Wii U Miiverse, Nintendo's take on social networking for their new console, will not support Facebook or Twitter. Rather than providing gamers with another piece of hardware to connect to the already established networks of Facebook or Twitter, Nintendo has plans to bring the gamer to Miiverse with other electronic devices like the 3DS or smartphones.
"I have three devices permanently doing that already, what is our benefit to do so also?" Nintendo of Europe's Laurent Fischer told GamesIndustry.
"On the Wii U we do have additional reasons for connecting, we talked about things like the video chat system, nothing revolutionary but it's going to be convenient, it's going to be easy," Fischer explained.
"And the Miiverse is the one actually that I believe has a very unique feature which is we put ourselves in the situation of making sure the people you can communicate with they are somehow already in a kind of community," he added. "The community will be the Wii U owners, who will have this common interest for video games and our expectation about that is it's going to be a way to enhance the idea of sharing information on the video game."
Miiverse is integrated directly into the Wii U's system menu and games allowing users to interact with one another through text, images, and video. Upon booting up the system, players will be brought into a Mii Wara Wara, a sort of gathering place for all Wii U players. It is populated by your Mii, Miis on your Wii U system, your friend's Miis, and Miis on the Wii U that are from your country or speak your language that are playing the same games as you. It's basically a social network exclusive only to Wii U owners…sort of like, I don't know, Xbox LIVE or PlayStation Network. (By the way, both Xbox 360 and PS3 offer ways to connect to Facebook, just saying).
I wouldn't say it's more of a benefit to have Facebook or Twitter integration as much as it is a service to players, though I have never personally used the Facebook app on either the PS3 or Xbox 360. In a sense, Fischer is right; we already have multiple devices to connect to those networks, why do I need another?
Nintendo, on the other hand, has nothing to connect the network of Nintendo gamers. I'm glad to see a heavy emphasis on this new Miiverse network. Enough with the distracting apps, it's time for consoles to begin to place an emphasis on video games again – like they were originally designed to do.
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