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.
Does anyone actually use pictochat any more? I know I don’t. It’s a nice feature, but without it being in real time to someone it’s basically useless to organize online games with.
I don’t really think people *use* Pictochat, in any meaningful way. But like you say, it’s a nice idea, and I think Nintendo will continue to go down that route of more personal communication, and hopefully come up with something useful!
Having said that, I do know that Pictochat was popular amongst children, at least over hear in the UK, but without online functionality it had limited use..
I do not even know anyone who used pictochat. If is was online it would have been cool.I used it with one of my friends once to draw dirty pictures. I like the direction nintendo is going, I like talking to people.
Pictochat was awful!