Nintendo Direct Latest – Wii U Nintendo Network & More Explained

The skinny on the Wii U’s online service is now revealed as Nintendo at long last ditches Friend Codes.

Nintendo Network logo image

After months of being tight-lipped on the subject, Nintendo finally got down to explaining how online would be handled through the Wii U, which hey, would you look at that hits retail shelves in under ten days.

Better late than never to explain a pivotal feature of your soon-to-be-launched console, I suppose. Now, the recent news out of their most recent Nintendo Direct is that a colossal change to how gamers will interact with each other will take place with the Wii U.

Specifically, the replacement of Friend Codes (and the galaxy was at peace!) with a simplified system called the Nintendo Network ID. If this sounds like something every modern online service uses for online identification, well, that’s because it is.

Nintendo Network devices connect image

Sayonara 12-digit numbers, your ridiculously clumsy ways to play online multiplayer with our friends won’t be missed in exchange with the NiN ID, which only requires an email address and some private information to sign-up for.

A nice extra to having a NiN ID – by the way, this is how people are shorthand-ing Nintendo Network, go figure – is that the account is also tied universally across any Wii U service like the eShop, video chat, and of course, playing online (12 user accounts are allowed on one console).

You can even manage your ID, in a twist that’s pretty embracing of the mobile age, via a smartphone or browser-based app that will be introduced in 2013. Exactly to what extent is yet to be seen, but it’s a cool approach to keeping connected to your gaming profile.

Nintendo Network Warawara Plaza image

Back on the console though, the way users will be able to connect with online denizens will be done through the MiiVerse, a social service where users converge on topics, i.e. games, taking place on a ballroom-esque field, the WaraWara Plaza.

Warawara Plaza is the gathering place for all interactivity upon start-up of the Wii U and hopefully will cull a shared experienced between players of particular games by allowing message board postings and personal exchanges among friends.

It’s a neat concept truth be told, one I’d like to explore myself, but until Wii U owners boot-up their machines on November 18, that’s all it is for now. Certainly, it does hold some promise as long as Internet trolls stay clear.

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