Fils-Aime points to MiiVerse as Wii U's killer app

Social network is a "paradigm shift" that consumers need to experience to fully understand

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.

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Latest comments (6)

Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University8 years ago
The 10 million unit sales include Wii systems, too... They haven't provided a breakdown of U/Wii unit expectations, though I'd wager Wii figures won't account for more than 50% of that 10 million figure.
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Caleb Hale Journalist 8 years ago
I just wonder if Miiverse will be sustainable for Nintendo, especially if the content is going to be curated by a live staff 24/7? That's a lot of manpower Nintendo is dedicating to non-gaming functions of the Wii U.
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Christopher Garratty Associate Counsel, Activision Blizzard8 years ago
I'm always a bit nervous when someone says something like "Until you try it and experience it, you may not totally understand it.".

In my personal opinion, if you can't explain what you are selling and make it sound compelling then growth is going to be somewhat stunted because you have lost word of mouth. You can't tell your friends "Oh you have to try out this new thing. It does stuff that I can't describe!" Well you can, but I'd imagine the response would be lukewarm.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
I'm always a bit nervous when someone says something like "Until you try it and experience it, you may not totally understand it.".
Well, isn't that how the DS, Wii and 3DS were handled? They did pretty good sales wise.

In fact, a lot of innovative concepts had to be tried to be understood.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jim Webb on 3rd October 2012 5:33pm

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Tony Johns8 years ago
When playing some of my games on my Wii, I look back at how I got these annoying little messages saying "You have broken the record at some sort of sport minigame" and I just think to this really nessessary when all I really want to do is just play games?

And now with this Miiverse...I just think this whole social networking thing in games is a little too much for someone old school like me.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
@Tony - hear, hear. I've never connected my Wii online and don't intend to do so with my Wii U. I'm an adult writing about games I play and enjoy, so I don't need to know, care or constantly hear about what little Johny down the block did against my times on something or who's bugging the hell out of me to play a game I don't want to when I'm in the middle of something else.

Meh, maybe I'm just a cranky old dude. Granted, Nintendo is more likely than not going to shut a lot of people up come November and beyond (but that still won't get me online)...
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