We recently saw Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, talk numbers in a recent Nikkei interview. As part of the same interview, Iwata also talked about the Wii U and Nintendo’s Miiverse social network, along with its differences compared to other media networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Nintendo are always looking to spread gaming beyond just the core enthusiast audience, and Iwata believes the Wii U has the potential to do that. Having various non-gaming features such as Youtube, karaoke and more, will have people that aren’t necessarily gamers at least trying out the Wii U GamePad, Iwata feels.
The second part of expanding the audience lies within the Miiverse, Nintendo’s new social network community that’s available on the Wii U and is headed to the Nintendo 3DS in the future as well. Miiverse allows Wii U owners to share messages, screenshots, drawings, tips and more with each other. Wii U games each have their own communities for this purpose.
Iwata notes: “I noticed that there’s been lesser Nintendo talk going on in the Twitterverse. Then, I realized that those who always spoke highly of Nintendo were happily doing the same in Miiverse. When I checked the Miiverse, it was full of comments on people’s accomplishments in [New Super Mario Bros. U] and discussing the game itself.”
“When we first thought of Miiverse, we were told that it would be a bad idea after considering the likes of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter,” Iwata shares. “After doing some more brainstorming, we decided to stick to the idea we wanted to see. The results ended up being something many people enjoy today.”
He continues: “The primary use of Twitter and Facebook is not gaming, but a means of communication. Although I don’t use either of them, if I did, I imagine I’d use it to talk about my outings and vacations to people who aren’t exactly video game enthusiasts. I don’t think my former classmates would care to hear about my new Mario Kart record and so on.”
To put it in a nutshell, Nintendo believe that Miiverse isn’t about sharing how much time one has spent on a game, but more about what they did during that time spent.
“This is something I’ve talked about for many years with Mr. Miyamoto,” says Iwata. “Miyamoto loves making games that allow players to create and share experiences. We believe that it’s one of the main reasons behind the Mario series and Animal Crossing’s success. It was having those thoughts and feelings which eventually led to the creation of the Miiverse. Rather than social networking, we consider it an ‘experience sharing network’.”
In order to fully expand Miiverse to a wider audience, Nintendo will also be bringing the network to the Nintendo 3DS and eventually to PCs and smartphones as well, so you can check it anywhere you are.
Iwata envisions: “Once the Miiverse hits the 3DS, it will be huge. Just imagine the possibilities of playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf while sharing your experiences on the Miiverse. Now that’s something!”
As previously reported, Animal Crossing: New Leaf has been setting Japanese sales charts on fire, and is the best-selling Nintendo 3DS game in that territory to date. One can imagine how Miiverse integration will further foster communication between the game’s players and help spread word of mouth.