Once all of this finally sinks in, it will be much easier to judge whether or not Nintendo has been successful in this new style of delivery. Both Sony and Microsoft are implementing some type of tablet control, but neither has a philosophy that's even close. Microsoft wants to use their tablet to deliver additional gameplay content, and Sony plans to use the Vita to extend the gamer's experience. But Nintendo's asymmetric gameplay comes from an entirely different mindset.
And this thought process dovetails nicely into another centerpiece of the Wii U's arsenal; the Miiverse. Granted, on the surface, the Miiverse looks a lot like the Mii Parade from the current Wii. And it is. But it's also a realization of what the Wii Parade was always attempting to be.
These days, the Miiverse isn't simply a section on the Wii U where you can watch all of your Miis wander around. It's a fully integrated social network that's neatly nested into several of the Wii launch titles. For instance, in NintendoLand, the Miiverse populates the park with members of your immediate Wii U community. Players will be able to interact with these NPCs to learn tidbits about their friends' status in NintendoLand. Their scores, completed quests, and collected coins will be accessible directly inside of NintendoLand thanks to the MiiVerse integration.
Katsuya Eguchi seemed particularly proud of the interaction between the Miiverse and NintendoLand. He pointed out that this was part of his overarching vision for the system. "It's an opportunity to make friends within the park," he said. He hopes that these friendships will eventually become a crucial part of the way that we all game on the Wii U.
To explain, Tezuka showed off the Miiverse integration that has already been implemented into New Super Mario Bros U. In the upcoming Mario title, players will who perform exceptionally well, or exceptionally poorly, will be prompted to make posts regarding their gameplay. The example that was given from stage involved a player who falls into the same hole repeatedly. Using the Miiverse, this person could ask for help from his friends, and the questions would appear inside of their copy of Super Mario Bros. "The Miiverse will change based on which game you end up playing," he explained.
Obviously there's a very valid fear that all of these newfangled features aren't going to be nearly as interesting as Nintendo would have us believe. But if you think about it, Nintendo's thought process behind the Wii U might be one of the more impressively integrated pieces of marketing in video game history. Now if they could only figure out how to communicate this with potential buyers.
Date: June 6, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*