The months of anticipation are over! Now we know everything about Nintendo Wii U! It is naked before us, its gleaming touch screen visage bare in front of the world. We know the release date, we know the first party launch software line up, we know the cost, we know how many bundles there will be. Do we really though? Truth is, we know only the most basic facts about what Nintendo will have in store for the world on November 18th when the Wii U goes on sale. Here are just a few of the remaining mysteries surrounding the console:
* The eShop
The abysmal digital storefront from the Wii will be retired for Wii U, replaced with the familiar eShop branding. What we don’t know, however, is how it will actually work. What will happen to all those Virtual Console and WiiWare games purchased on Wii? A Nintendo representative told me in March that the official line is, “We are planning to make it possible to transfer the purchased contents from the Wii.” Things are no more specific today. Nintendo’s Bill Trinnen told GameLife the same thing but didn’t elaborate. It’s also unclear how Nintendo will finally embrace 20th century digital shopping standards and offer users a centralized account for easing the shopping process. There will be unified accounts between 3DS and Wii U, but are they tied to Miiverse?
Speaking of Nintendo’s answer to the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, the House of Mario still hasn’t clarified exactly what it is. Miiverse is a social network that will allow people to meet up, play games online with one another, and share information like Twitter-style messaging in game like New Super Mario Bros. U. President Satoru Iwata said that Nintendo will police Miiverse using both human moderators and security software to keep people from abusing others or even providing game spoilers. Specifics though—how accounts are actually set up, how friends lists will be maintained, etc.—are totally unknown. When will Nintendo fill in the public? “Soon,” said Nintendo America president Reggie Fils-Aime. With just 65 days to go before launch, Nintendo has little time to educate its audience.
* Nintendo TVii cable partners
Nintendo TVii is arguably the most attractive part of the whole Nintendo package. It offers the same access to services like Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video that Sony does through PlayStation and Apple offers on all of its devices. Unlike those competitors, Nintendo TVii has what looks like a simple, intuitive user interface through the tablet controller. There are other streaming partners on board as well. ABC streaming was shown, as was CBS Sports. Nintendo also has the faded TiVO brand for its DVR service. Rumors suggest that Microsoft is partnering cable providers like Comcast and Time Warner to make the Xbox 720 the definitive cable set top box. Nintendo isn’t discussing how far it’s looking to penetrate the TV business. Yet.