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Satoru Iwata: Miiverse is About More Than Competitive Multiplayer

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

It's a "social graph" for gamers

Since Miiverse was revealed during Nintendo's pre-E3 video presentation, it's become evident that it takes the Mii concept from Wii and expands it to something more than a humorous avatar that's playable in some games. Wii did allow some fun ways of sharing Mii characters and giving them more personality, and 3DS has continued the trend, but it seems to be the Wii U Miiverse that will finally turn them from fun little avatars into a representation of the gamer in a virtual world: at least that seems to be the intention.

In the second part of its interview with Satoru Iwata, Kotaku asked about the Miiverse concept, which will be prominent on Wii U and is set to also become part of 3DS in the future. Iwata-san spoke about the idea behind the new online functionality and how it aims to encourage interaction between gamers in single player experiences, not just in competitive multiplayer.

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

...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.

When we looked at the timing of how we are going to be implementing it, [we said], 'Okay, when are the best points when people want to have social interactions and makes them want to reach out and say, "Me too," "I did that," "I feel the same way,"?', I think, on a very human level, that is what will give them a sense of satisfaction.

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. 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.

We've seen examples of this in action with the infamous 'non-specific Action Figure' skit, where being stuck in a game can be countered by hopping onto Miiverse to look up information, ask for help or even video call a friend. It promises to be one of the most intriguing parts of Wii U when it launches later this year, and it'll be interesting to see whether Nintendo can deliver on the ambitious concept.

[via kotaku.com]

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User Comments (31)

DeMoN-13ruce

#1

DeMoN-13ruce said:

yup very cool:D

to be honest this owns xbox/ps online...

edit:ps4 playstationbook
xbox 720=microsoftface:p

FluttershyGuy

#2

FluttershyGuy said:

That's all very interesting! Myself, though, the big appeal is Mario, Zelda, Samus, etc. in HD at long last! The whole social gaming thing... whatever. Am I the only one that thinks gaming is complicated with a lot of unnecessary features anymore? Just let me sit down and play, already. I remember the old days of, you know, having a human being called a "friend" over with all the functions of Miiverse and more. Like taunting you if you lose a life, or are beaten by him/her (flip side is your own ability to trash talk..."go home and be a family pet" :p ).

Shiryu

#3

Shiryu said:

Looking forward to it's implementation. The possibilities are always there, it's up to Nintendo and 3rd parties to use it properly and make us the end user understand it's purpose.

Araknie

#4

Araknie said:

That's cool if they do two things.

They make harder games witch require to go check what friends say.
They cancel that annoying "super help" or whatever it's called so you can are more intrigued in the game.

hydeks

#5

hydeks said:

Am I the only one that imagined Iwata talking when reading that? lol

Truly, Wii U seems like a great over-all machine, but Nintendo is keeping too much a secret. I hate to admit it, but I think I will get a better idea of Wii U when people like X-Play review the system. Not gonna be a earlier adopter of the system, but I do have a keen eye on the system, for sure!

TruenoGT

#6

TruenoGT said:

Most gamers I know in the real-world are into the whole COD-type gaming scene and it's hard to find a Nintendo game fan to connect with locally... I'm excited about the prospect of connecting with Nintendo fans all around the world. It would be cool to also see this extended to things like Virtual Console so fans of older games can find more dynamic ways to connect and communicate while playing.

DestinyMan

#9

DestinyMan said:

I'm not sure if I would use this very much, but it does sound like a great concept and I hope Nintendo implements it well. It's about time for Nintendo fans to gather around and partake in Nintendo games. It's tough to be a Nintendo fan when the online world is dominated by XBox and PS3 fans who live and breath COD and the like. It'll be great to learn more at the conference on September 13.

MAB

#10

MAB said:

Video calls are going to be hilarious :)

DeMoN-13ruce 'hey MadAussie how do I get passed this bit on ZombiU'

MadAussie 'I don't know dude just kill stuff'

DeMoN 'Why are you sitting on the couch in your undies eating a bag of crisps, my eyes they burn' ;)

19Robb92

#11

19Robb92 said:

I see lots of potential in Miiverse.

I have my doubts on the overall performance though. We'll see how it turns out, but I'm staying cautiously optimistic.

rjejr

#12

rjejr said:

1 of my favorite aspects of the Wii - which I haven't yet been able to figure out on the PS3, if anybody knows please tell me - is the record keeping. I like both the calendar which has a daily tally of hours played - I'm weird and I like going back over the past 5 years and looking up everything I've played and my Wii-mails to family; and the Records (which for some reason is hidden away somewhere) telling me how many hours we've played each game. We're almost up to 400 for SSBB. They've gotten even better on the 3DS where you can sort by games, and the layout really lets you see what your kids have been doing all summer. Note to parents - the short battery life is a blessing. Again, I'ld really like to be able to pull this stuff up on my PS3 but I can't find anything like it, the saves folder is hit and miss. I haven't seen a Vita so maybe it's in there.

