“Our approach was connecting acquaintances in the real world, so you might say that we favoured an ‘ultra’ real-life social graph,” said Miiverse producer Kiyoshi Mizuki. "That’s why we made it so you exchange Friend Codes with your real friends. But then some people put their Friend Codes on other networks and bulletin boards and exchanged them with strangers anyway.”
Anyone who’s used Xbox Live, PlayStation Network or any modern connected device could have told Nintendo that’s what would have happened years ago, but alas. Nintendo’s decision came from the right place, though--the company wanted to protect young kids. Nonetheless, it stuck with Friend Codes even through the 3DS, though seemingly because Nintendo Network wasn’t ready.
On Wii U, you’ll register a Nintendo Network account, and that’s it.
“Miiverse represents a great transformation for Nintendo’s online network policy,” said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.
“We came to think that it might be better for Nintendo itself to provide a service that would be more fun to use,” said Mizuki. “With Miiverse, you don’t simply become friends with complete strangers without any prior knowledge. You become friends with someone with whom you sense a shared sensibility because you play the same game.”
There is a Wii U in the Giant Bomb office, we just can’t talk about it very much. Plus, the machine doesn’t have a crucial patch (hitting next week) that will turn on many of its Internet-reliant services.