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Nintendo explains Wii U online services

Nintendo's biggest online effort yet revealed

With just eleven days to go until the Wii U launches in North America, Nintendo have finally lifted the lid on its new console’s new online Nintendo Network service and connectivity features in a new Japanese Nintendo Direct broadcast.

Each console will allow up to 12 individual user accounts to be registered to the Nintendo Network, Nintendo’s new online service for Wii U. Each account will store the user’s save data, game settings, internet bookmarks and play history, but other online features will require you to log into your Nintendo Network ID. This replaces Nintendo’s old system of Friend Codes, and will be used with your eShop purchases, MiiVerse, and video chat.

Surprisingly, if you use your Nintendo Network ID to purchase eShop games, every other user registered to your Wii U will be able to play it as well.

Nintendo Network

It was also announced that Nintendo have plans to bring the Nintendo Network service to other pieces of hardware, including PCs and smartphones. In a Nintendo first, this will allow users to access the Wii U eShop and MiiVerse from non-Nintendo hardware.

Nintendo also used the broadcast to demonstrate the MiiVerse. It seems to have taken a lot of inspiration from Twitter, as you’ll be able to register new friends, follow them without swapping friend codes or Nintendo Network IDs, reply to individual posts, and “retweet” other comments. It’s also designed to automatically hide common spoilers about the games you’re playing, but there’s always the option to open any spoilerific comments yourself. It will be available in all Wii U games, including third party games, and all games will let you post screenshots to the MiiVerse message boards.

Some games, such as New Super Mario Bros. U, will let you leave and see other MiiVerse comments in-game, while others like Nintendo Land will allow you to check comments in the theme park hub surrounding each attraction.

Finally, Nintendo revealed the GamePad’s internet browser. It can be loaded at any time while playing a game and you’ll also be able to return to your game without having to close the internet browser as well.

The video chat service, dubbed Wii U Chat, takes advantage of the GamePad’s camera, and will also let you draw on each other’s GamePad screen while you talk.

The Nintendo Wii U releases in North America on November 17th, and will launch in the UK on November 30th.

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