29/11/2012 08:37 GMT | Updated 28/01/2013 10:12 GMT

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata Apologies For Wii U's Launch Problems

Nintendo has apologised for its new console - a day before it's released in the UK.

The company's president Satoru Iwata told IGN that he was "very sorry" that users were forced to download a huge patch to unlock online features when first booting-up the system.

The Wii U was released in the US on 17 November, but lacked backwards compatibility with Wii games, online video services and access to its own Miiverse social network, until Nintendo released a patch.

The UK version is released on Friday, but it is not confirmed that users will have to update their consoles on launch.

"Personally I think that users should be able to use all the functions of a console video game machine as soon as they open the box," said Iwata.

Wii U: What's New? Is It Good? And How Do You Buy One?

The Japanese gaming giant's president added that the WIi U would directly compete with other consoles on features such as achievements and voice chat.

"We have not thought that offering the same features that already exist within other online communities would be the best proposal for very experienced game players," he said.

The Wii U features HD graphics, a new touchscreen controller and a line-up of 24 launch titles, including the first HD Mario game.

Nintendo said it sold 400,000 of the new console on its first weekend - though it also sold 350,000 of the previous generation in the same time period.