Nintendo: “Social elements in games are now mandatory”
Wii U’s Miiverse reflects this attitude
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has said that adding social aspects to video games has become “mandatory”, and Nintendo plans to do exactly that on the Wii U with Miiverse.
“We have reached an era where even a single-player game experience [can] have a social component that is very important,” Iwata said in an interview. “And I think, again, that social component is mandatory.”
“Early on, when I played a Mario game, it was really fun for me to sit and chat with my friends about, ‘Hey I found coins over here, there’s a hidden place.’ That interaction was great,” he said.
“Of course the Internet does provide a lot of that interaction, but it’s not built for that purpose. For example, Facebook is something that connects you socially with a lot of different folks, but that doesn’t guarantee that the people you are going to have interactions with via Facebook are interested in games. And what I’m saying is that I don’t believe that the life experiences that you have-and those might be with the people you are connected with on Facebook-are not equal to the gaming experiences you might have with a lot of different folks.”
This is the kind of experience Nintendo is aiming for with the Miiverse.
“I feel that we need to create-or present-a gaming platform as the place to create that ‘social graph’ for folks who are in gaming circles, I guess. So that’s kind of the reason for creating Miiverse,” Iwata said.
“If you look at gaming services, for example if you look at Xbox Live, one of the more traditionally or generally accepted features of the gaming service is the ability to play with folks at different locations at the same time,” he said. “On the other hand, you’re not always going to be available at the same time to play with each other. And of course we’re going to have that service of head-to-head [multiplayer, when you are] on at the same time playing games against each other, but what we really want to do is create a place where folks who are playing by themselves will not feel like they are playing by themselves. ”
Nintendo’s Wii U is still lacking a release date, but is expected in late 2012 if there aren’t any major production hiccoughs.