Sunday, June 3, 2012

Nintendo’s E3 press conference might not be until Tuesday morning, but that didn’t stop the company from releasing a few details about what it has in store for the gaming show a few days early including Miiverse.

Designed for Miis around the world to meet, Nintendo showed off the network and a redesigned Wii plaza during a pre-E3 livestream Sunday afternoon along with more details about the highly-anticipated Wii U.

A social network of sorts, Miiverse lets you communicate with other players in real-time using the Wii U Game Pad. Miis will congregate in the plaza around icons representing different titles, letting you see quickly what games are popular at the moment including titles you don’t own and find friends who might be interested in the same title you are.

“It’s as native to Wii U as the Wii U Gamepad,” Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said during the presentation.

Miis will be able to communicate with both players they know, and simply other players who are in the plaza at the time who speak the same language as they do. Players can send text messages as well as drawing and images. Players will also have the opportunity to share screenshots from a game on a wall within Miiverse.

In addition to real-time communication, Miiverse will also allow for in-game posting, so you can leave messages and tips for friends who might play a game later. A spoiler checkbox in the messaging system can help prevent you from finding out more than you want to know about a game while you play.

Both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS will support Miiverse, although it will not be available when the Wii U launches later this year. The network will also be accessible through your PC or smartphone via a Miiverse web app. Nintendo has not revealed whether the Wii will support the network.