PlayStation 3 has PSN. Xbox 360 has Xbox Live. The Wii had... Well, the Wii never had a fully integrated and consistent online network experience, but now Nintendo are trying to change that with the Miiverse and Nintendo Network for the Wii U.
However, there's one thing that has struck me as being incredibly interesting about Miiverse. That thing is its underlying philosophy: Miiverse is not acting merely as a way to network with gamers through the medium of leaderboards and achievements, but it is actually aspiring to be a fully fledged social network.
That's not a small aspiration to have. When faced with a world with at least two digital social juggernauts in place, for Nintendo to seemingly be gunning straight for them is an incredibly bold move.
You don't have to look very far into the Miiverse to see how this is the case. Take, for example, the WaraWara Plaza. There are no stats, no boards, no numbers at all - just games and people milling around them, quite like a group would in real life.
You can chat to them and see what they're thinking. Or send a friend request. Or give them a 'Yeah!', the Nintendo equivalent of a 'Like'.
The same situation occurs in-game too in titles such as New Super Mario Bros U and Nintendo Land. Rather than being faced with challenges or other gamers' achievements, Miiverse simply aims to display messages from others who were in a similar situation to you, and aims to provide some solace or help you revel in your victory when it's most needed.
It's really neat that it's also embedded into a game like New Super Mario Bros U - you don't need to leave or go into a separate app to see what others have posted - it's right there for you to see and respond to easily.
The promise of support for Nintendo Network on other devices is one of the more alluring sides to the whole concept for me. A social network without support on devices that people carry around with them and are constantly connected to the internet is a social network that is instantly doomed to failure.
Hopefully Nintendo can manage to get the web and phone apps released as soon as possible, so as to keep momentum going for as long as possible.
Some were disappointed when it was revealed that Nintendo Network and Miiverse won't include achievements. But look past that, and you see something more exciting happening: a tool that could create a brand new and tightly knit gaming community, and one that is going to be incredibly expandable. I'd love it to come to 3DS too.