Wii, It's Another Firmware Upgrade!

I love waking up to the warm, almost radioactively blue glow of a Wii firmware update in the morning. It’s kinda like Christmas -- Jolly old St. Nintendo has just stuffed my Wii full of firmware goodness overnight which is now sitting there, gift wrapped and pulsating with blue goodness under the TV in the morning.

This time around, Nintendo bought something for both the naughty and the nice.

For the nice: A few interface upgrades to the Wii’s main menu and a Wii Shop Channel. The main menu now has a digital clock, which is nice if you want to know how long ago you should have been at work. As for the shop channel? A few interface upgrades to make navigation easier. You can now sort and view titles by their popularity, for those hipsters among you who can’t afford to miss out on the most chic of the retro, lest you be shunned at the next Modest Mouse concert. Another nice feature is that you’ll now be able to download and view previews of upcoming titles, including the long pined for Metroid Prime 3! No playable demo though…but that’s the price you pay for internal flash memory instead of a hard drive. My personal favorite feature however, is that you’re now able to return to the Wii menu if your Wii Shop Channel is taking too long to load. Seriously, that thing would hang for like 5 minutes, and you’d just be sitting there like a couch doofus while the Wii tried to figure out that it couldn’t connect.

And for the naughty? Incompatibility with Freeloader, a popular piece of third-party software that allowed Gamecube and Wii owners to play import Gamecube games. Since we all know the internet is a haven for all things naughty, backlash against the update has been pretty large, particularly among those who sold their Gamecubes upon picking up their 100% backwards-compatible Wii's. Sorry guys, but in the grand tradition of Apple and Sony, Nintendo does have the power to thwart any third-party software or modifications via their evil and sometimes very cool firmware upgrades.

But Nintendo at least tried to be nice about it. A few days after the official August 7th update, I found my Wii flashing blue yet again. What bundle of joy awaited me this time?

Turns out it was just a warning message, added to the previous update. Something along the lines of “This update may cause your console not to work if you’ve modded it you cheeky bastard.” Geez Nintendo, it’s nice that you’re thinking of all us bastards in the mod community, but next time you might wanna get these warning messages out before you launch a potentially crippling firmware update on everyone’s modded systems.