updated 06:26 pm EST, Mon November 19, 2012
Update process with slow moving progress bar can take hours to finish
A reporter from the Los Angeles Times has inadvertently discovered that interrupting the mandatory update to the newly-released Nintendo Wii U gaming console has the potential to permanently disable, or brick, the device. The update, which has taken upwards of four hours to complete according to some reports, led the reporter to unplug the machine mid-upgrade, which rendered it unusable.
Writing about his experience on Twitter, reporter Ben Fritz said that there was no warning, and no cancel button for the procedure. He viewed the "super slow" progress bar as a sign the device had locked up, so disconnected the power to try and restart the process. "Seriously. I never played a single game and now as far as I can tell its unusable," Fritz added.
Electronista spoke with a Washington D.C. metro-area GameStop location, and was told that five of its allotment of 18 Wii U units were returned for a similar problem. "We don't have a process to restore the [Wii] U in store" remarked the employee when asked about the possibility of recovering the non-functional hardware. The employee expressed remorse that given the scarcity of the system at launch, that they had no stock to exchange for the "bricked" units.
The update is estimated to be 1GB in size. Testing performed by Electronista today revealed an upgrade process lasting just over an hour.