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As we get closer to the Wii U launch, Satoru Iwata has released more details about the Wii U OS. First off, to make full use of the Wii U, players will have to update the firmware on day 1. Obviously since manufacturing began way before the firmware was finished, the unit you get in the box will need to be updated. Now let's talk OS.
Nintendo Network ID: Upon first powering on the Wii U, players will have to make their own account for the system. It is suggested that everyone using the system should make their own account, as the Wii U can store up to 12 different accounts. Each account will require a Mii, password, gender, region, birthday, and an email address. Unlike past Nintendo systems, your ID is made from a username, and not friend codes.
When going online, the Wii U features a much more robust setu compared to it's predecessor. Each profile keeps track of certain data. Players can click on other peoples profiles and learn about them. Of course, you can always choose to keep some information private. When checking out a players profile, you can either send a friend request or follow the person similar to using a Twitter account. Like the 3DS, you have a maximum of 100 friends and you can follow up to 1000 people, it is currently unknown how many followers you can have.
Wara Wara Plaza: This is the central hub of the Wii U. You will see a massive hub made of thousands of Miis, conversing around the games that you, your friends, and the network at large is interested in. Click on any game, to join the discussion for that title. Spoiler filters are in place, so feel free to look around without fear of being spoiled. You can also take in game screenshots, and share them with other people in the plaza.
The Wii U Gamepad has an interface similar to the 3DS. Like the 3DS, there are apps at the bottom that are fixed firmly in place. These include the eShop, the internet browser, and a button to switch between TV and Gamepad play. A Mii is also in the upper left corner, to show which account is active.
As shown at E3, video chat is also a function of the Wii U. If you receive a call while playing a game, he Home button on the Gamepad will flash blue, informing yo of the call. Simply press the button to accept the call, then return to your game after.
Nintendo-JoySound Wii Karaoke U: A Karaoke game created by Nintendo with XING, this is built into the Wii U. I'm not sure, but I think this is going to be a Japan only type of thing. Nonetheless, for 1000 yen a month, players have access to 90,000 songs. There will also be a demo CD made available with 50 songs available.
For those of us with Wii's, details on how to transfer our data over has appeared. First off, an app must be downloaded from the Wii U eShop onto an SD card. This SD must be moved to the Wii, and a second app will be downloaded off of the Wii shop. After this is done, all your Miis, VC games, WiiWare games, save data, Wii Shop channel activity, and Wii points. Return the SD card to your Wii U, and you're good to go.
Finally, one last note. For those people buying the Deluxe Wii U, NintendoLand will come in a regular case, and not a sleeve like Wii Sports did for Wii!