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Wii U's Miiverse won't connect with other social networks

No integration with Facebook or Twitter

Nintendo has confirmed to GamesIndustry International that its forthcoming social network Miiverse won't connect to other established networks such as Facebook or Twitter.

The company has finally embraced a clearer online strategy with its new console - Miiverse is integrated directly into the Wii U's system menu and games, allowing users to interact through text and video although it will be moderated with up to 30 minutes delay.

But Miiverse won't talk to other popular social networks such as Facebook and its 800 million users, restricting players' ability to share to a wider audience, although the long-term plan is to give users access to Miiverse from other devices such as 3DS, smartphones and PCs sometime after the launch of Wii U.

"What we have discussed so far... I think it is the other way around, from any devices in the future you will be able to access the Miiverse, from mobile phone or laptop," said Nintendo of Europe's Laurent Fischer. "You can check what's going on and even participate."

Rival console networks have at least allowed users to download specific social networking apps, but Fischer said Nintendo's policy is not to offer a service that is already available on multiple devices. "I have three devices permanently doing that already, what is our benefit to do so also?" he said.

Instead, Nintendo will offer basic functions of social services that Fischer admits are not revolutionary but he believes have so far been missing from the console gaming environment.

"On the Wii U we do have additional reasons for connecting, we talked about things like the video chat system, nothing revolutionary but it's going to be convenient, it's going to be easy.

"And the Miiverse is the one actually that I believe has a very unique feature which is we put ourselves in the situation of making sure the people you can communicate with they are somehow already in a kind of community. The community will be the Wii U owners, who will have this common interest for video games and our expectation about that is it's going to be a way to enhance the idea of sharing information on the video game."

There are multiple independent social networking tools and services for gamers already available, with third-party publishers also creating their own such as Ubisoft's U-Play. Fischer hopes the Miiverse community will grow through its love of games and also help game sales spread virally through recommendations.

"One thing that is very important to us is that somehow you could pick up information from people you trust, maybe on games that you wouldn't consider naturally. Because Miiverse will show you what are the topics or the games played at the moment within the community. And then you may have one interesting comment that will trigger your curiosity and then maybe you will get more information on that game and then at the end what is important to make sure people have different game play experiences. So considering a game that you wouldn't consider it's like enlarging your scope in terms of gaming, and that's the key point for us," he concluded.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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