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Veteran Member - Level 11
I made this mock-up because I am wondering what Nintendo's next console will look like and I am bored at work and decent at Photoshop.
Keep in mind this design is NOT exactly my 100% perfect, ideal design. When putting this together I considered 3 factors:
1.) Rumors surrounding the Wii-U & statements from software developers and Nintendo themselves
2.) Precedent from previous Nintendo home consoles
3.) What Nintendo is doing now with the 3DS
There are also a couple of items from my own personal wishlist but they have been adjusted to account for the way Nintendo might execute them. You could say this mock-up is on the optimistic side.
The Wii-U and its touchscreen controller is the natural evolution of Nintendo consoles considering what they have been doing with the Wii and the DS for the past generation. I figure Nintendo will use a familiar tablet style interface with tiled icons much like the 3DS and each of the icons will open a different section.
The top bar on the screen is similar to the 3DS and would feature which Mii (the Mii being the identity for each local home user) is signed into the system and their corresponding Nintendo Club ID which I am presuming will be the online ID players will use across all of their multiplayer games so that part could read "Joe | MarioKing1202." Ubisoft said that the Wii-U will have some sort of single online ID for players and I would bet that Nintendo delivers that experience through their Club Nintendo system.
The items next to that are partially from my wishlist and partially drawn from the 3DS. I am hoping Nintendo will use some sort of achievement system for Wii-U games and they already have achievements to some extent in the 3DS Mii Plaza games. Instead of gamer points or trophies, Wii-U players would earn coins for achievements and stars for collecting all the coins in a game, the same thing as getting a platinum trophy on PS3.
On the far right of the top bar will be the time, date, location, or maybe a little weather icon.
Friends and Communities
Basic stuff. Takes you to your list of friends so you can see what they are playing, send them messages, invite to games, etc. etc. etc... I think friends lists should go another step and add a community building option where you can setup a separate list of people you play with on one specific title. This way you can keep your good friends in a different list than the guy who don't really know but you like to play Battlefield 3 with because he is really good.
Nothing fancy here. The disc on the icon indicates a disc is loaded and the icon shows what game it is. This section also opens up your downloadable games as well as the option to load the game on the disc.
While it still needs work the 3DS e-Shop is in another world compared to previous Nintendo online offerings and I would assume Nintendo will build on that and give us a very similar experience to XBL only with touchscreen controls. Nintendo has used the words "open" and "flexible" a lot to describe their intentions of the Wii-U's online structure and this comment can be taken multiple ways. I think it might mean that Nintendo will keep their online shopping space separate from 3rd parties who Nintendo would simply provide a server space so that 3rd parties could be responsible for building their own market space and updating it with things like Demos and DLC. One would hope this would come with some cross referencing/searching menu system which brings me to....
Online Market Place
Some of you might be wondering why I used Origin and Steam on this Icon. Well, there was a awfully tempting (and equally hard to believe) rumor that Nintendo is talking to EA and Valve about providing the 3rd party online market place for the Wii-U. Unfortunately the same rumor stated that EA was pushing Nintendo for the exclusive rights to use Origin as the Wii-U's online marketplace for 3rd parties. My hope is that Nintendo sticks to the free and open mindset they have talked about and let Valve develop a Steam app for the Wii-U as well as any other publisher who wants to join the fray. Nintendo would still need to provide a crisp menu / searching tool for such an open market place so that finding what you want wouldn't be a 5 star performance.
For those who aren't familiar, Club Nintendo an online system for Nintendo users to take surveys, buy games, and register their consoles and games for coins which can be redeemed for club rewards. It seems natural that Nintendo would use this as a platform for Wii-U users to create online multiplayer profiles connected to their Wii-U. It would be very similar to the XBL website where a lot of the functionality of XBL is present. This icon would take you to see and edit your online profile, see your games achievements, and an easy way to register your games right at your console.
Nothing fancy here but it just needs to be smooth and it would be cool if you could copy and paste links into messages that you could send to other Wii-U users.
