Wii U system software is the official firmware version and operating system for Nintendo's Wii U game console. Nintendo maintains the Wii U's systemwide features and applications by offering system software updates via the Internet. Updates are optional to each console owner, but may be required in order to retain interoperability with Nintendo's online services. Each update is cumulative, including all changes from previous updates.

The system's official integrated development environment, named MULTI and published by embedded software engineering vendor Green Hills Software, is intended for use by Nintendo and its licensed developers in programming the Wii U.[1] Details of the operating system's internal architecture have not been officially publicized.

The current version of the system software is 5.4.0, which was released on June 8, 2015.

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Wii U MenuEdit

The Wii U Menu is the main dashboard of the system, acting as an application organizer and launcher. It is a graphical shell similar to the Wii's "Wii Menu" and Nintendo 3DS HOME Menu. It allows launching software stored on Wii U optical discs, applications installed in the internal memory or an external storage device, or Wii titles through the system's "Wii Mode". The WaraWara Plaza is displayed on the TV screen, while the Wii U GamePad screen displays the application icons available for launch; the two screens' display roles can be swapped with the press of a button. Like the original Wii, discs can also be hot-swapped while in the menu. The Wii U Menu may also be used to launch applications entirely beyond just gaming: the Miiverse social network which is integrated with all games and applications; the Internet Browser for the World Wide Web; play media through Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, YouTube, Nintendo TVii, and more; download Wii U software and content through the Nintendo eShop; and receive official notifications from Nintendo.[2] System settings, parental controls and the activity log can also be launched through the menu.

WaraWara PlazaEdit

Template:See also The Wii U Menu is directly integrated with Miiverse and the Nintendo Network. When the Wii U powers on, the television screen will show the WaraWara Plaza in which user status and comments on Miiverse are shown. Each user is represented by their respective Mii and is often associated with a Miiverse community.[3] Users can save any Mii on the WaraWara Plaza to their personal library, Yeah! their post, write a comment, and send a friend request.

Home MenuEdit

The Home Menu (stylized as HOME Menu) can be accessed during any game or application through the user pressing the Home Button on the Wii U GamePad, Wii U Pro Controller or Wii Remote. The Home Menu allows the user to launch certain multitasking applications, such as Miiverse, Nintendo TVii, Nintendo eShop and the Internet Browser while a game or application is running. It also displays various information such as date and time, the wireless signal status, controller battery life and controller settings. Current downloads can also be managed in the Download Manager, which downloads and installs games and applications and their respective updates, as well as downloading system updates in the background.

Pre-installed softwareTemplate:Anchor Edit

Nintendo eShop Edit


The Nintendo eShop is Nintendo's online digital distribution service, serving both the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS handheld console. The eShop provides downloadable Wii U software titles (both retail and download only), Wii games, Virtual Console games, trial versions (demos), and various applications. It also allows users to purchase downloadable content (DLC) and automatically download patches for both physical and downloadable games. All content obtained from the Nintendo eShop is attached to a Nintendo Network ID but can only be used in one system. The Wii U allows background downloading via SpotPass, either while playing a game or application or in sleep mode. Up to ten downloads can be queued at a time and their status can be checked on the Download Manager application. A pop-up notification will appear on the Home Menu section to notify the user that a download is finished.Template:Citation needed

Unlike past Nintendo digital stores, such as the Wii Shop Channel and the Nintendo DSi Shop which used Nintendo Points as its currency, the Nintendo eShop uses the user's local currency using a digital wallet system whereby funds are added to and debited from the wallet. The user can add funds to their wallet in a number of ways either by credit or debit card or by purchasing Nintendo eShop cards. It is also possible to purchase download codes from select retailers and later redeem the on the eShop. On July 22, 2014, the Japanese Nintendo eShop was updated to support digital money cards to add funds to the user account's digital wallet via near field communication (NFC) on the Wii U GamePad. These cards are embedded with IC chips and are typically used to buy train or bus tickets as well as make purchases at convenience stores.[4]

