Legendary video game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, has spoken about Wii U's social capabilities, namely the new "Miiverse" feature, which integrates a gamer's Mii avatar into an open world of interaction and sharing.
Mr Miyamoto said that Nintendo is aiming to make Miiverse "into the center of the living room", with the ultimate goal of making the Wii U tablet controller screen "the most looked-at screen in the house".
“The idea is connecting people with data in an environment that's comfortable and fun,” said Mr Miyamoto.
He compared Miiverse to other social network communities like Facebook, saying that Nintendo's new experience offers "a different sense of closeness and community".
We're going for something that feels a little bit closer, a little bit more intimate in terms of how you actually interact with the world.”
This closeness, Mr Miyamoto explained, was something he thought was emphasized well with StreetPass, a check-in system that allowed you to communicate with other 3DS gamers nearby. “You're going to be making connections with people that you just walk by on the street every day. And if you happen to do so three times, then you can send them an individualized message.
This sort of social interaction gives people "the opportunity to make real connections in real life as well, rather than the greater distance that I feel in social media", according to My Miyamoto.
Wii U's predecessor in Wii had a tedious online connection feature called "friend codes", made up of long, difficult-to-remember numbers that seemed outdated next to the Xbox 360's and PlayStation 3's name-based, user-generated account names. However, Nintendo is looking to change that pathway to interaction with Wii U.
"With Wii U we’re looking at Miiverse as a way for people to connect more easily with one another, so we’re working on preparing systems and building on the experiences we had with footnote studio while still maintaining a community management style that makes for a healthy online interaction.”
Ideally, Mr Miyamoto continued, Miiverse will be something "that's very easy to see...use" with a level of interaction that is quick and easy.
By Gaetano Prestia - Bio