It's well past midnight, you're home with your brand new Nintendo Wii U -- now what? Well, you've got yourself a hefty firmware update to download should you wish to do anything other than play disc-based Wii U games. Say, for instance, you wanna check out Nintendo's Mii-based social network, Miiverse? You're gonna need that update. Or you want to check out the digital storefront, the eShop? Update. Browse the internet? Up ... you get the picture. The file download clocks in at just over an hour (at least on our retail units ahead of launch), and the install takes another five minutes, so we'd suggest you grab it ASAP before the rest of the world is trying to hungrily snap it up as well. Remember: your brand new Wii U can do literally nothing outside of build Miis and play disc-based games before the update, so don't go freaking out when your console seems to be missing a few key functions out of the box.
And no, this doesn't include Nintendo TVii, which Nintendo says won't arrive until some time in December. We'll update this post with more specifics as we explore the update further, so keep an eye out!
Update: The update includes, from what we've seen thus far, the entire eShop, Miiverse, an internet browser, and access to Netflix. Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and YouTube remain conspicuously absent, but should be available "in the coming weeks" (per Nintendo's update earlier this week). Backwards compatibility is also packed in the update, in form of the entire original Wii menu (which makes us feel like we just downloaded the entire Wii console to our Wii U -- the future!). The Wii U actually fully resets to launch the Wii menu, and can only be navigated using a classic Wii remote control. Kinda bogus, but it sure is nice having a full Wii built in to the Wii U.
Update 2: Netflix is a separate download required (an update) for use.