Dabe Alan

What’s a revived, once-bricked Wii U look like? Glad you asked!

What’s a revived, once-bricked Wii U look like? Glad you asked!

I’ve already explained the comedy of errors that led to my bricked Wii U, so I won’t repeat the sordid tale here. The system was sent back to Nintendo using the pre-paid shipping tag they sent, and I’ve since received the now-working system. So how did everything go? What can you expect from a repaired system?

It’s working!

Nintendo received the system on the 28th of December, and it was back in my hands by the 31st, although the automated message from Nintendo said it could take five to eight business days for the new unit to be returned. This could be due to Nintendo overnighting systems that were killed by the firmware issue, or the fact that my repair technician knew who I was and bumped the order. I’m tempted to begin registering my consoles under a more generic e-mail address and my wife’s name to make sure I get the same experience as everyone else.

To be fair, my first message when this happened was to someone I knew at Nintendo, so I probably wrecked that for myself. There’s always some tension between getting something back quickly so I can use it for work, and wanting to see the process as a civilian for the ensuing story.

My serial number stayed the same and, although I was warned I may have to re-download content I had already purchased, I was told my account would retain all of my content. My saved games proved to be safe and sound, and to my delight after the previous warning I found my purchased games were all still on the system. What’s interesting is that Nintendo did not update the system to the latest version of the Wii firmware, so when I plugged everything in I had to go through a system update.

You better believe I watched that thing like a hawk.

The repair cost on the bill was $175, which was removed due to the console being under warranty. The main annoyance of the process was that it shouldn’t be this easy to kill a system during a lengthy, mandatory update. I’m a pretty tech-savvy person, and I’ve shown that with a few missteps it’s not hard to brick your Wii U, even though I was sure such a thing couldn’t happen to anyone who knew what they were doing with their consoles.

The whole circumstance was annoying, especially due to the fact I was planning on playing Wii U games all night in bed. There is nothing more frustrating than setting aside time to play games, and then have your technology fail. As many gamers know, time is a valuable resource in this hobby, and having a system I was looking forward to playing be removed from the equation due to this flaw was annoying as hell. Anyone who has carved out 30 minutes of precious time away from kids, work, or other responsibilities only to be greeted with a firmware update knows this feeling well.

Another interesting note: I play the WIi U in my bedroom, and I use the GamePad’s screen almost exclusively. In fact, I don’t have the system hooked up to a television at all. When my system was returned the GamePad was not synced to the system, and you can’t sync the GamePad without a television. Your Wii U shows a series of images on the television screen, and you have to reproduce the pattern on the Game Pad. I understand I’m using the system in a way that’s slightly unusual, but it was a pain in the ass to move the system, hook it up to a television in the living room, sync the Game Pad, and then move the deck back to the bedroom.

Yes, these are first-world problems, but it’s also a matter of products working the way they’re supposed to work. Nintendo took care of the bricked system quickly, but it’s a problem that shouldn’t have existed in the first place. Be careful out there.