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Wii U system update adds quick start option, GamePad alerts and more

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Nintendo released a new system update for Wii U today, bringing the console's software to version 5.0.0 and adding the promised quick start menu option designed to get players into games faster.

With the new quick start option, Wii U owners can access recently played or newly installed software if they power on the system using the GamePad's home or power button. Powering on the console using a Wii Remote Plus or Wii U Pro Controller will boot the system normally.

The new system update also adds alert messages — "special notifications from Nintendo" — that will be displayed on the GamePad when the Wii U is powered down, Nintendo explains in a support update. A ringtone will notify Wii U owners when a new GamePad alert is delivered.

Other changes include the Wii U's ability to automatically install future system updates after download when the Wii U is in standby mode, and updates to the display of user settings.

The requisite "improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments ... made to enhance the user experience" are also included in the 5.0.0 update. More details are available at Nintendo's support website.

Today's update is part of Nintendo's overall plan to enhance the GamePad experience and promote the Wii U's capability of playing games without the need for a television.

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