SCIENCE: Does the Wii U update really improve loading times?

Posted under News, Podcast Stories, Wii U
March 6, 2013 by (@NE_Austin)


Wake up everyone, it’s time for science!

So today Nintendo released a small Wii U firmware update, and since then I’ve seen a few outlets claim that it “seems” like the update has sped things up on their consoles. Unfortunately, “seeming” isn’t good enough for me, and since I hadn’t taken it upon myself to update my console yet, I decided to test some load times both before and after the update to see how they compared. A few things to note: Firstly, the update auto-triggered (without giving me the option to opt out) halfway through my testing so I couldn’t get as many readings as I wanted in the “before” category. Secondly, I eliminated two results that were clearly technical outliers (a 35 second post-update “Miiverse” load and a 39 second pre-update “Settings” load) because that’s how statistics work.

Here’s what I found:

Startup

What: Time from hitting the power button to when users are selectable.
Pre-Update: 19.6s
Post-Update: 25.4s, 25.6s, 25.2s
Conclusion: Hard to say since the update auto-triggered before I could test more than one pre-update startup time. It would seem that things have gotten worse though.

Miiverse

What: Time from hitting the Miiverse icon to when things become selectable within Miiverse.
Pre-Update: 14.5s, 24.1s, 21.7s
Post-Update: 13.7s, 11.7s, 11.4s
Conclusion: While still not perfect, there is a noticeable improvement in the loading times of Miiverse after the update.

eShop

What: Time from hitting the eShop icon to when things become selectable within the eShop.
Pre-Update: 21.7s, 23.5s, 35.5s, 37.9s, 19.0s
Post-Update: 22.6s, 17.5s, 16.0s, 16.0s, 21.8s
Conclusion: Overall, a noticeable improvement. It’s much more consistent than the load times pre-update.

Settings

What: Time from hitting the “Settings” app icon to when things become selectable within “Settings”
Pre-Update: 18.1s, 20.8s, 24.1s
Post-Update: 16.6s, 16.0s, 16.0s
Conclusion: Again, a noticeable improvement. Nothing mindblowing, but an appreciated speed-up. And significantly more consistent.

Returning to the Home Menu

What: Time from hitting “Close” in “Settings” to when things were selectable on the Home Menu.
Pre-Update: 23.3s, 24.0s
Post-Update: 23.4s, 23.4s, 22.9s
Conclusion: No appreciable change.

Make of this data what you please! It’s hardly 100% science-proof, but it’s about as good as I’ve seen so far.

~Austin

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