The next Wii will prominently feature a social network
Consumers today must be pretty lonely, because nearly every competitor is unveiling its own social network.
On Sunday, Nintendo joined the trend with Miiverse, a social network for its latest console, the Wii U. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata unveiled the network as part of an announcement in advance of this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).
Skip forward to 12:30 for a made-to-go-viral video detailing the specs of the Miiverse:
On the company’s previous console, released in 2006, the Wii, Nintendo had in place a skeletal social network in which players used humanoid avatars, called Miis, to navigate the game world with local players and friends.
Miiverse will advance the network several steps into the future, allowing players to use an Internet connection to interact with Miis all over the world in a less limited way. Users will be able to draw, chat, and comment to one another both in an online forum and while playing single- and multi-player games.
Miiverse isn’t the first social network designed for a video game console, but it is the most extensive. Earlier attempts PlayStation Network and Xbox Live limited players’ social interactions to their friends list or to players they engaged directly in online games. In the Miiverse, when a player looks up a topic, a related comment from any other user could pop up in the Twitter-like feed, regardless of whether the players know each other or not.
In 2004, President Iwata told the press, "Customers do not want online games." Eight years later, he’s offering customers the most open social network the gaming world has seen yet.
The times sure have changed.
Photo via Nintendo