The Nintendo eShop supports user software reviews. Users can submit a review with "stars" ranging from one to five, representing its quality in a crescent order. It is also possible to categorize the software on whether it is suitable for hardcore or for more casual players. Reviews can only be submitted after the software in review has been used for at least one hour.Template:Citation needed In the future, it will be possible to attach Miiverse posts to each review.[5]

Miiverse Edit

Template:Main Miiverse (portmanteau of "Mii" and "Universe") is an integrated social networking service, which allows players to interact and share their experiences through their own Mii characters. Miiverse allows users to seamlessly share accomplishments, comments hand written and game screenshots notes with other users. Select games are integrated with Miiverse, where social interactions can also occur within the game. Miiverse is moderated through software filtering as well as a human resource team in order to ensure that the content shared by users is appropriate and that no spoilers are shared. In order to facilitate this, it was stated that comments posted could take up to 30 minutes to appear on Miiverse.[6]

On April 25, 2013, Miiverse also became available on web browsers for internet-enabled smartphone, tablet and PC devices.[7] It later became available for the Nintendo 3DS in December 2013. Nintendo are also planning to release a specialized Miiverse app for smartphone and tablet devices in the future.

Internet Browser Edit

Internet Browser allows users to browse the web on the Wii U GamePad and/or the television screen. It functions as a multitasking application on the Wii U, so it can be used while another game or application is suspended in the background.[8] The browser is primarily controlled using the Wii U GamePad's touchscreen, or with the analog stick to scroll through web pages and the D-pad to cycle through links on the page, similar to using a keyboard. It can play HTML 5 video and audio in websites such as YouTube and various other social media.[9] The user can choose to hide the browser's view on the TV screen for privacy, which contains presentation effects such as the opening of stage curtains.[10] The user can also choose between the Google and Yahoo! search engines. There is a text wrap option to automatically wrap text to the width of the screen at different zoom levels. Users can also create bookmarks, with each user having its own set of personal bookmarks. The browser supports up to six tabs simultaneously.[11] Up to 32 pages can be stored into the browser's history before the older items start being replaced.Template:-

Nintendo TVii Edit

Template:Main Nintendo TVii is a free television based service which allows users to find programs on Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and on their cable network. Nintendo TVii also allows users to control their TiVo DVR through the Wii U.[12] Users are then able to select the source of the program they wish to watch and watch it on their television or on the Wii U GamePad.[13] By default, the GamePad screen shows information on the show currently being watched. This information includes reviews, screenshots, cast lists, trailers, and other general information about the show provided by Wikipedia, IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, as well as other individual source services. Nintendo TVii also has a dedicated sports section where the user can view player positions and highlights of the match updated in real-time.

Each user has its own personalized settings on Nintendo TVii, such as their preferences, favorite shows and sports teams, personal Mii and social network account integration. Users can then interact with their friends and the community by sharing and commenting on reactions to live moments on the current show, on social networks such as Miiverse, Facebook, and .Twitter, through the GamePad while they watch their show on the television screen.

The service is currently only available in selected regions. Nintendo TVii was made available with the Wii U's release in Japan on December 8, 2012.[14] It was released in North America on December 20, 2012[15] and was scheduled to be released in Europe sometime in 2013,[16] but was never fulfilled. Nintendo UK had since issued an apology and stated to expect further announcements in the "near future".[17] However, on February 14, 2015, Nintendo Europe officially confirmed they cancelled plans for the service's release in European countries "[d]ue to the extremely complex nature of localising multiple television services across a diverse range of countries with varied licensing systems".[18]

Other video services Edit

Nintendo is also working with YouTube, LoveFilm (United Kingdom and Ireland only), Nico Nico Douga and YNN! (Japan only) to bring streaming movie and television content to the Wii U. Nintendo had initially delayed the deployment of some media capabilities for the Wii U as it delayed its online infrastructure. Late in the launch day, a firmware update deployed the Netflix app.[19] Then, access to the Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and YouTube apps gradually became active later in the launch week. On December 25, 2014, and without prior notice, Crunchyroll launched their eponymous app for the North American Wii U eShop,[20] and was later released for PAL systems by January 8, 2015.[21] At the time being, despite being free to download, the content on the Crunchyroll app is only accessible to Premium account users. After a long delay and without prior notice, as of May 28, 2015, users with access to the Nintendo eShop for the United Kingdom can download the BBC iPlayer app.[22]

Wii U Chat Edit

Template:Main Wii U Chat is Nintendo's online video chat solution, powered by the Nintendo Network. The service allows the users to use the Wii U GamePad's front-facing camera to video chat with registered friends. While video chatting, only the Wii U GamePad is essentially needed, since the application is compatible with Off-TV Play. Users can draw pictures on the GamePad, on top of the video chat display.[23] If there is a game or another application already running, the GamePad's HOME button ring will flash indicating that there is an incoming call.

