Wii U owners will need to download a day-one system update to activate the console's online functionality.
That's according to IGN, which claims new console owners will be unable to access Miiverse, Chat, Nintendo TVii (US only) and the eShop without downloading the update.
Nintendo has confirmed a Wii U release date of November 18 in the US, and a Wii U release date of November 30 in Europe.
The company has set the US Wii U price at $299 for the basic model, while the UK Wii U price starts at around £230.
Earlier this week the first Wii U game reviews arrived via GamesMaster magazine, which gave NintendoLand 86% and New Super Mario Bros. U 82%.