E3 2012: Prepare to Enter the Miiverse

Get yourself connected

Nintendo has offered a tantalising peek at Wii U's menu and online systems at its pre-E3 Nintendo Direct. Dubbed Miiverse, it's a bit like a Mii-based social network that is always online, allowing you to chat with your friends and others online about all the games you're playing.

The Miiverse Plaza is the first thing that pops up when Wii U is switched on, and it can be accessed at any time during gameplay. From here you can share content with others, plus use voice chat and messaging services to plead for help if you're stuck. You can even use emoticons, handwriting and doodles for that personal touch.

You can also share screenshots of your gameplay online.

Miiverse will be compatible with all Wii U games. Nintendo plans to allow access to the Miiverse through mobile phones, the web and — of course — Nintendo 3DS, though it hasn't said when all that will be available just yet.