So, that was that. We've now seen Miiverse and a whole heap of other Wii U features revealed, and Iwata had one of the most awkward conversations we've ever heard with Reggie Fils-Aime himself. Now that we've had an hour or so, we've even managed to translate it. Below are our findings.
- The Miiverse Plaza is the first screen you'll see on your TV, while the GamePad displays a similar menu to the 3DS.
- You can swap the GamePad and TV displays with the icon in the top-right of the GamePad.
- Iwata unboxed the Japanese Wii U Premium bundle whilst wearing gloves and playing incredible, dramatic music.
- You can have up to 12 user accounts on a single console. Each account stores separate game save data, internet browser settings and a record of what you've played.
- You choose which user account you want to use each time you turn on the Wii U.
- Nintendo Network IDs (which require a password, email address, gender, date of birth and area of residence to set up) will be used to access network features like Wii U video chat or the eShop.
- If one user account uses their Nintendo Network ID to purchase a game from the eShop, that game is available to play by every other user account on the console.
- Nintendo plan to partner with other software developers, meaning you can use your Nintendo Network ID to access their services.
- In future, your Nintendo Network ID will link with other Nintendo hardware, as well as PCs and Smartphones.
- A system update will be required to use the network features (Miiverse, video chat, the eShop etc.) on launch day.
- A full description of the transfer process to move you Wiiware and Virtual Console games from your Wii to a Wii U will be revealed on the Nintendo website soon. It will involve an SD card.
- The Wii U Internet Browser can be accessed while playing a game, without closing the game itself.
- Post game screenshots to Miiverse by pressing the GamePad's Home button and pressing a Miiverse icon.
- The Miiverse feed will show tweet-like updates, drawings and screenshots, with an option to hide any spoilers. It will be made up of your friends and other chosen content.
- You can add a friend through Miiverse without swapping Friend Codes (or whatever the Nintendo Network ID equivalent is).
- Miiverse can be integrated into games itself - the examples shown were the New Super Mario Bros. U overworld and the Nintendo Land hub, with Miiverse comments popping up over the areas or Miis they correspond to.
- Games will ask you if you want to post to Miiverse at certain points.
- Iwata called Reggie for a Wii U video chat. It was the best thing ever.
- You can draw on the GamePad screen during the chat, and the other caller will see it being drawn in real-time.
- Nintendo have partnered with Joysound, a karaoke company, to make a karaoke app that has access to 90,000 tracks, song-changing options and the ability to show pictures from the Wii U's gallery as you sing. We're not sure if this will hit Europe as yet.
- We are happy.
And what we're still not clear on:
- Whether you make one Nintendo Network ID per console or per user account
- Whether you have a username or a friend code attached to your Nintendo Network ID.
- Could we ever have a more simultaneously awkward and entertaining conversation that Satoru and Reggie?
Colour us excited. No, seriously, get on Wii U Chat and colour us in.