This week Nintendo finally delivered Miiverse, along with the Nintendo Network ID and shared eShop fund support, to the 3DS. While it has its flaws — which we'll cover to some degree this weekend — that's to be expected with any launch, especially one such as this that fundamentally shakes up the infrastructure of the system and its online store. The update delivered two particular aspects that we think are integral — 3DS owners could join the Miiverse community, but more importantly it linked Wii U and 3DS owners together. In these respects, this update could one day be considered as an important step in the evolution of both systems.
We've argued in the past, we think with good reason, that while other portable systems — be they the Vita or the omnipresent smartphones and tablets — strive for multi-functionality and social networking, the 3DS has carved a niche exclusively as a games platform. The Vita, to a degree, made much of Twitter and Facebook integration when it launched. The 3DS does offer extras that weren't on the DS, but in most cases these features link to games or gaming habits in some way, with StreetPass and SpotPass being notable examples. Swapnote / Nintendo Letter Box was perhaps one case of Nintendo opening the device up for more social interaction; its recent loss due to concerns of illegal activities was felt by some dedicated fans, to be sure, but we're not convinced that the widespread userbase would have been particular affected. It was an extra, and arguably not integral to the system's main purposes; most turn on their 3DS to do one thing, play games.
While that's been a strength of the system, there are signs that targeted social features are on Nintendo's radar, with the admittedly clunky Animal Crossing: New Leaf implementation with social networks such as Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook filling up plenty of timelines — this was via the 3DS Image Share function. It perhaps best represented why the 3DS has been a game-centric device and not gone into the realms of seamless social interaction; hardware and firmware limitations meant that the process worked but, compared to similar sharing on a typical modern phone, it was old-fashioned. This isn't a slight on the system — it's a games machine selling big numbers around the world — but a bit of context.
Yet the Miiverse update does work within the system's limitations to deliver a solid experience, including popular features such as posting with screenshots (for applicable games). What's been noticeable is the increased activity on Miiverse now that the large 3DS userbase is on board — from some test runs on our part, we've seen far greater engagement — through Yeahs and comments — since the update was applied. It's blindingly obvious that adding over 30 million users to a social network helps drive activity, but it's also significant for the simple reason that Nintendo's tweaked Miiverse to be multi-platform in its presentation and dynamic; that's been an important step.
With the exception of friend requests and direct messages, the 3DS Miverse app operates in largely the same way as the Wii U and web browser equivalents; veterans of the home-console version will likely feel right at home. Nintendo's been clever in giving easy access — simply through a selectable option — to view Wii U communities, and we'd wager that the "tap and experiment" nature of apps like this will drive various users to explore these areas. We've already mentioned that the early take-up of Miiverse on the portable has seemed to be substantial, and Nintendo may have just produced the most effective, inexpensive and targeted Wii U advertising that's possible.
We should remember that Miiverse is, broken down, rather like a Twitter / Facebook hybrid that serves as a sanctuary — of sorts — for Nintendo gamers. It's entirely unique in how focused and managed it is, with a moderating team always doing a reasonable job of keeping the platform clean and inoffensive. That audience is now being aligned across the two platforms — in a significant way — for perhaps the first time. We've had limited examples of cross-platform content, such as Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and less direct cross referencing such as the Animal Crossing Plaza on Wii U; it's unclear whether Super Smash Bros. will have any interaction between the two versions. These are limited examples, however, and due to the technological limitations and — perhaps — stretched resources, we're very unlikely to see anything like the connectivity between 3DS and Wii U as is possible with PS Vita and PS4. As a comparison that's not necessarily valid, but what Miiverse can do is align audiences, if not actual experiences.
We'd even suggest that, as time goes on, Nintendo should cater and drive Miiverse on the 3DS, in particular, to drive attention to the Wii U. Beyond the current button to switch to Wii U communities, more could be done. It's worth noting that, across multiple generations, Nintendo's handhelds have mostly outperformed — in pure sales terms — their home console counterparts. Future Miiverse redesigns should hopefully draw the attention of 3DS gamers to the Wii U in more significant ways — a banner pointing to a new release, for example. In an ideal world Nintendo will also establish communities that more directly tie Wii U and 3DS gamers together; so perhaps a combined Mario Kart community, likewise Smash Bros. We have these already, in cases such as Smash Bros., but optimising the layout to draw more eyes and attract more posts should be a priority.
