E3: Nintendo Announces Mii-Verse, A Social Wii U Component That Can Be Accessed Via Phone Or Tablet

During a pre-E3 briefing the other afternoon, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata unveiled Mii-verse for Wii U. And he also mentioned something we didn’t expect: interaction with the service through web-enabled devices. You know, like smart phones or tablets.

In a nutshell, Mii-verse is a key component in the upcoming console’s online offering, as it’ll connect players to each other via a reinvigorated Mii Plaza and messaging. In an awful promotional video shown at the event, you can see how it all works together, and also how someone with a smart phone or tablet can browse Mii-verse’s message board and respond to console players in what appears to be real time.

“Mii-verse does not require the use of your big screen. In fact, we consider the small screen of the Wii U gamepad itself as a social window fully capable of linking player to player, living room to living room. Sharing across both time and space," Iwata explained at the briefing. Mii-verse will work across every game, including those without online components of any kind.

“Because the key components of Mii-verse is browser-based, these social connections will eventually be possible outside your home away from the Wii U," he said later.

We expect that Mii-verse will forever be browser-based, meaning we won’t ever see an official app on iTunes. Still, this is a cool move by Nintendo, which has struggled to embrace social, digital, and phones. Being able to call up and interact with what’s ultimately a Nintendo console service on your iPhone or iPad is pretty hip, regardless if the service is dedicated to them.

We expect to learn a lot more about Mii-verse and any other sort of connectivity later this week during its actual E3 briefing. We’ll continue following it, just in case.

Oh, and don’t expect this service at launch — it isn’t slated to be available until some point after Wii U is released later this year.