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Social features in games have become “very important” if not “mandatory,” says Iwata

Thursday, 23rd August 2012 19:44 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has described MiiVerse, the social network for Wii U, as a bit like Facebook for Nintendo fans, with a few exceptions.

Speaking with Kotaku, Iwata feels in the current climate, a social in games is “very important” if not “mandatory.”

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

“Of course the Internet does provide a lot of that interaction, but it’s not built for that purpose. For example, Facebook is something that connects you socially with a lot of different folks, but that doesn’t guarantee that the people you are going to have interactions with via Facebook are interested in games. And what I’m saying is that 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 a lot of different folks.

“I feel that we need to create—or present—a gaming platform as the place to create that ‘social graph’ for folks who are in gaming circles, I guess. So that’s kind of the reason for creating Miiverse.”

Iwata used Xbox Live as an example of a service which allows people to play “with folks at different locations at the same time,” something Nintendo plans to offer with Wii U in an sense.

“If you look at gaming services, for example if you look at Xbox Live, one of the more traditionally or generally accepted features of the gaming service is the ability to play with folks at different locations at the same time,” he said. “On the other hand, you’re not always going to be available at the same time to play with each other.

“And of course we’re going to have that service of head-to-head [multiplayer, when you are] on at the same time playing games against each other, but what we really want to do is create a place where folks who are playing by themselves will not feel like they are playing by themselves.

“They’ll be able to share those experiences and have that empathy that we mentioned earlier.”

Wii U is currently without a concrete release date, but Nintendo is holding a press event in New York City on September 13, so hopefully an exact date and price will be announced at that time.

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11 Comments

  1. monkeygourmet

    This doesn’t bode well…

    Nintendo thinks the world is only populated by Children and Paedophiles… :)

    Social networking is not exactly their forte at the moment, I’m seriously interested to see ow they improve things with the Wii U…

    #1 2 years ago
  2. polygem

    :D…ouch!

    me too. i hope they will push this with full force…i kind of think they will, it would be very clever. everyone believes their online with wiiu will be half assed. what i have seen from mii verse looked very interesting and slick. it looked like a very polished and thought out system. i really liked it…we´ll soon find out more.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. monkeygourmet

    Mii verse could actually be amazing…!

    The 3DS showed huge potential with the street pass feature. Sony had a similar thing (I didn’t say copy!) on the Vita which I tried out before I sold mine, but it wasn’t quite as fun as the 3DS version :)

    But, Wii and DS showed poor online foresight, so I’m still a bit sceptical!

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Malmer

    If I want to share I just pick up my phone and tweet something. I don’t need one more social network. Granted, I don’t need a Wii U either so that kinda works out for me.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. DrDamn

    Sounds good. I liked stuff like other peoples Miis turning up to watch you play Wii sports tennis, particularly if you had friends who created celebrity Miis like Michael Jackson. Better online with the Japanese tilt still very much present would work very well indeed.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. monkeygourmet

    @5

    This, 3DS online can get quite ‘wacky’ in a good way, I hope Wii U follows suit and enhances it.

    XBLive is a solid system but lacks real fun. The awards are nice but too much advertising leaves a bad taste.

    Home (PSN) sucks so much ass it’s not even funny. (from an easy to access community perspective before people jump down my throat).

    Nintendo could do something cool (if they don’t fuck it up of course!) :)

    #6 2 years ago
  7. OlderGamer

    Doc, I loved that too. I made a Snoopy Mii and a Charlie Brown Mii. I am a peanuts fan!

    #7 2 years ago
  8. DrDamn

    @6
    Japanese devs in general have done some really interesting social things in games. Taking quirkiness and social conservative inclinations to go beyond just playing online versus or with people. Stuff like Demons/Dark Souls, Dragons Dogma or even Everybodys Golf.

    PSN was very poor to start and only functional now. Vita is much better designed with social aspects properly integated from the start. Want to see WiiU embrace the basics of the functional side but layer on some Nintendo magic ;)

    #8 2 years ago
  9. polygem

    if it will be a little bit like animal crossing it will be great.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Dragon246

    They can look around themselves for more info. Japanese mobile market is miles ahead from rest of the world in many ways. A good look there can provide them with good ideas.
    Although none of the social features anywhere appeal me as gaming is not very popular where I live , especially on consoles other consoles than ps (ninty doesn’t even exist here as they don’t bother themselves with smaller markets, which is sad ).

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Da Man

    Japanese mobile market is miles ahead from rest of the world in many ways.
    What do you mean?

    #11 2 years ago

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