Nintendo Explains Wii U Online Features, Unboxes Console For The First Time

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In just a short amount of time, Nintendo has become one of the more transparent members of the gaming industry. The company's frequent Nintendo Direct live streams help to keep gamers informed on the latest developments with games and consoles. Continuing this recent tradition, Nintendo of Japan held a Nintendo Direct last night that helped to explain the online features of the new console.

Let's get the best news out of the way first - there will be no more friend codes on the Wii U. Last night, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata revealed the Nintendo Network ID. Much like the gamertag or PSN ID, the Nintendo Network ID is how players will find friends on the Nintendo Network. Before any of that, however, Iwata said that players will have to set up an account on the Wii U system. Each Wii U console can accomodate 12 user accounts for each member of the family.

It should be noted that all of the Nintendo Network features such as MiiVerse and the console's Internet browser will be added in a day one update. It's strange that these features aren't shipping with the console, but day one updates are a necessary evil of today's game industry.

One of the more interesting features shown during a previous Nintendo Direct was the Wii U video chat feature. This lets friends use the Wii U Gamepad's built in camera to host video chats with other Wii U owners. It's pretty straightforward, but Iwata showed off some additional functionality in an awkward chat with NoA President Reggie Fils-Aime.

On a final note, Iwata unboxed the deluxe set of the Wii U console. This is the console that will come with a copy of NintendoLand and 32GB of onboard flash memory.

The Wii U launches in less than two weeks in the US. Nintendo of America posted their own Nintendo Direct that shows off more of the MiiVerse, or WaraWara Plaza as it's now called.

[h/t: Engadget]

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