In a post-financial briefing analyst discussion last week, Iwata discussed a few things of interest concerning the (fast approaching!) Wii U.
Details regarding Miiverse, as well as Nintendo’s overall online strategy, in particular, have been…. Scant. Well, good news, a Nintendo Direct is currently being prepared to shed some more light on this shadowed area of Nintendo’s future.
Excitingly however, Iwata announced that Friend Codes are being abandoned for Wii U. That’s right, no more messing around with… However-many-digit numbers. Miiverse is designed for “create[ing] more opportunities for communication and empathy among users.” and “those who have empathized with each other can create a Friend relationship”. In practice, those opportunities will be things like comments on Mario levels, or anything the developer wants players to be able to communicate about. It’s a far less frictional method than those days of yore, shouting a string of numbers down a phone line and typing them onto a TV with a Wiimote.
Iwata has also made it clear he wants players to be able to make more emotive connections on his network, the Mii metaphor is a good start, but expect Nintendo to capitalize on the sorts of communication encouraged by the DS’ Pictochat and 3DS’ Letterbox.