Really looking forward to the WiiU taking all of this info to the next step worldwide. Mario Kart Wii has world wide race scores - probably the best scoreboard aspect on the Wii. I love seeing my little Mii-head guy compared to the best in the US and the world. Now imagine this for every WiiU owner in the world for every game they play? How awesome is that?

Important question for NL or anybody in the know - how will multiple accounts be handled on the WiiU? I really like the separate accounts on the PS3. I returned my PSP b/c it was 1 account only. We have three 3DS in my house. I'm wondering if all of our Mii's will be in 1 Miiverse at a time or if we get separated out like the PS3. Thanks for any info.

Phle

#13

Phle said:

@MadAussieBloke
Yes, I can see that too. But It might encourage people to keep the area captured by the videocamera spotless and run and fetch clothes before making a call (^_^)

TheChosen

#14

TheChosen said:

Nintendo isnt the only one. Valve is also taking a huge step towards more social gaming by revamping their community section on Steam. It kind of reminds me of Facebook now and its really well made. If Nintendo's approach is anything like it, its something I can live with.

HaNks

#15

HaNks said:

worrying statement. i hope it has a good amount of competitive multiplayer gaming too. you know the bread and butter stuff. seems nintendo want to focus more on the community side of things than actually implementing online multiplayer/co-op in all their titles...

BandG

#16

BandG said:

if they want miis to be even somewhat interesting, let them have different shirts, pants, hats, etc., the mii system right now is unbelievably basic, and the bear minimum.

Squiggle55

#17

Squiggle55 said:

This strikes me as a very strange statement. I knew it was a "social graph" and a way to connect asynchronously. I want to know that it's also about competitive multiplayer and that Nintendo is going to take that seriously.

Monsti

#18

Monsti said:

It's Not that hard and not really something new to not play alone when noone's online...that's what the ghosts in Mario Kart 7 are...so nothing new here...they really need to make these REAL announcements soon ^^

MeloMan

#19

MeloMan said:

It's still kind of broad to me, but I get it. I could be running any single player game and communicating with someone else playing the same game, possibly passing tips back and forth as we go. Or, hopefully there's an option for me to be playing a single player game and someone can watch me play... the possibilities are huge. Just hope it delivers and whatever way it's intended to and beyond.

LittleIrves

#20

LittleIrves said:

@rjejr I'm with you on the appeal of the Wii/3DS's record-keeping feature. It's odd, since it's just numbers and dates, but there's something satisfying about specific information on how long/often you've played certain software, and seeing monthly graphs of usage.... it's very basic, but like you said the other systems don't have a transparent tracking system of their own, and I rather enjoy checking in on such stats. The simple "Time Played" stat far outweighs any kind of arbitrary achievement system (imho). Can't wait to see how WiiU handles this kind of peripheral (but important) stuff...

PokeTune

#21

PokeTune said:

I just want to play with my friends and interact with them with ease. Is THAT so much to ask,Nintendo?

SilverArrow

#22

SilverArrow said:

Nintendo, user accounts on 3DS, backups of downloaded software on 3DS, way to recover if 3DS is stolen, sold, or broken. Make it happen. I'll be happy.

Jukilum

#24

Jukilum said:

@HaNks I personally don't want every game to have multiplayer or co-op. Zelda for example, unless it is four swords or the minigames in the DS games, but I don't want the single player experience compromised for the sake of an arbitrary multiplayer mode.

janettocrossing

#25

janettocrossing said:

The only downside to this is that i'll have to clean my room everyday... :P Anyway, i can't wait for Miiverse! It looks great! :D

sinalefa

#26

sinalefa said:

I have never been into the social aspect, so I don't look forward to that.

I agree with rjejr and littleirves. I love to see how long I have played some games, as sometimes I cannot even believe my own stats. I prefer the 3DS version since you do not need to be online to access it. I have noticed also that the Wii version tends to ignore some games, like NPC Pikmin 2. I don't believe the PS3 has anything like it besides the own counter in the games themselves.

Shworange

#27

Shworange said:

@hydeks
I did picture him talking! He has a very recognizable speech pattern. He is very slow in delivery yet deliberate and thoughtful.

@rjejr
I don't know if you were talking about the wii or not, but the records are kept on the "Nintendo channel". Go to the icons at the bottom of the screen once this loads. One of them will be for records.

HaNks

#30

HaNks said:

@Jukilum true, but i'm more talking about games that have local multiplayer anyway. for example, Pikmin 3 has a co-op mode, but you can't play online. Miyamoto said it wasn't practical to implement due to the games complexity. i don't believe that's excusable in 2012 or a sign that they're taking the online gaming element seriously.

Samholy

#31

Samholy said:

i love my 3DS stats options. i made gazillions steps with it.

having statistic graphs or app on a console is niiiice ! but a bit depressing sometimes, when you see how much time was spent on games... bah
definitely a PLUS for the WiiU.
still not gonna get one, i have young kids and they will tear my poor WiiU tablet appart in no time. if i wait until theyre older to get it, well. sony will have their console out and it will probably be into my living room as a king, leaving no place for the poor WiiU.

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