Several people were disgruntled with the huge update the Wii U initially requires, but it seems like that there’s a way to bypass it and get straight to gaming. Offline gaming, that is.
An editor at Computer and Videogames discussed how his console lost connection halfway through the update, where he then went on to play Nintendo Land. After about an hour, he found the update downloaded anyway, as his Wii U was prompting him to install it.
This means that you can simply choose not to download the update, and it will do so automatically when you play an offline game, saving you the anxiety of watching your new console download for long periods of time. Don’t disconnect or cancel the update process after starting, however, as this may lead to system failures that have already been reported as a result.