In a wide-ranging interview with IGN, Satoru Iwata said he regretted the need for the update, which enables the online functionality of the system.
"Personally I think that users should be able to use all the functions of a console video game machine as soon as they open the box," he said. "So I feel very sorry for the fact that purchasers of Wii U have to experience a network update which takes such a long time, and that there are the services which were not available at the hardware's launch."
The update has been a source of consternation for players, due to its size and the length of time it takes to complete. Most users report spending anywhere from one to four hours to download and install the update -- enough time to ruin the initial buzz of excitement that comes with a new console.
Iwata's comments come a few days after the company reported initial U.S. sales of 400,000 for the console. In a conversation with Yahoo! Games, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime discussed the reason for the late addition of this crucial element.
"Nintendo developers want to make sure that the very best product is available to consumers," he said. "That creates a dynamic where our developers are working on elements until the very last point possible. That's why the system update was required on Day One -- and this is quite similar to what's happened with other consumer electronic products."
Don't expect the update to go away anytime soon, either. Fils-Aime says that once the update has been on the market for a few months, Nintendo will incorporate it into the firmware that ships with the system. That means all new Wii U buyers will have to download the massive update until sometime in early 2013.
- Technology & Electronics
- Game Consoles
- Satoru Iwata