Iwata: Players Must Quit Games to Start Wii U Chat

By Jorge Ba-oh 12.11.2012 9

Iwata: Players Must Quit Games to Start Wii U Chat on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion

Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata recently sat down with the brains behind the upcoming Wii U chat application.

After demonstrating the world's first Wii U voice and video call last week, Iwata spoke to Fumihito Tamiya and Atsushi Watanabe on the concepts and technical hurdles behind the new app. Nintendo had been toying with the idea of over-the-internet video chat when working on the Nintendo 64, around 15 years ago to work alongside Shigeru Miyamoto's "caricature" idea.

Since then the caricature concept evolved into Miis and now TV phone has become a reality with the Wii U chat functionality.

Nintendo opted to work with two US companies - Vidyo and NTD, which provide conferencing systems for business. Together they aired out potential network issues, where the Wii U chat app automatically adjusts quality based on connection speed to try and avoid "block noise".

...when there's a problem with the network, the resolution is lowered slightly, but you can still watch the video without noticing much of a difference. I think that's a huge thing.

Watanabe also notes that chat sessions will run on P2P once established, where users will communicate directly rather than a server as the "middle man" to avoid costs to the Wii U player.

Accessing chat is also simple: load the app, select a Mii and call - the recpient's GamePad home button will light up as a notification. There's no way of ordering friend lists in the chat app however, they'll show by how often you chat to them instead.

I want this to be a console that brings a family happiness - Takeda

Finally, Tamiya confirms that if there's an incoming call and the recipient is playing a game, it will have to be ended before the call can take place. Likewise, if the Wii U is switched off or not logged in, a message can be left in Wii U chat and also on the Miiverse system.

Despite the drawbacks for being able to video chat during a game, Iwata hopes it's an "area that we can improve on in the future".


 

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I don't think anyone was really expecting anything different were they? 

I wasn't even expecting Nintendo to have grasped the concept of online gaming yet, so everything is a bonus to me.
Low expectations - key to happiness.

You are not alone. I am here with you. Though we're far apart...you're always in my heart. Love u!

I get the desire for cross-game voice chat, but why would anyone want to video chat while playing a game?

Imagine you're playing Fire Emblem and you're in the middle of a level. You can pause the game, but not (quick)save it. So you'll either have to quit your game and restart the level later, or you can't answer the call.

I hope they'll fix it in the future. I thought this was what the whole '1GB memory for OS, 1GB for games' thing was for, so you can run multiple things at once.

Anyway, the rest of the video chat sounds nice! Smilie

Canyarion said:
Imagine you're playing Fire Emblem and you're in the middle of a level. You can pause the game, but not (quick)save it. So you'll either have to quit your game and restart the level later, or you can't answer the call.

I hope they'll fix it in the future. I thought this was what the whole '1GB memory for OS, 1GB for games' thing was for, so you can run multiple things at once.

Anyway, the rest of the video chat sounds nice! Smilie

My comment was actually asking about doing video chat while playing a game at the same time and not pausing the game, because some posts I've read on other sites sounded like they demanded that. I should have made that more clear.

I see where you're coming from but that's not a very good example. Every recent Fire Emblem game had a Suspend option that works like a Quicksave to do what you need here, so it would only be an issue for games that only have old-fashioned save points nowadays.

Iwata himself said it's an area they hope to improve on when talking about this in the Iwata Asks, so I'd imagine that it's possible but they just haven't optimised the app quite yet. I think it's better that this feature is there at launch for people who want to use it, rather than when it's perfect in every way. The PS3 and 360 changed and improved a lot over the years too, now they have a solid foundation to build upon unlike Nintendo that needs to start from scratch with many features.

darkflame (guest) 13.11.2012#6

This shocks me - the 3DS can pause games and webbrowse...why cant the WiiU pause a game and chat?

Create cool feature but then handicap it in such a way that 80% of the time no one will want to use it. Good going.

If they can adjust video quality on the fly, why not disable video altogether and go audio-only if the person is in the middle of a game?

Whatever, it's a console and not a phone, just seems like this should be easy to fix.

NNID: crackedthesky
My blog, mostly about writing: http://www.davidjlovato.com

Mr James2t3 said:
Create cool feature but then handicap it in such a way that 80% of the time no one will want to use it. Good going.

It'll be alright, as long as people don't watch the video here...that president of Nintendo acts creepier than a random Oompa-Loompa. The 'big american business smile' on the fat mexican doesn't help either. Wouldn't you rather be on chatroulette after this? I wouldn't, but I can imagine some would...

You are not alone. I am here with you. Though we're far apart...you're always in my heart. Love u!

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