Nintendo Wii U Update Released, Promises Faster Functionality

Nintendo Wii U

The Nintendo Wii U update that fans have been waiting for is now available for download, as Nintendo released a press announcement this morning regarding the excellent news.

Along with faster load times and improved performance, as well as setting the table for the upcoming Wii U Virtual Console service, this update has a bunch of improvements.

“Wii U continues to grow and evolve with new features that make it a better experience for everyone,” said Nintendo of America’s president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime. “Now owners can navigate to their favorite games and services even faster, or play some of their favorite classic games.”

Here are the updates, as stated in the press release:

  • The time required to start the Wii U console, launch built-in applications, exit software and return to the main menu, jump between applications, and jump between software and Miiverse has been reduced.
  • While the Wii U logo is being displayed during the system startup, users can directly transition to the Wii Menu by holding down the B Button on the Wii U GamePad.
  • Users can install games and applications from the Nintendo eShop in the background while other software is being used.
  • When powering off during a download, Wii U will go into a standby mode, then power off when all downloads and installations are complete.
  • Users can transfer and copy data between two USB storage devices in Data Management. This allows users the opportunity to upgrade or replace a current USB storage device that is connected to the Wii U Console.
  • Users can control the priority of their downloads when downloading multiple items at once.
  • Improved account selection when powering on the system now displays Nintendo Network IDs to clearly distinguish accounts.
  • TV screen size output can now be adjusted in the System Settings.
  • An Undo/Redo button was added to the Miiverse drawing input screen.

It’s the hugest update since the console’s launch last November, and it’s great to see the Nintendo Wii U gain positive momentum with E3 just around the corner.

Once you download the Nintendo Wii U update, we’d love to know what you think of all the improvements.  Feel free to comment below!

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The Smurfs 2 Goes Platforming Crazy In July & Offers Extra Wii U Feature

The Smurfs 2

Columbia Pictures is releasing The Smurfs 2 on July 31st, and in the same month those diminutive blue creatures are headed to the video game world. The title will be released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii U, the Wii, and the Nintendo DS.

The Smurfs 2 is an adventure platformer in which players relive moments and immerse themselves in environments which were featured in the movie. Locations in the game include stops at New York City and Paris, as well as new worlds such as the Arctic Tundra and the Lava Jungle.  The DS version differs from the other consoles, as it is a collection of mini-games.

Gamers can either play solo or multiplayer mode with up to four users playing simultaneously.

The big video game news, however, is the interesting addition that is exclusive to the Nintendo Wii U.  Owners of the console get an extra bonus, as a fifth player can be added by controlling Clockwork Smurf on the Wii U GamePad.

Featuring over 30 levels, players can choose among nine Smurfs that were featured in the movie (Papa Smurf and Grouch Smurf are among the playable characters).

“By collaborating with Sony Pictures on the iconic Smurfs license again we are able to extend the experience from film to immersive gameplay,” said Ubisoft worldwide licensing VP Christian Salomon. “The family friendly The Smurfs 2 video game will allow players of all ages to continue the fun and revel in new adventures.”

Sony and Ubisoft previously collaborated on the 2011 title The Smurfs Dance Party.

Smurfs 2 (Sony Pictures Animation)As for the actual movie, expect another exceptional box-office return.  The first film took in $560 million worldwide!!

Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays reprise their live action roles for the sequel, and voice actors Katy Perry and Hank Azaria return as Smurfette and Gargamel, respectively.

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Ubisoft Unveils Watch Dogs Box Art & PlayStation 4 Screen Shots

Watch Dogs (Ubisoft) One of my favorite moments from this week’s PlayStation Meeting came from Ubisoft, which showed off their upcoming PlayStation 4 title Watch Dogs (it’s actually spelled out as Watch_Dogs, but I like showing both iterations!).   Also set to be available on the PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii U, Xbox 360, and Windows PC, the title centers on Aiden Pearce, a vigilante who has hacked into Chicago’s central operating system.

With the ability to control every security element of the city, Aiden also uses people’s valuable information to help him achieve his ultimate and currently unknown goal.  Our masked antihero  looks menacing from the Box Art that was just released this morning, so don’t expect me to hit Chicago anytime soon. I’m pretty sure Mr. Pearce has deadly accuracy with a gun, but whatever his smart phone is accessing is bound to be even more dangerous.

Although Ubisoft didn’t release final box art for the PS4, here’s a comment from CEO Yves Guillemot on the game’s prospects: “Ubisoft has a strong history of supporting new technologies and creative offerings.  The power and capability of the PS4 allows the Watch_Dogs team to further push the boundaries of what was previously thought possible in interactive entertainment.”

This open world action adventure has me hooked, and even though I’ll probably get tired of spelling it out as Watch_Dogs, that minor irritation is more than made up for the visuals we’re being offered on its PlayStation 4 version (see below).

Are you excited for Watch_Dogs and its vision of a paranoid Chicago society? What other PlayStation 4 titles are you looking forward to? Feel free to comment – we’d love to hear your thoughts!



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Posted by @GregSrisavasdi

‘Assassin’s Creed III’ Unloads Its Tyranny With ‘The Infamy’ DLC

Assassin's Creed III DLC (The Infamy)Ubisoft announced the launch of The Infamy, the first installment of the three part Assassin’s Creed III The Tyranny of King Washington downloadable content series.

The first episode, simply titled The Infamy, of the DLC has Ratonhnhake:ton awakening from a dream to discover that a corrupt George Washington is the new leader of the United States of America. The second and third installments, titled The Betrayal and The Redemption, are set for a March 19th and April 23rd release.

The Tyranny of King Washington trilogy is available for purchase on Xbox LIVE for 2400 Microsoft Points, or for $29.00 on PlayStation Network and Windows PC.  For Nintendo enthusiasts, the DLC will be available through the Nintendo eShop on the Wii UTM system.

So is Assassin’s Creed III part of your video game collection, and if so, which console (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U) are you using?  We’d love to hear your thoughts on the title, the latest DLC, or for that matter, the entire franchise as a whole.

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Posted by Greg Srisavasdi