Social media and U: how Nintendo is connecting the masses through social networking



Gamers around the world gathered to watch coverage from the annual Electronic Entertainment Exposition (E3) in Los Angeles last week. The expo has been hosted annually since 1995 and been the most popular video game event for years.

Every couple of years, big name developers like Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft unveil the next generation of their consoles, games, and accessories at E3. While Microsoft and Sony held press conferences to showcase their next generation consoles, the Xbox One and Playstation 4, Nintendo chose to debut a prerecorded video.

Nintendo releases these videos, called Nintendo Direct, periodically to show the latest technologies it has to offer. It did not hold a traditional press conference since its newest console, WiiU, has been available in US stores since November.

This year, Nintendo revealed a large number of new exclusive titles for the console that has, in the past few days, seemed to take a backseat to the news coming out of Microsoft and Sony press conferences.

The Nintendo Direct video informed viewers of the latest developments being made to past lovable series such as Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, and the long-awaited Super Smash Bros. While Nintendo played it rather safe, not announcing too much outside of what was expected, the video received positive feedback overall.

An interesting part of the Nintendo Direct video was the developments being made about Miiverse.

Miiverse is a social network embedded within the WiiU system. It’s a feature that has been around since launch. It’s a more advanced version of the Mii system utilized by the original Wii platform since 2006.

Miiverse allows players from all over the world to seamlessly interact with one another. It provides a means for people to share hints, random messages, and even drawings with gamers from all over the world.

Social media is becoming a large part of gaming especially for the WiiU. Players want more ways to connect with their real life friends, as well as other gamers. Nintendo is providing a great way to do that with Miiverse. The future of social media within gaming appears bright. Each day more features are announced that allow players to interact even more.

An interesting part of this craze is what this growing trend means for advertising within these social networks. With the amount of people seamlessly connected to each other, businesses and social media agencies would be able to reach millions of people instantaneously. For example, a company could have one of its employees make a Miiverse account, free of charge, and draw an elaborate drawing of the company mascot. That drawing can get passed around with ease by thousands of gamers and posted on public walls all around the world spreading the brand quickly.

All in all, social media in the video game universe is growing rapidly. Companies like Nintendo are actually listening to their consumers through these social networking vessels and using the software as a sort of feedback tool to improve their own brand. This case is just another example of social media spreading into a new market and creating endless possibilities for companies and gamers alike.

By Eric Dahl

Eric Dahl is currently an intern at award winning social media agency, fishbat inc. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 2013 with a BA in Journalism and a minor in German.

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