Nintendo's Wii U eShop launched today with the console's first firmware update.
The eShop front page works similar to the home page for Apple's iTunes, displaying featured selections broken into several different categories. Games available for purchase are displayed at the immediate top, with Games by Category, Featured Games, Videos on Demand and Coming Soon sections listed beneath.
The eShop includes a Charts section for viewing the Wii U's most popular current titles. Users can choose to view graphics tabulating recent best sellers, all best sellers to date, recent ratings, all user ratings to date and recent popular titles.
The Videos on Demand category is where players will find Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and YouTube. All four applications are free to download but will include paid content. Currently only Netflix is available, with the remaining applications set to launch alongside Nintendo TVii in December.
The Coming Soon section includes trailers for upcoming games. Although we could not locate a separate section for demos, like the Rayman Legends demo scheduled to hit the system on launch day, this may be the area where players will find them.
On launch night Polygon experienced periodic errors, system crashes, slow loading and screen freezing issues, while some areas of the eShop wouldn't load altogether. The News section could not be accessed. The section would crash each time we tried to view it.
While browsing the eShop, sometimes the screen would freeze and lag when loading content as we scrolled down content lists. The only way to exit while frozen was by hitting the Home button, quitting out of the eShop altogether.
As of this posting the Wii U eShop has continued to behave inconsistently. We'll be continuing the test the eShop in the coming days to see if functionality improves.