When Nintendo announced Miiverse I said “Cool, another non-gaming feature I’ll rarely use.” Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Miiverse is actually pretty useful and one of the best ‘non-gaming’ features to come along in a long time. Here’s why Miiverse succeeds and a few suggestions on how Nintendo can improve the service.
Miiverse is like a social network built into the Wii U. Each game and app has its own community; it’s like Twitter, Facebook, and a gaming forum. You can post screenshots, share your thoughts, ask for help, draw pictures, like (or ‘Yeah’ as it’s called here) other people’s posts, and just goof around. Once you enter a community you see everyone’s post in a timeline.
This doesn’t sound like a big deal on paper, but once you use it you start to realize how useful it is. It’s a seamless experience, you don’t have to walk over to your computer or reach for your smartphone. Just hit the home button, click the Miiverse icon and see what everyone is talking about.
It’s a great place to ask for help and to see how people are reacting to a certain game. IGN gave ZombiU a 6.3/10 and there’s a ton of gamers defending it on Miiverse. And these were people who actually bought it (owners of the game have a box with a checkmark next to their name), not just a random commenter online.
Everything feels organic, if you’re having a problem just jump into Miiverse and odds are someone will be able to help you. Trouble shooting problems has never been this easy. I’m constantly learning new things about the Wii U thanks to the various communities.
It’s also a good place to find recommendations from fellow gamers. The more active a community is the more popular the game. If you’re feeling unsure about something you can just ask everyone about it. So far I’ve seen a lot of “Should I buy this if I own the PS3/Xbox 360 version?” And you’d think because this is on a Nintendo console everyone would say “Sure, Wii U rocks! Buy this version!” But that’s not always the case; quite often people say stick to the other versions.
My favorite community so far is the Netflix one. I’ve discovered a few good shows thanks to recommendations from my fellow Wii U users. I’ve even given a few of my own like Breaking Bad, Soul Eater, FLCL, Once Upon a Time, and Dexter.
There’s been talk of heavy moderation, but I don’t see it. People are discussing what they don’t like about the Wii U (and some games are getting blasted for their poor quality) and it isn’t getting taken down. Miiverse isn’t a police state like some would lead you to believe. Obviously that dick picture you just drew will be removed, but I have yet to see one of my normal post get flagged.
All of this is great, but my favorite part of Miiverse is the wonderful fan art. I’ve seen everything from an HD Mario to Finn from Adventure Time. All of the best stuff is collected in Waru Waru Plaza. It’s always fun to see what people are drawing and talking about. Nintendo made this the first thing you see when you turn on your Wii U. It keeps Miiverse in the spotlight and odds are you’ll click on a few Miis to see what the community is currently buzzing about.
Future Improvements: Miiverse is off to a great start, but here are a few features that Nintendo needs to implement as they evolve the service.
I wouldn’t call Miiverse a killer app, I doubt anyone will go out and buy a Wii U just to use it, but it is one of the consoles most exciting features. I’ll keep coming back for more as long as the community stays friendly and Nintendo continues to improve the service.
If you own a Wii U feel free to add me to your friend’s list, my username is “geekrevolt”.