Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime has pointed to the Wii U's social networking function, MiiVerse, as the console's killer app.
MiiVerse will appear on the Wii U's home-screen. Friends in your social network will be represented as their Mii avatars, with bubbles displaying their updates, messages and even pictures in real-time. Eventually, it will be accessible from any mobile device.
"As the network grows and the installed base grows, it will prove to be a true killer application for the system, and I say this loving what we have done with Nintendo TVii and loving all the games," Fils-Aime told AllThingsD.
"Until you try it and experience it, you may not totally understand it."
According to Fils-Aime, MiiVerse will be a "key differentiator" for Nintendo against its competitors in the gaming market. Facebook is a social network first and foremost, mobile platforms have Game Centers, and Xbox Live has a limited set of social features, but MiiVerse is the first social network to be constructed around gaming.
"People have to leave the current paradigm behind to understand what we are trying to do. Miiverse is going to be embedded right on the game platform, so literally some of the activity will be able to happen immediately as people experience it."
The Wii U goes on sale worldwide in November this year, with the cheapest version selling for $299 (£250 / ¥26,250). Nintendo has forecast 10 million unit sales by the end of the year, and retailers have already used up their pre-order allocations. However, Fils-Aime does not want a repeat of the supply shortages in the Wii's early days.
"We are looking to max out production as quickly as possible," he said.