Nintendo’s Wii U social network Miiverse is now accessible in your web browser

wii u eshop

Think of the Internet not as a web of interconnected servers but as an ocean, deep and dark. Now think of Nintendo, a middle-aged technology company, that is only just learning to swim. It’s a metaphorical perspective useful for understanding the company’s tentative, painfully slow to evolve relationship with online connectivity. For every step forward (online play for select Gamecube, Wii, and Nintendo DS games) the company has always taken a step back (Friend Codes). The Wii U console and 3DS handheld are no different. Nintendo is plunging into digital distribution with all of its games, but the company still fails to offer even a basic centralized account system for purchasing games. It’s a service Amazon offered as far back as the mid-‘90s. 

Nintendo swam into slightly deeper waters this week when it unshackled its Miiverse social network – the service it uses in lieu of an account system like Sony’s PlayStation Network, Microsoft’s Xbox Live, or Valve’s Steam – from the Wii U. Miiverse members can now access the network and its various community pages through their web browser on both PCs and mobile devices. It’s a beta version of the service, and isn’t accessible on all devices (such as, say, the Nintendo 3DS browser), but it’s a start.

This functionality has been a long time coming for Wii U owners; it was originally promised back at the end of January as part of larger update for the console itself. The spring update for the Wii U was supposed to connect the Miiverse to a web service, as well as introduce the Virtual Console store and improve operating speeds for the console. Virtual Console launch games like Kirby’s Adventure for NES have active Miiverse boards, but they still aren’t yet available on the Wii U.

Letting people access Miiverse via a normal web portal might seem like a small feature, but it represents significant growth for Nintendo. Club Nintendo program members can link an account to consoles like the Wii and Nintendo DSi to track digital purchases, though not to secure them for future downloads if a device is stolen or lost. There’s also the recent release of the copmany’s first paid iOS app, Pokédex 3D, last fall. That’s pretty much the extent of Nintendo’s third-party online accessibility. Bringing Miiverse to the web outside of Wii U suggest that the company may be getting ready to finally slip out of its lifejacket.

Gaming

Is Google launching a game-streaming service? Watch our GDC livestream to see

Google is presenting its 2019 GDC keynote on March 19. Here is how you can tune in to watch the event, as well as what could be shown during the presentation. Google's Project Stream service could be on the agenda.
Gaming

Here's how you can control your PS4 right from your phone

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can get the most out of the system while on the go.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for March 2019

Looking to score Nintendo's latest console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on bundles that feature must-have games like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Zelda: Breath of…
Gaming

Save your hard-earned cash and learn how to gameshare with your friends

Much like the now-ancient process of mixing CD collections, modern consoles allow you to share your game library with a friend and save some money in the process. Here's our step-by-step guide for how to gameshare on PS4.
Gaming

Have an issue with your 3DS? We can help you fix it with these common solutions

The Nintendo 3DS has seen its fair share of issues since it launched in 2011, including poor battery life and fragile Circle Pads. Here are some of the most common, as well as the steps you can take to solve them.
Gaming

New character Octane makes an entrance with the first Apex Legends Battle Pass

Apex Legends' first season kicks off March 19 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The Battle Pass comes in two versions, with the base version costing around 10 bucks. Seasonal rewards include a bevy of new loot such as legendary skins.
Gaming

Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs brings 3D demolition into your living room

Angry Birds is releasing its next entry in the spring of 2019 - with a new spin. Bringing 3D environments and destruction, Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs uses augmented reality to add a new dimension to a classic series.
Computing

The Unevn One is a portable desk that brings PC gaming on the road

Bringing a gaming PC outside your usual setup can be a challenge, but the Unevn One is the first all-in-one, portable gaming desk complete with a computer chassis and integrated monitor mount.
Gaming

How to get the most out of agent builds and specializations in The Division 2

The Division 2 has an intricate loot system to let you fine tune your agent to fit your play style. In our builds and specializations guide, we'll walk you through all of the stats you should pay attention to when tinkering with gear.
Gaming

Transport your Nintendo Switch in style with these nifty cases

The Nintendo Switch, which boasts both wired and handheld modes, needs a good case to ensure it doesn't get beat up while you're on the go. We scoured through dozens of Switch cases to bring you the best ones.
Gaming

Here's our guide on how to progress through The Division 2 endgame

Your mission as an agent doesn't end after taking out the three main factions in The Division 2. The endgame brings the Black Tusks, a dangerous new faction, to D.C. Our endgame guide will help you on your quest for the best loot.
Gaming

Blackout to go? Call of Duty: Mobile is coming this summer

Activision and Tencent have partnered to create Call of Duty: Mobile, a free-to-play version of the popular shooter franchise that will be available on iOS and Android devices this summer.
Gaming

Google’s Stadia lets you stream big-time games from nearly any device

At GDC 2019, Google unveiled Stadia, a game streaming service that lets you play games on PC, tablets, smartphones, and TVs. Stadia looks to open up gaming to everyone, removing the need to buy additional hardware.
Gaming

Here’s all the news from the Google Stadia GDC presentation

Google announced its new game streaming service Stadia during GDC 2019. Here is all the news from the event, including news on YouTube streaming and quickly accessing your favorite new games.