Wii U firmware 4.0 out now, adds off-TV Wii play

Nintendo has released a large 700MB firmware update for Wii U. Among the features added is the ability to play Wii games on your Wii U GamePad... sort of.


Nintendo has released a new 700MB system update for Wii U. Version 4.0.0 U offers the option to play Wii games off-screen using the GamePad. But, there's a huge caveat: you won't be able to use any of the GamePad's buttons on your Wii games. Even games that offer Classic Controller support are not exempt to this rule. I tried out Super Smash Bros. Brawl after installing the update and received a "Wii U GamePad controls cannot be used on Wii games" message when attempting to use the GamePad buttons.

Other features include the ability to automatically receive software and demos from Nintendo using SpotPass, support for USB keyboards, and a new friend list icon on the Wii U menu to make it easier to connect with friends.

The internet browser has also received a number of tweaks, including the ability to move forward and backward in a video using the L and R buttons, the ability to save username and passwords on sites, and support for viewing PDF files.

For a complete list of new features for update 4.0, visit Nintendo's support website.

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Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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  • reply
    September 30, 2013 10:10 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Wii U firmware 4.0 out now, adds off-TV Wii play.

    Nintendo has released a large 700MB firmware update for Wii U. Among the features added is the ability to play Wii games on your Wii U GamePad... sort of.

    • reply
      September 30, 2013 11:14 PM

      Um... yay?

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      September 30, 2013 11:19 PM

      I always wanted to control my wii games on a 6" LCD screen. YESsssssssss

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      October 1, 2013 4:47 AM

      I wondered how off-TV play would work for Wii games. The execution makes sense. Too many games use the Wii remote in a way that would feel awkward or would be just plain incompatible with a more traditional controller like the Wii U GamePad.

      I do wish Nintendo would permit GamePad support on a case-by-case basis, though. I'd think the GamePad could emulate the motion controls used in games such as Mario Kart Wii (twist the remote like a steering wheel), New Super Mario Bros. Wii (hold remote like a traditional controller), and Metroid Prime 3 (map right analog stick to remote for aiming, similar to how Halo and other traditional console FPS games function).

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        October 1, 2013 5:41 AM

        There were games for the Wii that used the Classic Controller though, no reason those couldn't be made to use the Wii U gamepad.

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      October 1, 2013 6:13 AM

      so what games do work?

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        October 1, 2013 6:21 AM

        They all work, you'll just be using wiimotes to control it.

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          October 1, 2013 7:04 AM

          so the gamepad just becomes a screen? dang ;(

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      October 1, 2013 6:16 AM

      I would buy a Wii U instantly if I could get secret of mana to play on the Wii U controller from my bed

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        October 1, 2013 8:21 AM

        I wish they'd hurried up releasing Virtual console titles for the Wii U...Still no freaking A Link to the Past (guess it'll come at the same time as A Link between worlds) or some classic Mario games. You have to wonder how they'll handle lesser known titles at this point.

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      October 1, 2013 6:20 AM

      That's not "Pro controller" support, but classic controller support. And it makes sense given how they're doing it.

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      October 1, 2013 7:35 AM

      I just wanna be able to play the retro-games I purchased for the Wii on the gamepad.

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