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Wii U systems crash. Nintendo blames online update.

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Nintendo

(Read caption) A fan purchases one of the first Wii U systems in the world at the midnight launch event at Nintendo World in New York on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012.

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The good news: On Sunday, Nintendo officially launched its long-awaited Nintendo Wii U console. The not-so-good news: A firmware update necessary for online play has taken some users hours to download, and in a few cases, has apparently "bricked" the machine – irrevocably breaking it, basically. 

According to a handful of tweets and message board posts (hat tip to Ars Technica), the problem occurs if the power or Internet signal cuts off while the 5 GB update is being installed. Among those affected was Ben Fritz, a tech writer for The Los Angeles Times

"Wii U has stopped functioning before I managed to play a single game. I tried to stop an interminable software update and now... nothing," Fritz tweeted yesterday. "On a related note, anybody in the market for a big black paperweight?" he joked later. 

It's worth noting that plenty of folks have criticized Fritz and others for attempting to stop the firmware update at all. As one of Fritz's followers wrote, "It's common sense to not interrupt an update. Surely you should know this." 

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