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Nintendo is going Social so prepare yourself

8/29/12 8:00pm
tl;dr

 Nintendo's President Iwata states that social features will be heading to the upcoming WiiU. 

In a recent interview with Kotaku, Nintendo's "head honcho" Satoru Iwata states that the addition of social features to multiplayer and single player games is "mandatory". With Nintendo's Miiverse coming for the WiiU it's clear that the big N is putting a lot of focus into the social aspect of their games.

A glance at Nintendo's social media driven Miiverse. 

It's obvious that online gaming can be a very unfriendly place. Before June's E3 Iwata said in a pre-recorded video address that he wants Miiverse to make gamers feel "empathy" for one another. Yes... "empathy". One of Nintendo's biggest pushs for "empathy gaming" was the StreetPass function on the 3DS. It was a feature where gamers would exchange information and greetings when coming across another 3DS owner.

When asked about how Nintendo's online service will compete/compare to Microsoft's very popular Xbox Live, a place littered with hostile gamers, his reply didn't include how Nintendo plans to compare to Live instead he answered with how Nintendo is trying to create their own unique style social network with the 3DS, Wii U and any future console/handheld devices.     

"We have reached an era where even a single-player game experience [can] have a social component that is very important. And I think, again, that social component is mandatory"

Iwata then went on to talk about his social interactions with friends while playing games like Legend of Zelda or Super Mario Bros. 

"Early on, when I played a Mario game, it was really fun for me to sit and chat with my friends about, 'Hey I found coins over here, there's a hidden place.' [or] 'this is how far I got.' That interaction was great"... "I think you'll agree that [it was also great] to help your friends in playing a Zelda game by saying, 'Hey, this is how you get past this boss or solve this puzzle"  

When asked to compare Nintendo's social media to the Internet Iwata explains that the Internet provides a lot of interaction, however he also says that "It wasn't built for that purpose" He then uses Facebook as an example saying: "Facebook is something that connects you socially with a lot of different folk, but that doesn't guarantee that the people you are going to have interactions with via Facebook are interested in games"  He explains: "I don't believe that the life experiences that you have-and those might be with the people you are connected with on Facebook-are not equal to the gaming experiences you might have with other folks". 

Iwata describes how Nintendo felt that they needed to "create or present a new gaming platform as the place to create that 'social graph' for folks who are in gaming circles".  He explains that is what the Miiverse is for and that is why they created it. 

Some of the key functions of the WiiU edtion of Miiverse are as followed:

The WiiU's version includes a plaza where Mii's who you live near or close to gather around and talk via text chat and display which game they are playing with a overhead icon.  

Gamers will be able to share helpful hints, ask for assistance or cry out in frustration with text chat.

Now with a touch of the screen you can instantly send messages with hand drawn pictures attached.

With all of this being said don't let your expectations get too high. After all we saw how far behind Nintendo was in this generation of the console wars. So could this social platform work? Could Nintendo be a step ahead? We'll all find out when the WiiU launchs this Holiday season.

So g1s whatcha think? Would you give Nintendo a "Like" or are they on their way to being unfriended? Let me know in the comments below! -ThatPunkAdam 

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