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Wii U 4.0.0 update allows Wii Mode off-TV play

Sep 30 // Tony Ponce
   @megaStryke

But still no unified account system

Alright! The long-awaited summer fall Wii U firmware has arrived! We've been patient, and now we finally have our unified account system! Thank you for answering our cries, Nintendo!

...

Wait... where's our unified account system!? RACKIN' FRACKIN' VARMINT!

So we didn't get the one thing that we all really wanted. What did we get? Well, we can use USB keyboards, for one. Headsets plugged into the GamePad can now be used in Wii U Chat, a Friends List icon has been added to the main menu, and Wii software now supports Dolby Pro Logic II Surround Sound.

But the big new feature is the ability to play off-TV while in Wii Mode. Unfortunately, you still can't use the buttons on the GamePad, so you'll have to fish out a Wii Remote even for games that use classic controls. You have to stand the GamePad up against something and point the Wii Remote at the sensor bar built into the controller, making sure that the GamePad is far enough away from the TV so that the main sensor bar doesn't pick up your signals. Long story short, it's got potential should Nintendo finally allow GamePad button mapping, but right now it's just a thing to tolerate.

Check out the full list of additions below.

Wii U System and Feature Updates [Nintendo]

Version 4.0.0 U, available via an Internet connection, includes the following improvements:

New Features:

  • A feature to output video and sound to the Wii U GamePad when using Wii Mode
    • Users can choose to output to the TV and GamePad, or just the TV
  • A feature to automatically receive recommended software and demo titles from Nintendo using SpotPass
  • Support for USB keyboards
  • An option to disable use of a Nintendo Network ID on non-Nintendo hardware, such as PCs and smartphones
  • Support for Dolby® Pro Logic® II Surround Sound when playing Wii software

Changes to Wii U Menu:

  • Added a friend list icon to the Wii U Menu for easier access to the Friend List

Changes to System Settings:

  • An option to automatically receive recommended software is now available under "Internet"
  • A setting to select which cable outputs sound is available through "TV"
    • Users can choose to output sound through an HDMI cable, non-HDMI cable, or both cables at the same time. Click here for instructions
  • A setting to adjust the hourly interval in which standby functions are performed is available under "Power Settings" when Standby Functions are enabled

Changes to Wii U Chat:

  • Added the option to view a friend's profile on Miiverse when sending or receiving a chat request
  • Users can now chat using a headset connected to the Wii U GamePad

Changes to Internet Browser:

  • Pressing the R or L Buttons on the Wii U GamePad will skip video playback forward/back a small amount of time
  • Holding the R Button will speed up video playback
  • Ability to save username and passwords for websites that require login
  • Ability to launch the Internet Browser during gameplay and upload screenshots
  • Added support for viewing PDF files
  • Added features intended for website developers that allow the user to enable developer tools and set user agent

Improvements to system stability and usability:

  • Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience

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Tony Ponce, Contributor
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