E3 doesn't start officially until Tuesday, but many publishers will be pushing out news and game reveals starting tomorrow. Nintendo may even get the ball rolling later today with its Nintendo Direct presentation. While we don't expect Nintendo to reveal anything mind blowing during the presentation, a recent rumor suggests that Nintendo will have even more exciting news to share during its proper E3 press conference on Tuesday.
Speaking to anonymous developers working on multiple Wii U projects, Wii U Daily learned that the Wii U will be getting achievements, cloud storage and deep social networking integration. The developers suggest that Nintendo will be showing off these features during its E3 press conference. If true, these rumors suggest a Nintendo that is doing some exciting and innovative things in fields that we have taken for granted thus far.
The first rumor says that the Wii U will be getting achievements called Nintendo Points. They will be similar to Xbox 360 achievements and PlayStation 3 trophies in that players will earn them for completing objectives in game. Unlike the other console manufacturers, however, Nintendo will be bringing a much needed change to the achievement system. As of now, players will only receive points in exchange for completing in-game objectives. It's all kind of superficial and only appeals to the base instinct of wanting to see a number rise. Nintendo Points will offer in-game rewards for completing objectives and getting achievements. Think of a Mario game that unlocks new levels as you earn achievements. That's what the developers are suggesting.
The second rumor points to Nintendo getting a cloud saving feature just like what Sony and Microsoft offer. Comparably, the Nintendo cloud storage solution will allow players to save their game saves and profiles on the cloud for easy transfer between consoles. The difference between Nintendo's and the competitions' solution is that Nintendo's cloud storage will be free. Sony and Microsoft require that players pay for either PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold respectively to gain access to cloud saves.
The third and most exciting feature is the integration of social media into the Wii U's operating system. The developers specifically point out that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will be the first services to be integrated. Unlike the other consoles' integration, Nintendo is apparently going for a deeper integration that has yet to be seen on a console. The developers say that players will be able to pause a game at any moment to share a screenshot of the game on Facebook or Twitter. The YouTube feature is the most exciting as it would allow players to record and upload gameplay videos to YouTube directly from the console.
A few other details from the developers include a new Mii creation system that relies on a camera API that transfers a person's face onto the Mii proper. The 3DS has this feature as well, but the camera is so low-res that it can't really capture a person's face that well.
The other rumor is a bit more unfortunate. The developers say that porting current projects to the Wii U is harder than originally thought. Fortunately, porting from the Xbox 360 to the Wii U isn't that bad since they have similar architecture. Just like the Xbox 360 before it, porting from the PlayStation 3 is an all-together different beast. It should be expected as the Wii U is rumored to have a quad-core processor similar to the processor on the Xbox 360. The cell processor in the PS3, while powerful, does not make it easy to port to the more traditional CPU architectures.
A lot of the rumors that you see here are entirely plausible and will probably show up at Nintendo's E3 press conference or the Nintendo Direct later tonight. The achievements and cloud storage are the most likely, but I wouldn't count out the social networking features either. Nintendo needs to wow us at E3 and some of these features alone are enough to cause a stir. Here's hoping that Nintendo has the games to back up these admittedly exciting rumors.