The 3DS is Nintendo's golden ticket of this generation of hardware, and the latest update opens up an opportunity to truly spread Wii U awareness. One of the Wii U's issues — though others can naturally be highlighted — has been awareness and marketing; we should remember that a number of 3DS owners may not be enthusiasts that visit gaming websites on a daily basis, but consumers that were attracted by a specific title or brand such as Animal Crossing or Pokémon X & Y; add that to the affordable price of the various hardware iterations, and it's flourished. Yet plenty of those owners may own a Wii for very similar reasons, and the reasoning is simple — if they sign up to a Nintendo Network ID and become charmed by Miiverse, their eye may be drawn to the Wii U, curious about a home console that now has major Mario / Zelda titles and more and, of course, the bespoke network.
The Miiverse community has suddenly grown substantially, by tens of millions users — not everyone connects their system, admittedly, but the majority do — and it gives Nintendo a fresh opportunity. There's never been such an accessible, direct connection between Nintendo's portable and home consoles — if there are opportunities to use the successful handheld to lift the struggling HD system, they should be used.
Miiverse is, we'd suggest, Nintendo's finest non-gaming app in recent memory, and is truly a revolution in how Nintendo gamers can interact and share experiences. Perhaps it's now ready to take off.
ok, well, love all of the miiverse versions, and hope that they let me message my friends.
oh, and i hope they connect new leaf with a wii u version.
I was hyped about miiverse but after trying it out, I find it dull and boring.
@DarkCoolEdge really? i thought it was stupid before, and tried it and liked it.
Miiverse needs more 3DS communities other than that it's awesome!!!
Miiverse is amazing and incredibly addicting. Nintendo can really do some amazing stuff with it if they tried harder.
It's definitely nice to see the Miiverse community finally being brought to the right hardware. Just saying. There's more games to talk about on the 3DS than the Wii U.
One of the things I really love about Miiverse is that it's such a lovely community! Everyone always seems super friendly and helpful if you ask a genuine question.
@DarkCoolEdge I recommend giving it a bit more time with it, that's what I did.
@DarkCoolEdge Same here. I've spent all year listening to people on here talking it up, and was really eager to see what the fuss is about. I just don't get it. There's no kind of discussion on there, it's just a whole load of 'Yeah if you like this game'. Very disappointed.
I do find it odd that some games don't have communities yet...
I love MiiVerse, it's fun to post and share progress throughout different games. That being said, it'd be really nice if they'd just get those older 3DS game communities out. I re-bought Kid Icarus in excitement for MiiVerse and I'm not opening it till it gets a community. I saw they updated Japan with some more, so hopefully America and Europe can get that same treatment by week's end.
I just find it baffling that Nintendo opted to make MiiVerse a web app on the 3DS. The Wii U is powerful enough that a web app makes sense, but MiiVerse runs so slow on the 3DS. They really should have made it a native app like the eShop.
Let's hope Nintendo starts offering cross-buy Virtual Console titles to help entice 3DS owners to grab a Wii U!
@sleepinglion That's my biggest wish. These Mega Man purchases are getting ridiculous...
All they need is to add Wii games to it and it will be quite a bustling community. It also needs some serious UI overhaul before it can really do the idea justice.
@Peach64 I think you either checked the wrong communities at the wrong time or had nothing to ask/discuss or draw. There's a lot of nonsense to filter out and it has sort of become a backslapping club for talented pixel art people but there are also some brilliant ideas coming along. There's users hosting competitions for stuff like F-Zero, people asking for user reviews and giving news. It's also great for voicing your displeasure at Nintendo's VC releases.
I love it. It's like when they added Internet to the DS.
The Wii U deserves the attention of every 3ds owner.
I have them both (1st a Wii U and then a 3ds-xl) and love´m both.
(If for any reason (like money) I had to chose I´d pick the Wii U.)
But having them both grants access to tons of great games; alone, multiplayer and for partys!
I'm loving 3DS Miiverse more than I thought I would, already shared 2 New Leaf screenshots today, starting to become addicting sharing all the cool things I come across!
