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Are you an owner of a Nintendo Wii U and still trying to figure out how to make the most of your new console? Well, you're in the right place! For the past month I've been posting a series of informational Wii U articles, aptly named Wii U 101, that are meant to help you enjoy your console to the fullest.
This week I'm gonna take you on a little tour through the Miiverse along with all the other channels the Wii U has to offer. This is bound to grow and evolve in the coming months so stay tuned for occasional updates about these changes. For now, here's a look at what the console has to offer and how it's changing the way we think about the video game community.
If you didn't get a chance to check out my past Wii U 101 articles, here they are:
Unlike XBL or PSN, the Miiverse doesn't cater to the hardcore gaming market, nor should it ever. In true Nintendo spirit, Miiverse strives to connect a wide range of people to form a community we haven't yet seen on any game console hub.
Just think back to the way publications like Nintendo Power united gamers in a cooperative manner. In a world where competition is king, Nintendo has always strived for something different, yet just as fun and inviting as any competitive experience.
Miiverse is the kind of community Nintendo has been dreaming about for years now, I'm sure. It's simple yet richly diverse and allows gamers to communicate with one another in a positive environment. It might seem "kiddy" to some, but it paves the way to something new and different, regardless of your age or experience.
The fact that I can freely ask for game tips and tricks and have the community help me out during my journey, vice versa, is so affirming. As much as I love Achievements and Trophies, knowing that I worked cooperatively, not competitively, with the community affects the way I think and feel about the overall experience -- it helps me appreciate my time that much more.
We also get to share pictures and messages about our thoughts and feelings while watching a Youtube video or playing a game. It puts us under a spotlight, even if for just a moment, and gives us a chance to express ourselves in whatever way we see best. Miiverse or, better yet, Nintendo, puts its fans first.
A quick tour through Miiverse
When you launch Miiverse, you'll immediately be taken to the Communities board which lets you choose the board you wish to post on (Youtube, Nintendo Land, Scribblenauts Unlimited, Trine 2 etc.). On these boards you can write messages, ask questions for tips/tricks and draw pictures. Let's say you want to post on the Nintendo Land community board. Here's what you'll see when you access it.
If you want to make a post, all you need to do is select "Post" and you're given the option to write a message or draw an image. If you'd like to use a screenshot of a game you're currently playing select the "Home" button while playing your game, select Miiverse and select "Post".
Anyone can make a post, reply or "Yeah" the post (similar to "Liking" a post on Facebook). If you are replying with a spoiler, make sure to select "Spoiler" when making a post. If you're reading posts and don't want to see any spoilers, just don't select the post.
From the Miiverse menu (on the left hand side of the screen), you can access many features including your User Menu/Profile, Activity Feed, Communities, Messages and Notifications. On your profile page you can customize your profile settings so others can friend you, customize your tagline, access your friends list and check out all of your past posts on any of the Miiverse message boards.
That's just a quick look at Miiverse and what it has to offer, but you'll be surprised how much time and attention you'll be putting into it. Before I even started playing any games on my Wii U I browsed the community boards for what felt like hours.
So aside from the Miiverse, what else does the Wii U have to offer? While none of the other channels are nearly as involving as Miiverse, there are lots of useful tools you'll get to spend some time with. Here's a list of some of the channels you can explore:
Mii Maker: Here you'll be able to create Miis either manually or via a screenshot. Just a tip, I wouldn't recommend using the camera, they usually turn out looking really, really weird. Save yourself the trouble and make your own!
Netflix: If you haven't used Netflix before, you can access lots of tv shows, movies, animes and more. The selection isn't nearly as big as it is in the U.S. but it's constantly updating.
YouTube: Here you can access videos straight from Youtube. Searching for videos can be a little finnicky, but works relatively well and beats having a smaller screen (unless you're using a video-out adapter or an HDMI cable with your laptop etc.)
Amazon Instant Video/Hulu Plus: At this time, these channels can only be accessed in the U.S. Don't worry if you can't access videos or get an error message.
Wii Menu: You can use the Wii menu in order to play Wii games. When you insert a Wii game into the Wii U, it automatically opens the Wii Menu Channel. If you want to play a WiiWare or Virtual Console game, simply select the Wii Menu Channel and access the game manually. Keep in mind Wii Mode does not support the GamePad so be sure to have a Wiimote handy.
Wii U Chat: Here you can do video chats with your Wii U friends.
Nintendo TVii: Available in December, the TVii will act as a universal remote for your television. Here you can enjoy the personalized program guide, remote and social media companion screen for quick access to your favourite movies and shows, plus easily share your experience via Twitter, Facebook etc.
Nintendo eShop: Here you can buy downloadable titles and full releases. Not all games will be available for download, but many are. It's a great new feature that saves you the trouble of leaving your home to get a game.
If you're looking into getting a Wii U check it out at Future Shop:
Leap into the next generation of gaming with the stunning Nintendo Wii U 8GB - White Basic Edition. Giving you a whole new way to enjoy games with the Wii U TouchScreen GamePad, this console delivers full HD 1080p graphics, backwards compatibility with Wii games and accessories, a library of downloadable content from the Nintendo eShop and an expandable 8GB of storage.
Leap into the next generation of gaming with the stunning Nintendo Wii U 32GB - Black Deluxe Edition. Giving you a whole new way to enjoy games with the Wii U TouchScreen GamePad, this console delivers full HD 1080p graphics, backwards compatibility with Wii games and accessories, a library of downloadable content from the Nintendo eShop and an expandable 32GB of storage.