Nintendo Shutting Down One of Its Best Ideas, Miiverse, on November 8
A place full of beautiful drawings and endless shitposting, Miiverse will be missed.
Image courtesy of Nintendo
Starting November 8, Nintendo will begin shutting down various Wii U-related services, including Wii U chat, TVii, and Miiverse. The last one bums me out.
No doubt, Nintendo must be happy with the critical and commercial reception to the Switch, but in leaving behind their previous console, the company decided to ditch one of their better ideas: Miiverse. Nintendo isn't a company known for executing good ideas related to the Internet, but a broken clock is right twice a day. Miiverse was special, a place full of beautiful drawings, endless shitposting, and a place for small groups to communicate with one another in a unique way.
One of my favorite Tumblr accounts the last few years was BadMiiversePosts, which collected some of the best Miiverse had to offer. It was often impossible to tell who was being ironic, genuine, or a mixture of the two, but given how Nintendo targets its hardware at people of all ages, it was sometimes believable that a young kid would take the time to write a sad post about their parents divorcing or admitting "I'm failing at class but at least I have splatoon."
When I streamed Super Mario Maker daily for the better part of a year, Miiverse was such a cool part of the experience. I'd play levels made by the people in my viewing community, and when I finished it, I'd try to leave a note on their Miiverse page. Often, when I would struggle with a level, people would drop into the Miiverse page to taunt me, as they managed to beat the level before me. The combination of text, drawings, and Miis gave Miiverse its own aesthetic.
It's possible Miiverse would lose some of its charm when exposed to a larger community, making Miiverse an enjoyable quirk related to Wii U's niche status, but that seems unlikely. Parts of Miiverse live on in places like Splatoon 2's lobby, where people can drop in messages (often about Knack 2). Nintendo was onto something, and hopefully Miiverse's retirement on Wii U means some plans for a more ambitious form of community interaction. With Nintendo, you never know.
Whatever happens, know that I loved you, Miiverse.