@DarkCoolEdge What it needs to bring in more ppl to it's warm embrace is the ability to share FCs, the ability to add friends and the ability to send PMs directly to your friend list friends. What Miiverse is on the 3DS right now is about how limited it was during the launch of the Wii U. I think Nintendo will make it as full bodied as it is on the Wii U, it will just take them a while… like it does with all things. Hang in there, the ability to say "I'm stuck on this part can anybody help me?" and get a plethora of other users giving you a helping hand is very useful and is also an underrated part of Miiverse.
I was never a miiverse fan until recently. There are people worth chatting with. Worth while ideas and interesting folks. It just takes time to find those people. Lots of time...I dont think miiverse for 3ds will grow wiius community...
You do realise if you press the comment it opens it up for response right? Considering how proactive you are on this site I'm amazed you haven't got a Wii U yet! Still sceptical?
companies like two tribes who get involved with their communities help to make miiverse great. i participated in all the drawing contests they held and was very happy to see the winners drawings included in the toki tori 2 update.
I always like miiverse because it feel like a community that enjoy playing games. I also like the unity of the 3ds and WiiU miiverse because it help raise attention to the WiiU games for 3ds only people and with that, protential WiiU owners.
3DS games now are gonna need Miiverse integration, because that's what actually got me interested in that social media on my Wii U. To cite a couple of exemples, Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World both made me spend a LOT of time interacting on the Miiverse. In those cases, you're actually using the Miiverse in-game, and that makes a LOT of difference. We need similar stuff on 3DS, and I'm sure we'll get them.
The lack of friend requests is unfortunate, however, and has me thinking we won't see true integration until the next generation of Nintendo handhelds.
@Peach64 - Pretty much my sentiments exactly when I bought our Wii U back in Aug. Though I do like the start-up wara wara plaza and seeing my family of 4 standing in the middle better than the XMB. My kids like posting and I have posted a few pics - poster at end of W101 is amazing. I think there was just too much hype on here. It is a HUMONGOUS step up from the Wii though.
I used my wife's 3DS as a test bed for the update before updating my 2 kids 3DSs and her reaction was - she wants a Facebook app. I showed her how to use FB on the web browser but it is a bit clunky. She did like the Youtube app though. But shes not a huge gamer, so Miiverse isn't for her. She currently has a DS Bookworm game in her 3DS and I'm not sure she's ever played a 3DS game besides the included Nintnedogs. I bought her a 3DS for Okamiden b/c it seemed stupid to buy a DSi after the 3DS came out and had that huge price drop. Had the 3DS still been $249 it's 1st Christmas she would have received a DSi. And shes probably getting either a tablet or smartphone for Christmas so I think her 3DS days are over anyway.
While it has its flaws — which we'll cover to some degree this weekend —
Guess I'll wait until this weekend to update the kids 3DS just in case there's any important info in there. I'm still mad we jumped the gun on Sonic.
I love using Miiverse on both devices, I am definitely not sad about Swapnote anymore!
I thought Miiverse to be a bit mehhh, until I was stumped in WWHD and put a post out on Miiverse. People responded quickly to help me and none if it was snarky and trolling! (IGN comments section anyone?)
So I'm not a huge user of it but I'm a fan for sure!
I won`t be using it until there is some real benefit in me getting a Nintendo ID. If there is a demo I really want to try I might but I am not even sure about that. I don`t like companies trying to manipulate me into doing stuff. (Google has started doing it recently Facebook always did). Makes me start looking for alternatives. (Nvidia Shield has just got a 60fps update).
I find the 3DS version to be rough compared to even the mobile browser one, and not even close to the Wii U standard.
Needs work, but at least it's finally there.
They're not manipulating you into anything. People wanted NNID on the 3DS and now it's here. Nobody would have had a problem with it if it was required from the start (like the Wii U).
@IxnayontheCK That is the best endorsement of Miiverse I've seen yet.
I think Miiverse is great. It can be overwhelming if you just blindly go into the forums/pages. But when you follow people and friends, it becomes a lot less cluttered and mirrors Facebook or Twitter a lot. I enjoy seeing what my friends post and replying with drawings or text.
Its also great because gamers are often willing to help out when you ask a gameplay question on there.