Wii Street U Edit

File:Wii Street U logo.jpg

Wii Street U is a built-in map application developed by Nintendo and Google for the Wii U. During a Nintendo Direct, Satoru Iwata revealed that Google Maps will be integrated with the panorama feature of the Wii U. The player can choose any place from around the globe to look at, use the street view feature and can use the Wii U GamePad.

This application was available on Wii U eShop for free, until October 31, 2013.

Wii Karaoke U Edit

File:Wii Karaoke U logotype.png

Wii Karaoke U is a built-in karaoke app developed by Nintendo and Joysound for the Wii U. It licenses the Joysound online song library from Japanese karaoke service provider Xing. The game can use both the Wii U GamePad's microphone and any universal USB microphone connected to the Wii U console.

The game requires an Internet connection for players to access new songs to download. Buying tickets for songs from the Nintendo eShop, players rent the songs they want to sing for a limited period (from 24 hours to up to 90 days) from Joysounds's song library. Choosing a stage to perform on, players are able to select their own Mii characters to represent themselves. Players are also able to adjust options such as echo, key and speed of the song, and other players can use their Wii Remotes to accompany the singer by playing instruments such as cymbals and maracas. The game includes a lesson mode which trains and quizzes players on tone and rhythm.

It was released as a free app, titled Wii Karaoke U by Joysound, on the Nintendo eShop in Europe, on October 4, 2013.[24]

Wii ModeEdit

Template:Main The Wii U's Wii Mode is a fully virtualized Wii system, with all of the limitations and privileges thereof. When a Wii game disc is inserted into the Wii U, an appropriately launchable icon appears on the Wii U Menu. Alternatively, the Wii U may be powered on while holding the B button. Either method will effectively relaunch the Wii U to entirely become a virtual Wii system until it is relaunched into Wii U mode. As with a native Wii system, the Wii Mode's internal storage memory is limited to 512 MB, and the SD Card Menu can utilize a card up to 32 GB in size.

There are a few slight differences between the Wii U's Wii Mode and a native Wii system. The data management settings are accessible, but the Wii System Settings are not. The Wii Shop Channel is fully available for the purchase of Wii software; however, its Netflix, Hulu Plus, and YouTube applications cannot be used. The system must be relaunched into Wii U mode, in order to utilize the native versions of these applications.

Other software Edit

  • Health & Safety Information
  • User Accounts
  • Wii U optical disc launcher
  • Activity Log
  • Parental Controls
  • System Settings

Multitasking applicationsEdit

In addition to running one primary game or application, the Wii U is capable of simultaneously opening select system applications. Once a primary application has been launched from the Wii U Menu, the user can then push the HOME button to temporarily suspend that application. One of the following applications may then be launched, and may possibly interoperate with the primary application, such as screenshots and game scores.

  • Miiverse
  • Nintendo eShop
  • Internet Browser
  • Nintendo TVii
  • Notifications
  • Friend List
  • Download Manager

System Update releasesEdit

Obsolete Current

Nintendo releases updates to the Wii U system software as needed to improve functionality, fix problems, and to add or remove features.

