We’re now less than a week away from the launch of the Wii U. Nintendo is gearing up for a massive launch in North America, but it’s also taking some time to explain some of the more finer details of the Wii U system. It’s a good thing too, as Nintendo has some more explaining to do about its online services.
The Wii and DS both dropped the ball when it came to each system’s online play. The 3DS greatly improved upon it, but it still used the annoying friend code system. The Wii U will be changing all that by using a centralized Nintendo Network ID that will connect players with friends. Nintendo also confirmed that third-party publishers will be using their own online infrastructures, such as EA’s Origin, but players can connect to these services via their Nintendo Network ID.
Another really interesting point is that Nintendo is taking its Network ID beyond the Wii U early next year. This was hinted at during E3, but the company had not said much about it since. Players will soon be able to access their ID and the eShop via a PC or smartphone. In short, you’ll be able to purchase eShop titles from your smartphone. It’s something that more console manufacturers need to do, and it’s kind of mind blowing that Nintendo is the company leading the charge.
Nintendo confirmed that most of the online features such as Wii U chat are not available on the Wii U from the start. Players will have to download a day one patch that will add these services to the Wii U firmware. Beyond that, Nintendo also says that players will be able to transfer games and saves on the Wii to the Wii U via SD card.
The rest of the video shows more examples of how Miiverse is integrated into the experience. A player stuck on a challenge in New Super Mario Bros. U can discuss the current challenge with friends on the Miiverse and get help from more experience players.
Another Nintendo Direct was aired in Japan last night, but it has yet to be translated. When it becomes available in English, we’ll bring that video to you as well. It looks like it has more information about the Wii U hardware and memory.