E3 2012 – New Wii U Details Emerging from the Show Floor [Updated]

Today is the final day of E3, so it’s only natural people are tired, and start talking a bit more openly than say during day one.  Today many media outlets are reporting some new facts about the Wii U that we didn’t know previously.  The first one deals with the Miiverse.  While we know that it’s an online community built from the ground up for the system, don’t take that to mean all Nintendo-made software with multiplayer options will feature online multiplayer as well.  Virtually all of the big games revealed for the Wii U from the big N are still “undecided” when it comes to online multiplayer.  Each will have unique Miiverse integration in one form or another, from interacting with other players by leaving messages about your high scores, asking others for assistance, etc.  Nintendo staff on the show floor are making it clear that this is how they might use the term ‘online multiplayer’ moving forward, and the game might remain single-player in the traditional sense.  Hopefully they don’t use that terminology because it would be highly confusing.  If Miiverse is built into the system it sort of goes without saying that the game will work with the service, sort of how all games are Xbox Live compatible.  If they say the game has ‘online multiplayer’ because it has interactive features with Miiverse, but only supports local multiplayer for in-game action, that’s not an online multiplayer game in my book.  At this point in time I’m pretty sure everything will feature online multiplayer as we know it.  As Steven would say, it’s 2012 and given the network in place it would be really odd not to see that happen.  If that doesn’t happen, I think they’ll do what Sony and MS are doing now, and simply ignore the fact that it works with the online service because it’s a given.  One of those ‘no duh’ things.

The other revelation from the show floor is that Miiverse messages will be moderated before being posted online.  Iwata also mentioned this in an interview this morning.  There will be two safeguards in place before a post is officially published online, and one while it is online.  The first is an automated system where naughty words will forcibly reject the post from being posted.  This is typical fair for anyone who used to use the old Nintendo message boards back in the day.  The second, and way more hardcore method I might add, is that a real person will read each and ever message before it is accepted and posted to the Miiverse.  The final form, is a flagged system where users can acknowledge a post as profane, etc.  In all it’s expected a message will take approximately 30 minutes before it is posted to the Miiverse.  We knew Nintendo would have some sort of safety net in place given their family-oriented nature.

We expect more news like this to hit in the coming months leading up to the system’s release.  We still don’t know about direct player-to-player communication or exactly how the account system will work.  We know Nintendo is partnering up with tons of entertainment providers, but again don’t know the details behind these deals.  Bottom line, there’s so much we don’t know even after the big reveal.  The online multiplayer portion of this article seems like a total no-brainer, but it will be interesting to see if Nintendo will actually classify a game as online, even if it only works with their online service for communication purposes.  As for the safeguards for posted messages, we knew they were going to do something, so clearly don’t expect real-time instant messages to the Miiverse, that will have to be saved for direct player-to-player communication.


[Update] – This just in.  Nintendo has confirmed via Times that the Wii U will have only 8GB of internal storage.  They compare this to the 4GB of internal storage in the Arcade Xbox 360 SKU.  Before you get all up in arms, please remember that the Wii U does allow for alternative storage options including external hard drives and SD cards.

The other bit of news we have for you pertains to ZombiU.  Ubisoft is saying that the game will launch on the Wii U, but that it might not remain that forever.  Thanks to SmartGlass and Sony’s Vita/PS3 combo it’s possible that this game could show up on other platforms sometime in the future.

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