Nintendo has made it official that Miiverse and Wii U Chat will no longer be available in Japan starting November 8. Nintendo’s Wii U TV streaming functionality, TVii, will also be scrapped. For now, the announcement mentions only Japan, meaning that these services may or may not be available in other parts of the world after that date.
Why is Nintendo ending Miiverse?
Nintendo’s decision does not come as a surprise, as the console maker already announced that it was discontinuing production of the Wii U last year. Since the Miiverse is an exclusive service available for the Wii U and 3DS family system, speculations about this move were already being made. Further, the Nintendo Switch does not use Miiverse, so the impending end of the service was pretty obvious. For Switch players, the company recently launched the Nintendo Switch online service.
— Daniel Feit (@feitclub) August 29, 2017
Miiverse was popular among artistic gamers who shared their hand-drawn images, which then appeared within popular titles. However, the platform was also used for irreverent and often inappropriate message board posts.
According to Eurogamer, Miiverse “was a chaotic but moderately successful experiment in creating a social network.” The popular gaming site further stated that Miiverse was a popular way to see some of the best fan art, but the Nintendo police had a tough time filtering out inappropriate content. Although there were algorithms in place to automatically delete anything offensive, they could not be trusted entirely, as some inappropriate artwork often dropped onto the board.
Tom Phillips of Eurogamer stated that Nintendo has always been a family-focused brand, and therefore, it’s unlike the company to allow people a free hand in drawing just about anything and making it appear in the game.
“What they wanted to create was a feeling of inclusivity and empathy. In one game you’d have posts popping up saying, ‘I died a lot here,’ or, ‘That was a big surprise,’ and that’s very Nintendo,” Phillips said.
Nintendo did try to improve it
It’s not like Nintendo is shutting down Miiverse without trying to improve it. The Japanese firm has made efforts to enhance the functionality and accessibility of the service since the Wii U was launched in 2012. It even added support to devices and browsers along with major changes in the summer of 2015, notes GameSpot.
Once the service is closed, players will no longer be able to chat with one another on the Wii U. Further, titles such as Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars and Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U will lose some of their features. For now, Nintendo says that a total of 117 games will be affected by the closure of the service.
Once the service ends, Wii U or 3DS users who try to access it will see error codes 115-5004 for the Wii U and 015-5004 for the 3DS. Those who posted content on Miiverse will be able to download screenshots and their posts to their PCs, according to the official release from Nintendo.
“Linked Nintendo Account is required to submit a request for your post history, and your request must be submitted before the Miiverse service end,” the game maker said.