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Wii U system software 3.1.0 released, next update due by Oct.

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Nintendo released the latest version of the Wii U system software, version 3.1.0 U, today, offering improvements to the console's standby functions and overall system stability. According to release notes, the next noteworthy system update will come to Wii U owners by early October.

The Wii U's updated standby functions will now "regularly connect to the Internet when the Wii U is powered down to check for available SpotPass data or software and system updates," according to the Nintendo support website. Software updates will be installed while the Wii U is powered down, Nintendo says, and system updates will be installed the next time the Wii U is powered on.

Nintendo promises that overall system stability and "other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience."

A more substantial update that improves Wii U system functionality — the second of two key system software updates promised by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata in January is planned for release sometime between the end of September and beginning of October. Nintendo had previously outlined a summer release window for the update.