Wii U Video Chat Makes You Quit Games, But Nintendo “Hope To Improve”

By Ishaan . November 12, 2012 . 11:30am

Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U console will have a Wii U Chat application that allows you to video chat with other Wii U owners on your friends list. In an Iwata Asks interview with two of the developers behind the app, Nintendo’s president sheds more light on its features.


The Wii U Chat app lists your friends’ Miis in order of chat frequency. The ones you chat with most often are displayed first. In order to call a friend, you select their Mii and the tap the Call button.


If your friend is in the middle of a game, they will be notified of your call. If they wish to take the call, they will need to exit their game in order to video chat. However, Nintendo say they “hope to improve” in this area in the future, which presumably implies that they’re looking for ways to optimize the app it so you won’t need to shut your game down entirely in order to video chat.


If your friend isn’t logged in or their Wii U is turned off, you’ll have the option of leaving them a message that will appear on their Wii U Chat message list, or you can leave them a message through the Miiverse social network instead.


As previously reported, the Wii U Chat app also lets you doodle with your conversation partner on the Wii U GamePad screen during video chat. Nintendo say they had other ideas that they wanted to include as well, but opted to leave them out, in order to keep the app simple and easy to use.


Food for thought:

Nintendo also reveal that Wii U Chat will use a peer-to-peer connection. The initial connection between two Wii U users is established with the help of a server, but once they’re connected, the two WiI U consoles will communicate directly with one another, without the use of a server.

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  • malek86

    With 1GB of memory reserved to the system, I hoped it would be possible to have video chat during a game too. What are they even doing with it? Just the browser and the Miiverse thing? Seems like overkill.

    Oh well, maybe in a future update, if they can sort it out.

    • puchinri

      Is 1GB of “RAM” or actual memory? Because 1GB is really small for gaming and video chat at the same time, isn’t it?
      (Isn’t there still a “Wii Menu” too?)

      edit : Ah, I see.

      • Dyne

         it 2 Gb of ram if I Recall (1GB for games and 1GB for system)

        I think the ps3 only has 512mb of ram or so (
        256 MB games and 256 MB games)

      • kupomogli

        Both the 360 and Vita have 512MB of RAM and you can use cross game chat.  The Vita actually allows you to be in a chat part of up to eight people and will remain active on almost all applications but a small few. 

        Any game in which the wifi connection is disabled by the game itself.  Very few games do this, but Uncharted Golden Abyss is one.  Also, Remote Play through PS3 only when connecting wirelessly through the internet.  The other option allows cross game chat to stay open.

        The Wii U though doesn’t even allow audio only cross game chat. Major disappointment.

        • Fuzunga

          The PS3 actually does not have cross-game chat.

          • kupomogli


            You do realize, and it was quite clear, that I was listing what the Vita can do that doesn’t allow cross game chat.  The very rare game that disables wifi connection such as Uncharted and Remote Play through the PS3 when done through the internet.

          • Fuzunga

            Facepalm indeed. I swear I read your comment, like, 6 times and read PS3 every time.

  • Grenalie

    Useless feature anyways.

  • Tails the Foxhound

    That’s kind of disappointing,  I guess it’ll just be MiiVerse for me.

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    Hope they can sort this out as making us quit the game only to receive video chat is going to be stupid especially when you are playing and unable to save the game.T_T

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    Hope they can sort this out as making us quit the game only to receive video chat is going to be stupid especially when you are playing and unable to save the game.T_T

  • XypherCode

    If it’s peer-to-peer and does not rely on any servers then it just might speed up the video and audio transfer rate. Good thinking. Unless of course if you have a bad download/upload connection then that’s still a problem.

    Anyways I hope they really try to make it so that you can just pause the game and not close it.

  • Wow that is fail. The worst part of my ps3 is I have to exit a game to chat. Xbox 360 did it right 6 years ago. 

  • Guest

    Well im a pc games first hand and i bought a wii u and are enjoying it quite allot. I really wich wii u great success but. BUT they really need to fix the ingame voice and messeging my friends so i can voicetalk easely in the game and messeging and join on my friends game.

    For example ..! I have had my wii u for a week now and got 5 friends on miiverse on the console. So the other day i var chatting with one of them and we wanted to play trine 2 .so first i had to go in the ( friends App ) and see what they were playing and i could see what game they played.

    And then i would have to exit the friends “app”and open another called miiverse and then i had to press mail (i think its called). and there i could send him a messege that only allow 100 letters so for mee to continue my letter i would have to send that and type another to finnish my whole messege to him.

    Then i would have to wait and see if he answers the messege , (that is if he saw the home button blink 2 times) with no sound beep or whatever.

    If he answer and wanna play coop . we cant seem to create a (lobby) and join. The only thing we could do was for him to create a lobby and keep kicking ppl joining until you joined.

    This my friends is bollox. This is the thing that are gonna make me stop supporting wii u and play their consol, hopefully not becouse i really like the whole idea and hoping wii u will make it great.

    But as an example !.. Look at steam on pc .

    Its simple as hell ,just as its suppost to be . You have a list of all your added friends and you can see if they are online or not . You simply press their name to select if u wanna chat ,mail ,videocall ,group chat .(join on thier game directly)..this you can do in juat 1 single “program/app”.

    While in game with your friend you press a button to chat to them directly. or use mic. smooth and simple. Nintendo need to fix this stuff NOW before gamers get tierd of it.
    It should be easy to connect to friends and play with them ,not this complicated. .. oh and sry for my spelling :D but you all get the point :P..

    now im going back to play my wii u :).


  • mikes1025

    they’ll sort it out. they just needed you to complain.

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