CSR Report > Archive 2013 > Feature 1 Our Thoughts and Wishes for Wii U

CSR Report

[Feature 1] New Potential of Video Games - Our Thoughts and Wishes for Wii U

Our hope is that Wii U will change the role of the game console in users’ homes by proposing brand new ways to experience entertainment. Nintendo wants users to expand the circle of “empathy” by offering a system in which they can freely express themselves while playing games. By playing on the Wii U system, we want people to discover new things and meet new people.Our Thoughts and

Make Games More Attractive

The Wii U GamePad, which is a controller with a built-in screen, is one of the unique features of the Wii U system. By embedding a screen in the controller, it opened the door for new, two-screen gameplay. For instance, in chasing games, the player that is chasing others can only see what is in his or her immediate surroundings on the TV screen, but the person who is being chased is able to see the entire stage on the GamePad screen. In addition, if there are multiple chasers, they can cooperate with one another by sharing information about where they last saw their target. This type of play encourages communication and teamwork among the players.

This new idea of two-screen gameplay offers a unique kind of excitement and fun, and incites a special connection among the players. The result is a much more attractive way of enjoying gameplay.

two-screen gameplay

Creators' Comments

Many Ways to Play

With Wii U, users can play games or browse the Internet using the GamePad controller while another member of the family is watching their favorite TV show. In order to make this possible, it was extremely important that the system respond quickly to a user's command and send the images or sound from the Wii U console to the GamePad screen without noticeable delays. With our development partners, we were able to develop a system that sends images and sound between the console and the controller quickly and efficiently.

Kenichi Mae Product Development & Planning Group  Product Development Department No. 3  Integrated Research & Development Division

While enjoying a video on the big screen, the user can search for the next video on the GamePad.

Environmental Considerations

With the help of our semiconductor development and production partners, we have adopted a multi-chip module (MCM) that enables us to build the CPU and GPU, which are two components that require a large amount of energy, into one small package. Using this technology decreases the amount of energy required to run the Wii U system. Our design philosophy of balancing performance with environmental considerations, which began when we first designed the Wii system, is clearly evident in the Wii U console design as well.

Yozo Kawai Assistant Manager Electrical Engineering Group  Product Development Department No. 2  Integrated Research & Development Division

With the help of several development partners, we have adopted MCM technology, which enables the CPU and the GPU chips to be placed into a single package.

The Fun of Games x The Human Bond

When games become a common topic among family and friends, it stimulates conversation and helps bring them closer. As a result, the games become even more fun to play. At Nintendo, we have always thought that one of the appealing aspects of games is that the fun can be shared with family and friends.

The Wii U system has a new built-in network service called Miiverse, where people from all over the world can communicate with one another through their Mii characters. This service enables users to share their thoughts and experiences about a game, not only by text comments, but also by handwritten notes, illustrations and screenshots.

Furthermore, when a user empathizes with another user's comment, they can press the "Yeah!" button to express agreement. In other words, by playing and experiencing the same game, users are able to connect with one another.

In addition to enjoying the game itself, the fulfillment of being "connected" with others multiplies the fun of playing on the Wii U system.

Users are able to express their thoughts freely, either by using the "handwritten post" feature on the GamePad touch screen, or by attaching a screenshot from gameplay. In addition, when a player finally succeeds in clearing a stage after many tries, or when a player is stuck and cannot move on, they can post their feelings and other users will respond with their thoughts, empathy or even advice.

Living Rooms Connect

Since the Wii U system is connected to the TV, which is typically the focal point of the living room, we focused on pre-installing features that would make the entire family happy.

An example of one of these features is Wii U Chat, an easy-to-use service that enables users to make video calls. Users are able to converse with friends and family on the big TV screen as if they are in the same living room. Being able to see one another's facial expressions is an important way to communicate and understand one another. Furthermore, users can use the GamePad screen to write messages or draw pictures to send to the person they are communicating with on the TV screen. This is an effective way for users to express gratitude or other feelings that they may hesitate to express with spoken words.

* The person on the other side must also have a Wii U system. A broadband Internet connection is necessary.

Users can make face-to-face calls with people around the world without worrying about the cost - all they need is a broadband Internet connection.

For Your Safety

Nintendo believes it is essential to offer a system that enables users to play games safely. For example, in Miiverse, users can choose with whom they share certain information, including their user profile and posts. In addition, parents or guardians are able to restrict functions that their children can use with the Parental Controls settings.

Furthermore, if a user finds any inappropriate comments on Miiverse, they can report them with the Report function. We make sure that our consumers always feel comfortable participating in Miiverse. Reported incidents are always monitored, and if a certain comment is determined to be problematic, it will be removed immediately. Nintendo also monitors the comments, so Miiverse has a double-layer monitoring system.

Parental Controls

This is a function in which a parent or guardian can control the content (games and some of the channels) that their children can play or watch.

Creators' Comments

Empathy Network

In designing Miiverse, one of our goals was to give users the ability to communicate despite the language barriers. When the service began, I saw that people from all over the world were conversing in Miiverse despite the differences in nationality and language, which reconfirmed my belief that playing games is a global culture in itself.

Kiyoshi Mizuki Manager  Communications Services Group Network Development &  Operations Department

Users can express feelings, such as frustration or happiness, by changing the facial expressions of their Mii characters.

Usability

Nintendo has always striven to make controllers easy to use. The Wii U GamePad was no exception. However, as it is much bigger than any other existing controller, we created many prototypes before finally arriving at the current design. We now believe we have perfected the weight, button placement, and the fit and feel of it in your hands.

Masato Ibuki Design Group  Product Development Department No. 2  Integrated Research & Development Division

We sought to reach a balance between ease of use and a design that would be appropriate for the living room. The grips are designed so that users will not tire after a long period of play, and the shape of these grips ensures that the controller is a comfortable fit for both big and small hands.

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