@Unit_DTH In fact, the helping thing is the only stuff that keeps it from being worthless. But is easier to check it on a faq.
@Tmdean It is not a web app.
They could start promoting Miiverse it's a good idea and it works really well.
@unrandomsam "I won`t be using it until there is some real benefit in me getting a Nintendo ID."
@mch “The Wii U deserves the attention of every 3ds owner.”
I'm really getting addicted to miiverse. I tried the wii u version first, the the 3ds version. People, if you like miiverse on 3ds then try it on the wii u. Its definitely the superior version.
lol of course the miiverse has grown by tons of people. Now it has more than the 10 wiiu owners on there.
I enjoy Miiverse. I love posting screenshots and seeing other peoples' screens as well. In a game like New Leaf, which is all about customization, this can be really fun.
I do wish that sharing FCs was allowed, though. It's a little disappointing when you see someone in the New Leaf Community, for example, who has X, but is looking for Y, and you have Y, but need X, and you can't do anything about it XD
Hoping to see screenshot sharing enabled for more games as well, such as Pokemon X/Y
There aren't a lot of interesting conversations, on Miiverse. There are, at least, hundreds of "Who do you want in the new Smash Bros. game?" or "Yeah if you like my drawing/this game/". They could have just scrolled down to check, and seen the exact same message, a few times.
It does work well as a public FAQ, if you are lucky enough to have your question seen.
What Masahiro Sakurai is doing with his weekday postings is a really good idea, and this should be done more. It gives people a reason to visit Miiverse, even from their computer.
I would agree that you won't likely find many interesting conversations on MiiVerse but I don't think that is its main purpose. I love using it while playing a game like Batman Arkham Origins and getting a gadget and posting a screenshot of it along with a movie quote or something. Other players will comment back with funny replies or other movie quotes, which adds to the gaming and community experience.
Several of us MiiVerse users once spent weeks dropping daily quotes from the 1989 Batman movie, which was really fun. That kind of stuff leads to friend requests and opens up the social experience all around. I recommend giving it a try.
Finest non-gaming app?
Perchance you've forgotten Flipnote.
Social network AND animation suite.
Hey guys, Gary Busey is on Miiverse and he wants into Smash!! https://miiverse.nintendo.net/posts/AYMHAAACAAAYUKlB2xNdLA
@Nintenjoe64 I have never read a single positive comment made by Peach64, I wouldn't waste my time with him/her. Miiverse is fun and has tons of potential, yes there are many people who say how much they like the game they are playing but if they didn't enjoy playing it would they even be on miiverse in the first place?
I don't see the appeal to Miiverse. I excitedly downloaded it and haven't even the slightest desire to go back into it after spending a good while there the other night.
How long did you spend on it? I have found it very useful for information, recommendations and discussion. Though there can be a lot of crap, there is lots of good stuff too.
how would cross buying help entice people to buy a Wii U? If anything, those 3DS owners will not buy a Wii U because the game they want can be bought on their system
I like Miiverse but I do find it annoying when people post random stuff in communities which seems to happen most in the SSB community instead of just posting direct to their activity feed.
Quick question... How do you post on Miiverse with photos? (3DS Version)
I think until they make a non game specific community or letting 3ds owners post to their own private feeds then a lot of game communities will get spammed with random stuff... Just because there's no where else to post it...
And in regards to posting photos, it works in the same way game notes work. You pause the game, open miiverse and when you post a message you get the option to add the picture from the paused game.
Actually, I think it does. Whether those 3DS owners choose to take it any further is up to them. But their attention is certainly warranted, as a greater and greater majority of Wii U owners are saying how amazing the console has become over the last year. To say the Wii U doesn't even deserve the attention of a fellow Nintendo gamer (the most likely segment of gamers to be interested), bearing in mind the number of exclusives held in extremely high regard after just one year, is a little boggling to be honest.
The author stated you can view Wii U communities from the 3DS Miiverse by selecting an option... Does anyone know how?
@rjejr The focus will be on some wonky disconnects in the 3DS, such as the ongoing role of 3DS Friend Codes stripping Miiverse of that functionality and, ultimately, being a bit pants for that kind of thing. There's also the weird scenario of the far from complete 3DS Community list.
