Today, the 3DS Miiverse update Nintendo announced arrived for players, bringing to social network to a new audience. Nintendo's putting Miiverse on 3DS seems like a kind of reverse take on Sony's PS4/Vita strategy.
Where Sony seems to be attempting to add value to the Vita by highlighting what it can do in conjunction with their new black box, Nintendo seems to be trying to tap into a largely—and arguably more likely to be sold—unsold constituency to bolster the Wii U's ailing popularity by highlighting just how green the grass is on the other side of the proverbial fence.
But that raises the question, how well did Nintendo execute Miiverse on the 3DS, and are users going to care? Only time will tell, but for the time being, let's talk about the details.
What I liked:
- More or less the same experience I get on my Wii U, with some compromises (more on those later).
- Getting screenshots out of my 3DS! At long last! Just look at this puppy; tears of joy, I tell you:
- Expanding on that, the fact that it lets you view screens in 3D on 3DS and 2D on the web/Wii U is very thoughtful and shows Nintendo is getting to better know the audience.
What I Disliked:
- Load times – they're just too long. From posting to "Yeah!"ing to browsing feeds, Miiverse on the 3DS is slow; serviceable, but too slow to use for extended periods.
- Missing friend features – Upon first booting Miiverse, a cheery popup informs the user Miiverse is missing some features that will come later. Nintendo had a long time to work on this; Miiverse is just over one year old, and yet Miiverse is feature incomplete on 3DS, this is borderline inexcusable.
Well, This is Weird...:
All in all, Miiverse on 3DS is a novel experience for Wii U owners itching to get some of that functionality in their handhelds. For those not owning a Wii U, I'm doubtful that Miiverse's current 3DS implementation will lure many off the fence.
If Miiverse is indeed a vehicle for getting people to buy more Nintendo software and hardware, limiting sharing of your screenshots to Miiverse is a perplexing decision. By not allowing players to directly share with those on other, more popular social networks Nintendo is in essence robbing itself of the best kind of free marketing.
I still hope, one year in that Nintendo enables up to post some of this content across multiple platforms, though one year in I don't think there's been so much as a mention of a thought of this functionality, sadly.
Looked at in a silo, Miiverse is a solid update to the 3DS' firmware, and adds some fun functionality that just isn't available on competing handhelds, and for free, it's really not a debate about whether or not you should upgrade.
What are your thoughts on Miiverse for 3DS? Will it help move hardware? Do you plan on participating? Let's talk about it in the comments.