When it comes to online gaming for consoles, we seem to have hit a roadblock. While the offerings are expansive, advancements in online gaming have not ventured far beyond competing with friends and strangers online and posting your progress on Facebook. Now, the new Wii U aims to revolutionize the market, offering players from around the world with incredible new online and social gaming features.
The MiiVerse is the new social network launched by Nintendo that will come equipped on all of the new Wii U devices. It presents players with increased capability for interacting with friends and fellow gamers in the online world in an attempt to bring Nintendo up to speed with its more advanced console counterparts: PS3 and XBOX 360.
The MiiVerse will allow players to video chat while playing their games and connect with one another without ever exiting their gaming experience. The company also wants to sync the MiiVerse with mobile gaming markets so that iPhone and iPad users can access the social network while on the go.
Equipping the device with a new and complex social network may backfire, however. When the Wii first emerged in 2006, the device appealed to markets that wanted simplified gaming as an alternative to the technology-advanced experiences offered by Microsoft and Sony. As such, the new MiiVerse may alienate Nintendo’s target audience – but that seems to be a risk that the company is willing to take.
"All these things sound like they’re playing catch-up to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3,” says Michael Pachter at Wedbush Securities. However, that seems to what Nintendo has in mind. Over the course of the past two years, Wii sales have been waning, as it is likely that Nintendo’s target audience is growing up and their maturing tastes call for Sony and Microsoft products.
Now, Nintendo is changing its strategy in the online gaming market. We hope that it will prove to be a success, presenting a unique perspective on social gaming on consoles.