that. I have a 1,200 square foot house, you’d think I’d be able to use the GamePad anywhere inside a house that small, but you can’t. Also It’d be super cool if I could take it outside so that I could play Nintendo outside (I do play 3DS out in the back yard, but I’d rather play Wii U)

      • RichM

        I live in 1050 sqft and it doesn’t work in my bedroom which is maybe 25ft away.

        • Fred

          Ouch, mine covers most of my house. It doesn’t cover my bedroom, but I’m sure it’s because the Wii U is in one corner of the house and my bed is in the opposite corner. It would have to go through 4 walls. I’d love for them to come out with some kind of GamePad Range Extender. I’d buy it!

        • Stephen Davis

          Just take it hook it up to a wall in your room. And play away. As you don’t need a TV to play it ya know. Insert the disc and your good to go. Might need extension cord for you controller though – the battery doesn’t last long, as you might already know.

    • palomino blue

      I can’t even leave the room that my Wii U lives in, almost defeating the purpose of off screen play.

      • Levi Johansen

        Place the Wii U closer to the window or in plain sight of the window.

        After doing this, I could play in any room that has a window facing in the same direction.

    • Justin Carlson

      While I agree that it would be nice to have greater range. I noticed there is a large difference in my home if I have the Wii U in my TV cabinet VS sitting on top of it. If it’s on top I get much greater range.

      • Andrew W Garttmeyer

        Ill try that, but do I have to keep the bathroom door open too?

        • Justin Carlson

          Whatever it takes!

      • Will W

        I’ve never really had a problem…. I can play without trouble, If I sit on the couch, which is pretty far away, through thick concrete walls…

    • Norfair20X5

      I don’t want to be “That Guy” but didn’t you mean that you couldn’t care less? It sort of changes how you mean your statement.

      • Andrew W Garttmeyer

        Is what you are asking, ‘but did not you mean that you couldn’t care less?’ or, ‘but did you mean that you couldn’t care less?’

        You clearly wanted to be that guy.

        I don’t care about load times. I do care about extended range with the pad. Clear?

        • Norfair20X5

          Nicely done, Andrew.

    • Akatosh

      Only if they give the option to turn the GamePad off. The only way right now to turn it off (excluding dead batteries) is to break the connection.

  • Stephen Davis

    How about giving us two things we have been asking since the birth of this console. Nintendo Network ID’s NOT tied to console and being able to play music from our media devices in game. I swear I love you Nintendo but your thinking is so frustrating. I mean I would take getting 3rd party support back and working on the online to be competitive with xbox live instead of putting 5 yr old DS games on there…Sometimes I wonder. I am no Ceo and don’t pretend to be but I think Mr. Iwata has lost his edge or is ignorant to what it is people really want. I always feel like Nintendo just dips there toe in the water but never really was interested in going in. There I said it.

    • Shy Guy

      Would you rather Nintendo do like many other companies and say they’re going to do a dozen different things to hype people up, then only end up doing half of them?

      • Stephen Davis

        At least it would be a start. Rather take half than whatever crumbs are left over after they decide to postpone it again and again. Then when it releases its done half assed.

        • Shy Guy

          One should not fault Nintendo for postponing games, if you want rushed games go play a third party console, they’re loaded with them. Nintendo games can not afford to be rushed, could you imagine the backlash if the next Legend of Zelda game were rushed and people found a bunch of bugs in it?

          • Guest

            You assumed I was meaning games. I am not. I know the transition to HD has been hard on them. We all know that. I am talking about the core that makes up WIIU. Issues that should have been dealt with a year ago. But still plague it to this day.

          • Shy Guy

            I’m not really seeing any sort of core hardware issues I believe need to be dealt with, care to name some?

    • dubYA

      At the recent investor’s meeting, Iwata said they’ll be implemting unified accounts in the future.

      • Stephen Davis

        And when is the future? Always in the future when you say it like that. He should say look heres what were doing. We are working on online, getting 3rd party’s back, and in final tests to fix issues of slow loading times and freezing during gameplay. We expect to have this done by X date, but no later than X date.

  • Paul Douglas Lovell

    Slightly off topic…. Why when you have a pad screen that can be hidden as you would a hand of cards are there no POKER games. And on that tip. why not remake versions of board games. TOP TRUMPS basically any game that hides things from other players. Shove 200 remakes together hosted by Mario and there you go….

    • Shy Guy

      Sounds like good third party or even indie opportunities I’d be interested in as well. I can think of at least a dozen different board games that would work well with a touchscreen, and a port of PokerTH or other poker game with a similar interface would work very well with the Wii U’s touchscreen.

  • Fred

    It’s official, no earthshattering January Nintendo Direct like we got last year. That stinks I was really hoping for one.

  • Dáibhí wotshissurname

    Wow, I’m really surprised by how seriously Iwata’s taking this financial situation. This is exciting, and I think Ninty will make a profit this year if they try that bit harder..

  • Noel Canales

    You know the could corner the UNIVERSAL TV REMOTE market if they also marketed that is the best remote ever and can control anything. Just a thought and probably pretty easy with an app. Need more apps like MLBTV.

  • cThreep

    This is good news for me, I almost always play games in the off-tv mode. Being married and having a kid doesn’t usually permit much time to play games anyways, so it’s nice to be able to just pick up the game pad and play a game for 20 minutes here and there if the TV is being used or we’re just about to go somewhere.

