updated 05:23 pm EDT, Mon June 4, 2012
Promo video shows video chat, apparent cross-platform integration
Having unveiled the online strategy for its forthcoming Wii U console yesterday, Nintendo has released a promotional video (seen below) showing off the console's networking features in action. The video touts a number of the console's capabilities, including a video chat function, a message board system for individual games, and an apparent integration with smartphones through what appears to be a Twitter-like service.
The video shows a player navigating between a challenging video game and a text-based messaging system dedicated to the game. Using the touchscreen on the tablet controller, the player poses a question to other players of the game, and that message is shown being read by a friend on his smartphone. The demo indicates that Nintendo will reveal some service or app that will enable players to share information between the Wii U and other devices.
Unsatisfied with the responses he has gotten, the player uses the tablet controller's built-in camera to video chat with another player, eventually getting the information he needs. In a Tweet today, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata revealed that Miiverse access for smartphones will not be a feature available at launch, but will be released some time later.
This is the first time Nintendo has shown off the potential of its networking solution, as well as the wider potential of its novel controller design. The controller also features near field communication (NFC) capabilities; and the subsequent possibilities implied by NFC, the touchscreen interface, and camera are already major emphasis points for Nintendo. The company will be relying heavily on the new machine to reverse its recent financial troubles.