Nintendo president Satoru Iwata detailed Wii U’s Miiverse feature during a Japanese Nintendo Direct broadcast this morning.
Upon start-up, players are greeted on the TV screen with the WaraWara Plaza, and on the Wii U GamePad with a Wii Channel-like user interface. In WaraWara, players can see what friends are playing and read their comments and drawings.
To begin using the system, the player must first create a Wii U user account, which is tied to game settings, save data, internet bookmarks, and play history. But before entering the WaraWara Plaza, the Wii U GamePad will display a user select screen. A single Wii U can hold up to 12 users.
To access online features such as the eShop, Miiverse, or video chat, the player must create a Nintendo Network ID (this will replace Friend Codes). Registration requires the basics: password, birthday, gender, residence, and e-mail address. eShop purchases made through one Nintendo Network account will be playable by others on the same system. The platform itself is accessible not only on Wii U, but on smartphones and PCs, as well, and will be integrated in future Nintendo platforms.
For more details on Miiverse, see the today-published Iwata Asks column.
A promotional video featuring New Super Mario Bros. 2 highlighted some of Wii U’s Miiverse features. Using the home button, the player can access Miiverse while still in-game, and post to a game-specific board (in this case, Mario) to ask for help, help other players, post screenshots, and find new friends to follow. Spoiler comments can even be managed. In the game itself, comments can be seen in various places, such as the world map. If you keep dying, you’ll be asked if you’d like to post to Miiverse. Or, if we look at Nintendo Land, we can see comments and drawings from users in the plaza area.
Iwata briefly video-chatted with Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime via Wii U Chat. During their discussion, Iwata demonstrated how players can draw on the GamePad screen while the video chat is in session.
Wii U will add its Internet Browser, Miiverse, and the Nintendo eShop via a large day-one update. Be prepared with an internet connection upon start-up.
Also mentioned during the broadcast, Wii owners will be able to move their WiiWare and Virtual Console games to Wii U. This process will be explained in detail at a later date.
Watch the full Nintendo Direct below.