As the Wii U (finally) made its Japanese debut on 8 December amid great fanfare, cosplay, and pizza, reviews sprang up across the internet like so many fireworks going off when Mario enters the little castle at the right time.
So it’s a little surprising to us and many other Nintendo fans when one woman’s review turned to rant at the device’s excruciatingly slow time to switch between some simple screens.
In the above video we can see her enter the menu screen promptly – so far, so good. Next, she simply touches the “setup” icon from the main menu screen.
Then we all wait.
A helpful timer on screen tells us that to enter the setup menu took a whopping 17 seconds to appear. Granted, 17 seconds doesn’t sound like a lot when reading it, but since most electronic devices should react within two seconds of touching a button, that’s a considerable wait.
Right after that, she pushes the icon to return to the menu screen – and we wait some more. It took even longer – 24 seconds in fact – to return to the menu screen. Megumi isn’t sure what’s causing this near minute-worth of waiting just to switch some screens.
“Maybe it’s the memory, or the OS… I don’t know” she ponders as the video comes to a close. Many commenters expressed their dismay at a Nintendo product doing such a thing.
Nintendo has held a long streak of streamlined game systems that lacked the annoying load times of their rivals.
It doesn’t look like this is a problem with just the Japanese machines either. About a month earlier, another video regarding the exact same problem was uploaded to the Internet:
It’s hard to see exactly what both of these people are doing with their Wii Us and determine if it’s the companies fault or theirs. According to comments in both parts of the world, though, they aren’t the only ones experiencing this issue.
Nevertheless it is painfully slow. Although this is a black mark against Nintendo, newly released game systems are almost always rushed and come with bugs and things to patch. A slow loading setup screen isn’t nearly as bad as, say, a system that completely dies leaving only a red ring to remember it by (<cough cough> Xbox 360). It also isn’t as problematic as a company constantly making you download updates to play each game, making all of us suffer for the few people who get bootleg copies of their games. That’s right, Playstation 3, we’re looking at you.
We’ll just have to see what else, if anything, the future has in store for the intrepid first wave of brave Wii U owners.