A look at the Wii U Homescreen: The WaraWara Plaza

By Jorge Ba-oh 07.11.2012 28

A look at the Wii U Homescreen: The WaraWara Plaza on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion

Bill from Nintendo's Treehouse revealed more on the WaraWara Plaza - the main screen shown when booting up the Wii U.

The final look, an updated version of what was shown at E3 this year, show various different icons/popular games with Miis surrounding it, as well as tiny chat tidbits from what your friends are getting up to. The GamePad will initially show the Wii U menu/options screens with apps, browser and settings, but these can be swapped to get a closer look at comments, etc.

The plaza and settings are unique to each account/user on the system, with recommendations, saves and options per person.

Bill also goes over Wii U Chat, as featured in a video posted earlier today.


 

Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata also spoke about how user accounts work plus the first video of Wii U chat in action.

What do you think of the WaraWara Plaza and the final Wii U interface?

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Cool idea, but I don't really want to hear that music and listen to a bunch Mii's wobble onto my screen every time I turn on my Wii U. I could see that getting old. 

Working like a fiend isn't very fun... and surprisingly isn't very fiendish either.

Aye, I agree - it looks nice but those Wii footsteps will become annoying I'm sure! Like how the main menu pops up on the GamePad too - does look "Wii" like still, yet refined and more in line with the 3DS which is good.

Happy that Nintendo seem to be ready at launch this time round, no more "wait 6 months for a browser" and the like.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

So is the Youtube 'app' confirmed for launch? Because I'm looking forward to that.

I still hope TVii will support sites like Blip.tv and Twitch.tv. Oh and Nintendo needs to put their own (old) shows up there, like they did with Kirby.

Are we getting TVii on launch then? I doubt we are in the UK....I quite like the channel approach on the Wii...i wont if there is a way to switch to "classic" mode....

I wonder what the loading times will be like when you turn on the system for all of this...i wouldn't want to wait 30 seconds for the system to boot up just to load senseless comments on a game i may or may not be playing!


UPDATED: I also loved the idea of the Kirby channel, i do think Nintendo should do this with a lot of their shows such as Pokemon, Fzero, Mario and even DK.

( Edited 07.11.2012 23:55 by Flynnie )

Haven't heard confirmation of YouTube for Wii U yet - hoping they'll bring out at least YT as a dedicated app - we're definitely shifting into that sort of generation/medium for entertainment. Eventually I'd like to see an updated BBC iPlayer, ITV player et for the UK and possibly TVii too (though I don't think I'd use it too much).

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

jb said:
Haven't heard confirmation of YouTube for Wii U yet - hoping they'll bring out at least YT as a dedicated app - we're definitely shifting into that sort of generation/medium for entertainment. Eventually I'd like to see an updated BBC iPlayer, ITV player et for the UK and possibly TVii too (though I don't think I'd use it too much).
BBC iPlayer, ITV Player etc. WILL form Nintendo TVii in the UK. TVii is just that. A bunch of on-demand services incorporated into one app for easier viewing. Say you want to watch something, but it's on BBC and not ITV, you can just search and it'll tell you all the services that have that specific program available for streaming.

Likewise, it also includes cable services (not sure what any of those are in the US tbh) but if TVii was to make its way over to the UK, I can see at least Sky and Virgin Media being a part of it for the searching and watching of live TV, heck maybe even Freeview. I believe live TV can only be viewed on the TV, whereas online streaming services can be switched between the GamePad and TV. Don't quote me on this though, just what I've gotten from watching TVii demos and the likes.

Satoru Iwata did mention a couple of weeks ago that he is trying to get the service available in Europe and Japan, by finding out what people's viewing patterns are like in those locations and trying to get some form of partnership with content providers in those regions. It sounds like he's quite successful in getting TVii available in EU and JP, but it won't be there from launch. Maybe a month or so after.

In regards to YouTube, the Wii U browser excels at quite a bit in the HTML5 department, so you should be able to use the HTML5 version of YT on your Wii U browser. As for an app, I haven't the foggiest. I can imagine there being an app at some point, but no idea where or when it's going to be released.



( Edited 08.11.2012 16:23 by Mush )

At the announcement of Wii U, Nintendo teased us with all these great Youtube functions. Like searching videos on the Pad and then later sending them to the TV.

And now they're going to launch without that? That's ridiculous.

The same goes for the drawing app/game they showed (where somebody drew Links face). Oh and that simple board game. Where did that all go?

Canyarion said:
At the announcement of Wii U, Nintendo teased us with all these great Youtube functions. Like searching videos on the Pad and then later sending them to the TV.

And now they're going to launch without that? That's ridiculous.

The same goes for the drawing app/game they showed (where somebody drew Links face). Oh and that simple board game. Where did that all go?

Those were all tech demos. You can still search for stuff on the GamePad and then later reveal it to everyone watching the TV screen. No idea if this applies only to standard browsing or what. I'm sure the drawing app will see the light of day at some point, probably as an eShop title, maybe a Wii U version of Colors! or something. As for the checkers board game shown at E3 '11, I'm not sure what will happen for that. No idea if it'll be released.

