updated 07:37 pm EDT, Fri June 22, 2012
Nintendo hopes to build gaming-centric network
Nintendo is stepping into the social networking pool with the Wii U, but the company will not be diving in headlong. In an interview with GamesIndustry International, Nintendo revealed that the Miiverse social network on its forthcoming console will not be able to connect to other established social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Representatives for the company say the decision is actually in keeping with Nintendo's existing policies.
The Miiverse feature is integrated into the Wii U's system menu and games. A previously released video shows a user breaking in the middle of a game to consult fellow gamers in the Miiverse for advice, as well as chatting with another gamer by video before returning to the game. Additionally, the video shows the gamer communicating from his Wii U console with another user, who reads his messages on a mobile phone.
The social features Nintendo showed off led some observers to believe that the Wii U could feature integration with established social networks, much in the same way that Xbox Live users can find each other through Facebook. However, Nintendo today said the company has no interest in implementing such integration. Instead, the company hopes the Miiverse will allow users to build their own communities based around gaming.
In explaining the decision, company representatives said that Nintendo has no interest in adopting a "me too" attitude toward social networking, and thus the Wii U would not duplicate features commonly found on users smartphones, tablets, and computers. Instead of tying into existing networks, Nintendo hopes users will tie their existing devices into the Miiverse, as the company plans to roll out applications and services for users to interact with the Miiverse from their mobile devices some time after the system launches.