The Wii U is just a few days away from being released, and as that horizon looms, Nintendo seems set on doling out bits of information we probably should have already known. In this edition, the unfortunate truth of Wii U Chat comes to life.
The second page of the current Iwata Asks has our news:
That makes sense. By the way, I can imagine all sorts of possible situations, like what if the other person is playing Wii U? Or what if they aren’t using their Wii U? What happens in those cases?
First, when the other person is online with Wii U, and you call them, their Home Button will flash to let them know a call is coming in. If they open the Menu, they’ll get a message telling them they have an in-coming call, and if they answer it, the Wii U Chat session begins.
But they have to end the game they were playing, right?
Yes, they will have to end the game.
There must be technical hurdles involved, but I hope this is an area that we can improve on in the future. What if the other person’s Wii U isn’t turned on, or if they aren’t logged in?
They wouldn’t be able to tell from the Wii U, but you can leave a message that appears in the messages list on Wii U Chat, and also through a message on Miiverse.
Another thing they discussed was the ability to draw on the GamePad while chatting, like we saw in the video from the other day. There is no ability to bring up a whiteboard, however, and this was intentional. When they tested with whiteboards, the chat always turned into who could draw better, and they wanted to instead focus on the conversation.
An odd inclusion (or exclusion) with Wii U Chat is that your contacts are grouped solely on who you call the most, and there is no A-Z indexing or other sorting. This makes sense, but it is also kind of weird that they wouldn’t have a simple sorting option.
Lastly, they discussed the company that is helping them bring this all together, Vidyo. This American company specializes in video conferencing, and their technology allows the video stream to lower it’s resolution as the chat continues if the bitrate drops. This supposedly keeps the chat going smoothly without breaks. We will have to see how that is in practice.