Overall though, Miiverse on 3DS is perfectly functional and safe to use, and in many respects seems to be going down well.
@JaxonH Should be at the bottom of the 3DS communities if I remember correctly
One thing they could do, if they allow game sharing, is have a 3DS/Wii U game section. Then communities of games that are available on platforms will show up.
That would give an idea that there's more connectivity between the consoles. I think Shovel Knight and EDGE are going to be available on both, IIRC, so the community would be identical on both platforms. You can talk about the same game, regardless of which system you're going onto Miiverse with.
When we get 3ds games with intergrated Miiverse functionality, then it will come into it's own. The Wii U's games had it from the start which is why U owners have made a big deal about it.
Very happy for 3DS gamers that can finally experience the terrific social app that is Miiverse. 'Tis cool.
Quite a few 3DS games have had patches available from the eshop, I dont think it would be unreasonable to think that a game like Animal Crossing that already has the ability to take photos and such, have an update that alows better miiverse integrtion.
@ThomasBW84 - Hey, thanks for that TW. Whatever "a bit pants" means I think I got the gist of it. Guess I need to go do that now. Part of my procrastination is the Club Nintendo connecting stuff. My kids show up under th e"Family" account but I'm not sure if I ever game them their own accounts. Or used their own emails. Or what their passwords are. Maintaining a replacement Wii U, at least 2 Club Nintendo accounts (maybe 4?) and 3 3DS isn't easy. This site does help a lot though.
@rjejr Ah sorry, I guess "a bit pants" is a British saying. A bit disappointing, I meant, in that respect.
As for the family account thing, I'm not sure. Do you have a Wii U? The important point is that you can only hook up one Nintendo Network ID to a 3DS, so in my case it auto-detected and connected Club Nintendo the first time I went onto the 3DS eShop, as it picked up the details from my Wii U account. The issue with Club Nintendo is if you're creating a brand new ID, so then you'll have to re-connect to Club Nintendo.
Waited for 3Dverse with impatience. It definitely has a lot of "white noice" messages. But there are a lot of fun and meaningful ones too. And you can easely find people with same gaming tastes as you.
I prefere to use Miiverse to share some thoughts or interesting moments from my games and usually get quick and friendly responses. Ability to save messages offline is very helpful, but it need editing.
Also I hope to see closer integration with 3DS games in future - like bottles from WW HD or guest Mii in Nintendo Land park. It was fun and unique experiences.
miiverse is indeed boring, specially when comparing with services like home for ps3 which basically is a miiverse with a 3d virtual world, oh and I almost forgot to say that youtube and all that sort of social pages are already serve as a powerful wii U advertisement tool.
@DarkCoolEdge @Peach64 you need to give it time.... This still new to 3ds owners. They haven't had time to explore it properly. That will change with time.... Miiverse started out feeling like a dud on Wii U in November 2012, 30 days later (Xmas) real discussions start to take off. I have threads that span several weeks of discussions regarding seperate games that usually move into discussions about the industry.... It's like Nintendolife but with a lot more readers.
Single player games have an isolated feeling about them. You are playing it all by yourself. Miiverse gives singleplayer games a sense of community. Its like you playing a game along side thousands of others at the same time.
Next single player game you put into your 3ds that has a community, try making postings during gameplay... If you find a secret, share it, if you find an interesting scene, share it. If you need help getting past something, ask it. Start threads and contribute to others with the games you play.
It is a killer app if you are leveraging it properly. I'm dying for a SMT IV community. It's a completely Singleplayer game, but having Miiverse for it will give it a sense of community.
Some only use the service for trolling, if that's what you enjoy, knock yourself out. I enjoy riling up the Sonic fans.
Give 3ds owners time to adjust to the service.
@mch much the same here.. I prefer to game on the Wii U. Nintendo's efforts in software on their home consoles are so much more than what can be done on the 3ds... Take the two 3d Mario's. Even though both are based on the same concept they feel miles apart. The 3ds game, while really fun, feels quite tame when it comes to new ideas. Whereas 3D World is blowing your mind every other level.....
I purchased the 3ds xl in Febuary to strictly fill in the droughts of Wii U titles. So while Nintendo sorts out their development pipeline on Wii U, my 3DS sees nonstop playtime.