You have to remember, E3 2011 was when the Wii U was still in development and the stuff shown was just tech demos, which only showcased the tech in the GamePad, which led to confusion for a lot of people. They thought it was just a new controller. If you're asking where these things are, why aren't you asking where that gorgeous looking Zelda tech demo is? Because the same principles apply here.

A little bit off topic but do we know how the Wii U is gonna handle VC/Wiiware games? I'm really hoping we get to play the virtual console games on the Wii U's gamepad. They don't look too good on a 32" widescreen TV and it would be a cool little feature. I can understand it not being available for most wiiware games as most games would require a bit more than remapping the buttons.
 

( Edited 08.11.2012 20:09 by JayUK )

JayUK said:
A little bit off topic but do we know how the Wii U is gonna handle VC/Wiiware games? I'm really hoping we get to play the virtual console games on the Wii U's gamepad. They don't look too good on a 32" widescreen TV and it would be a cool little feature. I can understand it not being available for most wiiware games as most games would require a bit more than remapping the buttons.
 

They can't be played on the GamePad.

Azuardo said:
They can't be played on the GamePad.

Well that's a bit disappointing, hopefully they'll add it with an update later on. I think I'm gonna hold off on getting one until Aliens Colonial Marines comes out and they've worked a few of the kinks out anyway.

Mush said: why aren't you asking where that gorgeous looking Zelda tech demo is? Because the same principles apply here.
We all know a new Zelda game takes ages to make. Those other demos would take... a day? Port Colors!, add some simple board games and give that Youtube app you've been working on for 1.5 years now.

I loved how the 3DS came with some pre-installed games/apps. I figured Wii U would have the same thing.

Oh and not being able to play VC/WW games on the Upad is incredibly stupid. I finally wanted to buy my first VC game because A Link to the Past should work great on the Upad. But alas, I'll just play it on my GBA or SNES instead.

Just had a thought, if you can't play VC games on the Wii U gamepad are people who buy a wii u gonna have to buy a wiimote and a classic controller to play VC games. Or are nintendo gonna give the Wii U its own virtual console and this is only for games transferred from the wii.

If its the first case, they've really shot themselves in the foot a little bit.

JayUK said:
Just had a thought, if you can't play VC games on the Wii U gamepad are people who buy a wii u gonna have to buy a wiimote and a classic controller to play VC games. Or are nintendo gonna give the Wii U its own virtual console and this is only for games transferred from the wii.

If its the first case, they've really shot themselves in the foot a little bit.


I'm almost certain you will be able to play them with the GamePad, just not on the screen in portable fashion.

Azuardo said:
JayUK said:
Just had a thought, if you can't play VC games on the Wii U gamepad are people who buy a wii u gonna have to buy a wiimote and a classic controller to play VC games. Or are nintendo gonna give the Wii U its own virtual console and this is only for games transferred from the wii.

If its the first case, they've really shot themselves in the foot a little bit.


I'm almost certain you will be able to play them with the GamePad, just not on the screen in portable fashion.

Sorry I misunderstood. If that's the case its great news because It sounds a lot more feasible. I was starting to worry they'd just gone the gamecube route and as soon as you start a VC game it switches to 'wii mode'. If you can use the wii u gamepad to control VC games it suggests they've properly integrated it. All they'd have to do is release an update that outputs the image to both screens, which doesn't seem too complex.

That all said, I'm not 100% certain :/

I'm trying to read up on this and yeah, it seems when you launch WiiWare games, or VC games from Wii, the Wii U goes into "Wii mode," which explains why that stuff wouldn't work on the GamePad. So I'm wondering now if they won't be able to even be played using the GamePad, since you wouldn't be able to use the GamePad to play Wii games. Maybe, after all, you do need old Wii remote stuff, or the classic controller for Wii/Wii U.

Like many things, it's not clearly explained from what I can find, and I guess you just won't know till you try.

It is kinda funny we're a just a few weeks away from launch and there are still so many unknowns. Feels like nintendo need to do a nintendo direct every day lol.

Nintendo just needs to man(ner) up and enable full WiiWare and VC support. I don't want to turn my Wii U into a Wii, I want Wii games to work on the Wii U!

And then they need to allow developers to release HD patches for their games. Smilie

Canyarion said:
Nintendo just needs to man(ner) up and enable full WiiWare and VC support. I don't want to turn my Wii U into a Wii, I want Wii games to work on the Wii U!

And then they need to allow developers to release HD patches for their games. Smilie


I'm pretty sure this has always been the case for backwards compatibility. It certainly is on the Xbox 360, was on the Wii and still is on the 3DS. When booting up DS games/DSiWare on the 3DS, you don't have access to the home menu, your friends, StreetPass and SpotPass are disabled temporarily and it's forced to run in some bizarre resolution.