  • Sdudyoy

    Although I’m a patient person and have never been affected by the load times, this is still going to be somthing I use alot.

  • Nathan Charles Foley

    one thing I want this year is a espn app that Nintendo tvii is crap!

  • Guest

    I love The Wii U Gampad.

  • Xero Azure

    I love the Wii U GamePad.

  • Simon Stevens

    Pathetic if this is all they can do with an update, too slow on Nintendo’s part, we need better features than this, such as a subsidy to FLASH PLAYER for the browser, or FLASH PLAYER itself, maybe a Facebook app with the ability to play Facebook games?, anything remotely useful.

    • Shy Guy

      Doesn’t the browser have HTML5 support? I thought Flash was slowly being phased out and replaced with HTML5.

      • Simon Stevens

        Not in my experience, can’t watch footy links, certain pornos, videos from various sites etc, it’s crock

        • Shy Guy

          1/ for watching porn on a Wii U hahaaaa

    • Pablo Lavín

      Are you okay? Why facebook games if you can play Super Mario 3D W, Wonderful 101, Pikmin 3, many indie games, and many VC games? C’mon, Candy Crush?

      BTW: Flash on the browser supporting videostreaming, that sounds way interesting

      • Simon Stevens

        My kid would play them, and does play them, enjoys them on the big screen when I plug my phone in, you’d be surprised just how many people that would appeal to, it’s got nothing to do with those games you stated, we own them and play them, but when your main controller is essentially a tablet, it’s good to make use of it, as for VC games, nah, overpriced, got all the indies though, when I have nothing else to play, I simpy blow the dust off the original Wii and get my gamecube games out.

    • LJay

      Facebook games!!!?? Are you actually kidding me!??lmao!

      • Simon Stevens

        Somebody could say that to you about Nintendo games, so don’t be that guy, my son loves those games, he’d love them on the Wii U, simple as that.

  • Sheiky Baby

    Everyone I’ve showed the Wii U menu to, always thinks it’s the Wii Menu, and they hate it. If you compare this menu/OS to the other next gen consoles, it really makes it look outdated. While I love the simplicity of, I do feel it needs an overhaul.

  • YiyeUniverseMB

    I think they should re-do the Wii U logo on startup. It’s a bit like Nintendo’s attitude to the console, an “oh, it’s here.”-not much of a fanfare, not even any motion. I think they should do something akin to what Microsoft does with the XBox by adding some motion to the logo-maybe the U could appear like it does in the commercials or they could have the animation on the TV and gamepad different but tie in. Say they go with the Wii U logo bursting onto the screen, a watery reflection of it could be shown on the gamepad or something like that. The startup just seems a bit…weak.

    • Shy Guy

      Ya trying to boot the system to use it, or watch a startup movie? 😛
      Seriously though, I am of the opposite opinion, often companies spend too much time and effort making overly stylized splash screens that are only on the screen for a few seconds, sometimes splash screens can take several seconds just to “play”.

      If every time I turn on an electronic it has to play a 10 second production of So Long and Thanks for all the Fish, wouldn’t it be better to just show a simple screen and get to using the product that much quicker?

  • A SNES Day Off

    This is exactly the kind of functionality that the console should have shipped with. The problem of course is that, in hindsight, Nintendo didn’t fully appreciate that gaming should be the primary focus of the Wii U. They probably regret even developing TVii…

    Let’s make this baby boot like a classic console!

    • Shy Guy

      Could have been much worse, they could have tried to make the console a cable box that also plays games and watches you sleep like Microsoft did.

      • LJay

        Haha!-virtual bro-fist!

    • Christian Schoff

      I like my TVii and Amazon and YouTube thank you very much.

  • Not to bother about boot time but I’d use features like the mii verse much more if it loaded faser

  • Sam

    I don’t like it.

  • Norfair20X5

    This is pretty snazzy. It was already nice to be able to boot to the Wii menu.

  • ZeldaFan83

    Well it used to take longer before previous updates and considering the Xbox One and PS4 literally load up instantaneously it’s fair to say that the Wii U should load faster.

  • ZeldaFan83

    I am curious to see what other improvements come with this Summer update. Iwata only outlined the Quick Start Menu but did state that there will be other features with this update as well…hmm…I am intrigued.

    • C4

      Hopefully saving screenshots to OS, without Miiverse or browser upload. That’s all I need.

      • ZeldaFan83

        Too bad Wii U doesn’t have a game dvr feature like other consoles to record and upload videos to Miiverse.

  • Guest

    It’s seems quite a bit faster than it is to get into a game now. Also looks faster than I get into a game on PS4. So what are people comparing the speed to who think it’s too slow?

    • FutureFox

      The speed of their mighty imaginations apparently.

  • MrTravan

    From that video they got to the game faster than my current Wii U and my PS4. So what are people who think it takes to long comparing it to? No game console of this planet.

  • Justagamer

    That’s cool

  • Jonathan Dogey

    I don’t think this is a feature I’m going to particularly care About.

  • Wiiluigi

    Why can’t this be a spring update. Gr

    • Christian Schoff

      Good lord. Never good enough huh?

  • Christian Schoff


  • steve

    party chat is what we want now, not loading a game alittle quicker.

  • Drewtlo

    I would love some sort of signal repeater or range extender for the gamepad so that I can play a game from another room.

  • jhell

    notification on the tv