@Rosalina you press the home button in your game at the exact moment you want to share. Then click on Miiverse, click post, then select the picture icon and it will ask you which screen to share.
Btw your character looks adorable in her boomerang and cat suit
@rjejr jumped the gun on Sonic? Didn't like it either? I rented it and played it for a few hours and sent it back, not really into it I guess. I used to be a big Sonic fan when I was a kid. Just feels like the developers brainstormed up thousands of ideas and the director didn't have enough sense to say no to things. The item sharing is so clunky and poorly explained and executed, Just doesn't feel like it needs to be in there at all.
In Iwata asks with Kamiya, he explained his first game he directed at Capcom was a trainwreck because he didn't say no to a single idea. It's baffling SEGA wouldn't put their most talented teams on their flagship franchise. It could've been great if they just kept the game simple and let creative level design drive the game instead of trying to build complicated ideas around the game, because some of the level design was interesting.
Interesting article. I guess it entirely depends what you mean by "social network" whether MiiVerse counts as one or not.
But here is another point. I think we may have one answer right here why 3DS is NOT (as so many people predicted) being rendered redundant by smartphones and tablets. 3DS is safe for kids - online smartphones and tablets aren't. It is as simple as that.
Parents who would never expose their children to "real" social networking (and I don't blame them at all - to tell the truth, I avoid it myself) can happily let them loose on a 3Ds or WiiU. The people who rant and bellow about Nintendo's restrictiveness and say Nintendo is killing its own business are unaware of the real strategy.
Would you want young children exposed to XBox live? Of course not. How about MiiVerse? No problem.
People tend to think "kids don't count" because they aren't here shooting their mouths off on the Internet. But look at the sales of dressing-up games, horse games, games like Hatsune Miko, Project Mirai, all of which have a predominantly young-girl demographic. Look at the major part of the Pokemon demographic.
Having a safe "social network" already carves out a HUGE niche for Nintendo - one in which it is already dominant. It may not be to the liking of Internet people who are used to a lot more openness, but it creates a service that a lot of people want and no one else provides.
Nintendo knows what it is doing - as usual!
@element187 - Sent it back close to the end, boss of the 2nd to last world maybe? It was a pretty long level and I died at the boss and didnt feel like replaying the level. I really got it b/c my kid wanted it but he had had enough about a world before that. I'm pretty sure he would have finsihed it though w/ those 10 lives and extra life pr 100 rings. I only read up on the desert world extra lives trick after he decided he was done. I actualy didnt think it was horrible, I just dont like Game Over screens. Im not in an arcade pumping quarters into amachine, Game OVer screens should have been left in the arcades. I spend $50 or $60 for a game I want to be able to play all o fit.
For comparison, W101 had it all worked out perfectly.
I feel like there really is no need for advertising increasing the users on Miiverse is a good idea but I feel like Miiverse is fine the way it is in terms of advertisement. I mean it's basically people just talking about a game and usually that gets other people to wonder what all the fuss is about.
@element187 Thanks for your sugestions but that would kill the flow of the game. It's not that it sounds bad but stop playing to share a picture is not something I can see myself doing.
It even reminds me of Facebook, which I wholeheartedly hate.
@rjejr I gave up after a few hours, not before going into the Miiverse community to post about my experience and just how much better SM3DW is and how Sega couldn't release a killer app for their flagship franchise. I got some serious nerd rage .. It was actually pretty funny. As a Sega and sonic fan myself (game gear/genesis) I'm pretty critical of both Sega and Nintendo. Ninty just seems to care more about their franchises and polishes them until perfect.
@DarkCoolEdge if I'm too engrossed in the game I won't post.... But it's certainly helpful when stuck on parts. Now with Fire Emblem getting a community i can nerd out with the rest of us nerds in Miiverse.... Still waiting on SMT community.
@element187 - We re-singed up to Gamefly to get Sonic back - $1 for a month email offer - but they sent us Gundam 3 instead. Oh well. My kids enjoyed Gundam 1 adn 2 adn I read 3s better so that should keep them busy until Christmas. Then we hope Santa brings 1 of us SM3DW.
Tap here to load 73 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...