Mii's are a big deal for Nintendo and they will be a big part of the Wii-U. On the 3DS there is the Mii Plaza where you can do a variety of activities like play an RPG style game called Find Mii with people you meet on Street Pass and you can exchange puzzle pieces to collect Nintendo art. On the Wii-U I think you will see a similar, perhaps more robust Mii Plaza experience perhaps with some cross platform connectivity with the 3DS. The Wii-U controller is rumored to have its own small CPU and flash memory so it would be cool if you could bring your controller over to your friends house who also has a Wii-U and do some Mii Plaza Street Pass style interactions because your Mii and profile will all be stored on the controller. Nintendo has recently stated that they think the system will support two controllers so this could be in the works.
This obviously would take you to video streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, hopefully more. People watch Netflix on the Wii more than any other device in the country so I don't expect the Netflix/Nintendo relationship to go anywhere for now.
No rumors or precedent here. This one is straight from my wishlist but if Nintendo wants the Wii-U to be part of the home entertainment experience they need to include a music app of some type. Nintendo also seems like the type of company that would ask someone else to do this and there are only a few prominent companies around for the job and Pandora already has applications built into internet ready TVs that should be able to work on something like the Wii-U fairly easily.
It is inevitable. Iwata already stated that the Wii-U will need some sort of connection to the existing social giants and XBL already has Twitter functionality. The touchscreen controller would make it easier to update your Twitter or Facebook and it could have auto sign in when you log into your Wii-U account. I wouldn't use it, but I would bet money it will be there when the system launches.
Obvious. I just hope that it is integrated in with the browser to a degree so I can email links, pictures, videos, etc...
Camera and Pictures
A big feature of the Wii-U controller is the cameras and voice chat. This icon would open the apps necessary to take and look at pictures, record videos and to take it a step further maybe some editing tools to draw on photos or edit videos. Similar functionality is already found on the 3DS.
A lot hear from the wish list. Wii-U is confirmed to have expandable storage via USB and SD card. That is great but what I want is to be able to hook up my 2 TB HD and have my Wii-U let me play my music and videos straight from the HD. Hooking up a USB MP3 player and playing that from here would also be great. XBL can do both already. Catch up Nintendo! Being able to play music in the background while playing a game would be a bonus but I won't hold my breath on much of this.
Obvious. Move data here. Tinker with that there. Stop the kids from looking at this here.
Online Manuals, Forums, and Activity Log
This icon is kind of boring on first sight but within is something Nintendo could do to go above and beyond and it is straight from my wish list. Clicking this icon takes you to the online instruction manual for the game you played most recently or are currently playing. Maybe these online manuals could feature instructional videos and actually helpful hints. You could also go to online forums run through Club Nintendo. Have a forum built for every Wii-U game and Wii-U users could congregate and exchange advice about their games just by using that icon that would take them right there.
Constant connectivity even in the middle of the game.
Making a fully connected system with tons of apps is great and all but what would make the Wii-U a truly connected system would be to provide some of that app functionality during the games. For example, you can pause the game and click that online forum icon and get some good advice about the game you are playing then resume the game after browsing. Naturally all functionality wouldn't be available during gameplay, but Internet focused ones should be. Here is a mock up.
It would function very similarly to Xbox360's home button. As you can see the game is paused and the middle icons are blacked out but the icons on the edges are available for use. Imagine I just paused Zelda so that I could go to an online forum or to invite a friend to a video chat or to check a Facebook update but all at the controller touchscreen. You would not have to go to your computer to look for a video walk through on Youtube anymore. Most important though, this kind of functionality needs to be a smooth experience so it would require a decent amount of memory inside the Wii-U. Lets hope those rumors of 1GB of shared system memory are true.
When you aggregate all the rumors, statements, and actual products from Nintendo and look at how they are evolving them, especially the 3DS, it becomes a little more clear about what Nintendo might be up to with the Wii-U.
Nice blog! I can see a lot of these being apart of the system. I really hope Nintendo's online system for the Wii U will be similar to what you said on here.
BTW I recently made a blog on Wii U as well. Just thought to let you know, we seem to agree on a lot about the system
I would be very happy if your mock-up is anything close to the actual thing. Nice blog!
Dang this is nice...it needs Notification Center!
I think you have great thoughts for this menu. Maybe Nintendo should try looking at your ideas for inspiration.
Nintendo...HIRE THIS GUY!
Wow! Your idea for the Online Manuals, Forums, and Activity Log is a great idea, why don't any of the systems have something like that. Being able to just pause and look up information on a game would be great! Good job these would be great features to see when they start to release more info.
If this is anything like the real thing I'm getting one