Likewise, on the 360, when you play an original Xbox game, the Guide menu is not allowed, you can't join parties or private chat and all of the system wide Live features are disabled, meaning it only connects to Live on that specific game.

This is also the same with the Wii, play a GameCube game and you no longer have access to the Wii Menu, your Wiimote gets disconnected and yeah, it's forced to act like a GameCube. The only thing different with the Wii U is that it has an actual Wii Mode, whereas the OS and all those things are in tact.

I personally see this as a good thing, as I loved the Wii's System Menu and putting all of your Wii stuff into this menu doesn't clutter up your Wii U's interface. The only thing I'm disappointed about is the fact that you can't play VC games on the GamePad, but hopefully this can be changed in future VC releases (GameCube, DreamCast, etc.)

Mush said:
I'm pretty sure this has always been the case for backwards compatibility. It certainly is on the Xbox 360, was on the Wii and still is on the 3DS. When booting up DS games/DSiWare on the 3DS, you don't have access to the home menu, your friends, StreetPass and SpotPass are disabled temporarily and it's forced to run in some bizarre resolution.

Likewise, on the 360, when you play an original Xbox game, the Guide menu is not allowed, you can't join parties or private chat and all of the system wide Live features are disabled, meaning it only connects to Live on that specific game.

This is also the same with the Wii, play a GameCube game and you no longer have access to the Wii Menu, your Wiimote gets disconnected and yeah, it's forced to act like a GameCube. The only thing different with the Wii U is that it has an actual Wii Mode, whereas the OS and all those things are in tact.

I personally see this as a good thing, as I loved the Wii's System Menu and putting all of your Wii stuff into this menu doesn't clutter up your Wii U's interface. The only thing I'm disappointed about is the fact that you can't play VC games on the GamePad, but hopefully this can be changed in future VC releases (GameCube, DreamCast, etc.)

I think the key difference is these are downloadable games. They run based off nintendo's own emulators. You can understand them drawing the line at wii/wiiware games but virtual console games really aren't that complicated to integrate. They've got all this power dedicated to the front end and can't manage to give the Wii U its own NES emulator. Just seems strange and counter intuitive.

Hopefully it gets better as time goes on similar to how the NES/GBA games didn't originally have save states on 3DS.

HD patches would be cool but I really don't see nintendo doing that for free. Although to be honest I wouldn't mind paying a small amount for the upgrade.

( Edited 09.11.2012 18:53 by JayUK )

JayUK said:
I think the key difference is these are downloadable games. They run based off nintendo's own emulators. You can understand them drawing the line at wii/wiiware games but virtual console games really aren't that complicated to integrate. They've got all this power dedicated to the front end and can't manage to give the Wii U its own NES emulator. Just seems strange and counter intuitive.

Hopefully it gets better as time goes on similar to how the NES/GBA games didn't originally have save states on 3DS.

HD patches would be cool but I really don't see nintendo doing that for free. Although to be honest I wouldn't mind paying a small amount for the upgrade.


Xbox games are downloadable on the 360, those also have the same issues as disc-based Xbox games. The point being is that Nintendo designed the VC games to work on the Wii, all of the Wii Menu and Suspend Play features were programmed into each of those games separately.

In order for them to allow you to play those VC games on the GamePad, they will have to reprogram the whole thing and then steadily add it to each game. This isn't exactly the most cheapest/wisest move for Nintendo to make, since most people will already have these VC games and they'll receive the updates at no extra costs.

For future VC games, I'm all for this approach. Heck, they can even bundle some of the older VC games together into collections and release them as new Wii U Ware titles, with GamePad support. I'm sure that'll make people more happy. Luckily for me, I haven't actually bought any VC on the Wii, apart from Metroid, which I got for free anyways. So yeah, I'd be all for some kind of upscaled collections of NES/SNES games.

You see i've got like 60 VC games, so i've got my fingers crossed for updates(even if it requires a small fee). 

Mush said:
I'm pretty sure this has always been the case for backwards compatibility.
I'm not talking about how it's always been, I'm talking about what Nintendo needs to do to create a great gaming experience.

JayUK makes a great point. The Wii emulated those older machines so it could play those retro games. The Wii U is much much stronger, it is technically possible to create an emulator that also streams to the Upad.
That way Wii U will launch with a huge library and great backwards compatibility. I assure you I will buy my first VC games when Nintendo gets it right.

( Edited 09.11.2012 23:24 by Azuardo )

I really hope that we can use the chat or video chat during gameplay. 

Being able to talk with a friend who isn't there while playing would be great, and obviously for multiplayer online games the teamspeak-esque application of it would be wonderful. 

Like video game music?!
>
Do a Barrel Roll!<

Red XIII said:
I really hope that we can use the chat or video chat during gameplay.
Doesn't sound like you can. Possibly in the future?
http://www.siliconera.com/2012/11/12/wii-u-video-chat-makes-you-quit-games-but-nintendo-hope-to-improve/

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