Tuesday, August 29, 2017

For Better or Miiverse...

...till death do us part.

The rumors have been flying for a while, but now, it's official... Miiverse will be ending in seventy-two days. Actually, seventy-one days by the time I post this. 

From a business perspective, it makes sense to stick a fork in Miiverse, because the two consoles that support it are pretty old, and Nintendo is especially eager put the Wii U and its shabby sales behind it. Past that, I don't think Nintendo ever wanted to get into the social networking business, especially since it needed to spend more time (and by extension, money) moderating posts than "anything goes" sites like Twitter and Tumblr.

From a customer service perspective, the decision stinks. Nintendo has been putting the screws to its fans for a couple of years now, abandoning the Wii U while making it more difficult than necessary to purchase its successor, the Switch. Speaking of system shortages, it was damned near impossible to buy an NES Classic last year, and there's every indication that Nintendo won't meet the demand for the Super NES Classic this year. 

Now there's this... the imminent demise of a service that gave players a fresh new way to interact with their games and each other. Microsoft and Sony let you take snapshots of games and share them with friends on Twitter, but Miiverse gave players the chance to react to games as they played them, with only a brief pause in the action. The service also let players express themselves artistically, with advice for other gamers, comics poking fun at what they'd just seen, and stunningly detailed illustrations which demonstrate just how much could be accomplished with Miiverse's simple art tools.

After November 8th, there will still be social networks and art galleries, but there will be nothing like Miiverse. It's a bitter pill for anyone who used the service regularly for the last five years.

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