Nintendo Direct: Iwata Delves Into The Miiverse, Unboxes A Wii U And Has An Awkward Video Chat With Reggie


The Wii U is set to be released in North America in less than two weeks and surprisingly we’ve heard very little about one of the biggest features of the console, the Miiverse. Fortunately Nintendo have decided it’s a important aspect to their new console and this morning dedicated an entire Nintendo Direct presentation to it!

Naturally President Satoru Iwata headed up the presentation which focussed on several aspects, most notably the Miiverse itself and things like the web browser and video chat capabilities.

Miiverse

Upon turning on your shiny new Wii U you’ll be placed into the Miiverse which should look a little derelict as you’ll need to connect your new console to the internet. Once you do however it’ll start to look a lot busier with several Miis crowding around floating tiles each one representing a game. You’ll be able to see messages and

Wondering what the GamePad is up to during all this? Well it’s harbouring all of your typical channel icons like the game, the Mii Plaza and system settings. It all looks very similar to the 3DS interface so if you’re used to that you’ll get to grips with this very quickly. Should you want these channel icons on the big screen you can simply tap a little icon in the corner and hey presto your channels are on the big screen while the Miiverse transfers to the little screen! Handy!

Iwata showed how the Miiverse can be used in various ways. Screenshots can be sent to the Miiverse mid-game simply by pressing the Home button on the GamePad and selecting the Miiverse. The messages you post integrate into a feed that is a bit of a blend between Twitter and good old PictoChat. There’s the handy option to tag your posts with spoiler warnings which will be useful as these can be filtered out by people who don’t want future events spoiled for them! Whether people will actually be nice and use that Spoiler Button is another matter entirely though…

Friends can be added at the touch of a button, provided they accept of course, and there will be no fiddly friend codes which should make the whole thing smoother and less frustrating. So if you meet people who are quite helpful you can add them as a friend. The Wii U: bringing people together.

The Miiverse integrates itself into certain games as well. Iwata showed us how it will work in Nintendo Land where while walking around the main hub you bump into other Miis wandering around and see their messages pop up as they pass by. New Super Mario Bros. U also integrates the Miiverse with messages popping up on the world map screen and specific help being tailored to you should you be struggling at a certain point in the game. I’m sure all of this can be turned off should you not want any of it though.

Web Browser

The presentation also had a good look at the internet browser showing how it can be called upon via the GamePad at any moment you like. Wondering who directed 28 Days Later while playing ZombiU? Well bring up the web browser, head on over to the IMDb and find out! The example shown in the presentation was during a game of New Super Mario Bros. U where the player becomes avidly interested in flying squirrels and decides he simply must look them up! Lucky for him he can pause the game and search for information on them online.

Nintendo ID and Video Chat

User accounts were also detailed by Mr Iwata with the revelation that there will be 12 available per console which for those with 13 family members in the household will be disappointing I’m sure. The Nintendo Network can also be connected with other devices such as smartphones or personal computers which is fairly standard procedure these days.

Something that will definitely be music to the ears of many is that every user account registered to the console will be able to play a downloaded game not just the user who downloaded it. That would have certainly been annoying and it’s good Nintendo have cleared this up.

You’ll be needing your Nintendo ID to use the video chat function which looks to be not just a useful feature but a whole lot of fun. In the presentation we got to see Iwata have a friendly president-to-president chat with Reggie Fils-Aime as he lovingly drew all over the American’s face… We also got to hear Reggie speak a bit of Japanese too! No idea what he said…

The video chat feature does look a whole lot of fun, Iwata and Reggie appeared to use the GamePad’s stand on a table-top to speak to one another but there’s no reason why you can’t just hold it out in front of you. Just remember to be as nice as Mr Iwata when you’re doodling over your friend!

Karaoke

Iwata also revealed some big news for Japan with the announcement of a deal with Joysounds to bring a karaoke app to the Wii U with over 90,000 tracks available from the off! We all know just how much the Japanese love their karaoke so this could potentially be huge! It’s fairly doubtful it’ll make it outside of Japan however so we’ll all have to make do with SiNG Party for now…

That wasn’t all though! Right at the start of the presentation President Iwata rather unexpectedly put on some white gloves and unboxed a Premium Wii U! We got to see all those lovely cables as Iwata delicately removed them all from the box and delicately placed them all on the table. I do believe that’s the first ever unboxing of a Wii U, it certainly was the weirdest episode of CSI I’d ever seen…

So that’s it, the gloves are off and Nintendo are all raring to go! What are your thoughts on the Miiverse? Check out the English subtitled videos below to see more!

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