The announcements of all things Nintendo Switch related has been a maelstrom of news, information and hands-on impressions. The Switch has people excited – it’s not often a new console comes around, and while recent half steps to consoles have been made, the Switch is Nintendo reinvented. The changes are everything from the starkly obvious to things that seem to have slipped under the radar. There’s a lot of information after all, and the news is sure to keep on coming up to release. One thing that seems to be not so talked about, however, is the absence of the Miiverse.
The Miis and their verse came about with the Nintendo Wii, graduating up to the WiiU along with the 3DS. The Miis being a unique social platform for Nintendo that was completely their own. The Miiverse became widely popular, even having the markings and trends that other social medium platforms see. Unfortunately, at the same time, because it was restrained by certain limitations, it could not grow or interact with other platforms and the users that occupy these digital spaces. It was limited.
When the Nintendo Switch held its presentation last week, one thing that stood out among all the Nintendo hype was Miis were nowhere to be seen. Not only were they know where to be seen, but Nintendo announced the new online service it would be rolling out with the Switch. The Miiverse may have been a tightknit community, but at the end of the day, Nintendo is adopting what has been so successful for Sony and Microsoft. The complete abandonment of the Miiverse along with its counterpart StreetPass is a stark shift in how Nintendo is reinventing its online community. While adopting similar features to that of PSN and Xbox Live, Nintendo’s new online service comes with a few hooks that people aren’t too keen on.
Even with such hooks that are slightly different from how other console online features function, Nintendo is proving they will continue to do their own thing, even while integrating into modern social platforms. It seems as if it’s for the best, though. Saying goodbye to the Miiverse is appropriate for the modern video gamer. The Miiverse, while becoming an extremely positive community, wasn’t up to speed with the times. The look and feel of it seemed out of date, forever stuck in a weird limbo of the past and present. When the Miis were introduced with the Wii it worked… sort of. It made sense to try something new for a new console. Now, however, Nintendo is showing they are on board with the online social platforms that are already thriving with healthy communities that readily share all media among themselves. The concrete social platforms are stronger than the Miiverse and that’s OK.
The Miis had their time and a good time it was, creating some of the most ridiculous characters one could imagine. They came in all shape and sizes and while some were in the likeness of their creator, others were a thing all their own. Miis might have been the tent pole for the online community Nintendo carried for so long, but they never really had a proper place in the video game community, forever to wander through empty Miispace while interacting with Miis you never knew were there.