Version 5Edit

Table of versions: Wii U OS Version 5
Version Template:Nowrap Changes in System Software


Template:Start date and age[25]
Improvements to system stability and usability
  • Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience
European console only
  • Removed "Nintendo TVii" icon on Wii U and HOME menu on Europe consoles where the service never launched


Template:Start date and age[25]
Improvements to system stability and usability
  • Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience


Template:Start date and age[25]
Mario Kart 8 highlight reel upload fix
  • Resolved an issue that resulted in some users receiving error code 104-1852 while uploading a Mario Kart 8 highlight reel to YouTube
Improvements to system stability and usability
  • Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience


Template:Start date and age[25]
Changes to System Settings
  • amiibo Settings has been added to System Settings. amiibo Settings allows users to register an amiibo owner and nickname, delete data written to an amiibo by supported software, or reset an amiibo
Improvements to system stability and usability
  • Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience


Template:Start date and age[25]
Changes to the Wii U Menu
  • Folders can now be created in the Wii U Menu to hold and organize software icons
  • A Download Management icon has been added to the Wii U Menu
  • Launching of the Wii menu can now be done by pressing + on the Wii remote from the Gamepad screen.
Changes to Quick Start Menu
  • The Quick Start Menu will now display when the Wii U is powered on from the Wii U GamePad TV Remote
  • Options have been added to Power Settings that allow users to hide certain software from the Quick Start Menu
Changes to the HOME Menu
  • The design and layout of the HOME Menu has been updated
Changes to the Nintendo eShop
  • Disabled usage of characters not used when redeeming Nintendo eShop cards (O, I, Z, etc.)
Improvements to system stability and usability
  • Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience


Template:Start date and age[25]
Improvements to system stability and usability
  • Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience


Template:Start date and age[25]
System stability improvements and other adjustments
  • Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience


Template:Start date and age[25]
Wii U to Wii U System Transfer
  • Users can now transfer (move) all software and data from one Wii U to another
  • A “System Transfer” option has been added within System Settings
Changes to Nintendo eShop
  • Users can now navigate the Nintendo eShop using a Wii Remote, Wii U Pro Controller, or Classic Controller
Support for NFC payment cards from Suica (Japan Only)[26]
  • Users can now add electronic money to Nintendo eshop by using NFC based payment cards from Suica.
Improvements to system stability and usability
  • Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience


Template:Start date and age[25]
Addition of Quick Start for the Wii U GamePad
  • The Quick Start screen displays when the Wii U console is turned on from the Wii U GamePad. It shows recently used or installed software which can be started immediately, without first loading the Wii U Menu. Quick Start is ideal for users who want to start playing games right away.
Addition of notifications for the Wii U GamePad
  • With this service you can receive occasional notifications from Nintendo about selected games and products, special promotions and more. If a notification is received while the console is powered down, the GamePad will make a sound, as well as display the notification on its screen for a short while. It is also possible to check out notifications on the Quick Start screen. The settings for these notifications can be changed under Power Settings in System Settings, including the option to define the hours during which notifications will automatically display.
Improvement of Standby Functions
  • System updates, in addition to being downloaded automatically, are now also installed automatically while the Wii U console is powered down.
Wii U Menu
  • When users select their user Mii from the Wii U Menu, the User Settings screen now displays. The design and layout of the Users Settings screen has been updated, including the ability to switch the active user from the User Settings screen.
System Settings
  • An option for Quick Start screen settings has been added to Power Settings. The settings for notifications on the Wii U GamePad can be changed here as well.
  • An icon to start the Notifications application (different from notifications on the Wii U GamePad) has been added to the HOME Menu.
System stability improvements and other adjustments
Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user’s experience.

Version 4Edit

Version 3Edit

Version 2Edit

Template:Note Available after linking a Nintendo Network ID.
Template:Note Available in Wii Mode.
Template:Note Only available for software titles for which update data is being distributed.

Version 1Edit

See alsoEdit

Other gaming platforms from Nintendo:

Other gaming platforms from this generation:

Gaming platforms from the seventh generation:


  1. Template:Cite press release
  2. Miiverse Now Accessible on PC, Smartphones - IGN. Retrieved on August 23, 2013.
  3. Wii U browser has a 6-tab limit | GoNintendo - What are YOU waiting for?. GoNintendo. Retrieved on August 23, 2013.
  4. 25.00 25.01 25.02 25.03 25.04 25.05 25.06 25.07 25.08 25.09 25.10 25.11 25.12 25.13 25.14 25.15 25.16 25.17 25.18

External linksEdit

Template:Wii U Template:Nintendo Network

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