Upcoming Miiverse improvements include community features, interface updates

Nintendo is planning to expand the feature set of Miiverse, the Wii U social network, in a series of updates throughout 2013, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced today in a Nintendo Direct session.

Some updates will be tied to specific games. Pikmin 3 will allow players to use the Wii U GamePad as an in-game camera and take close-up screenshots from the point of view of the Pikmin themselves. Those images can then be shared on the game's Miiverse community.

Wii Fit U will offer closed communities within Miiverse, gated by unique IDs (similar to groups in Mario Kart 7 on Nintendo 3DS), in which people can discuss elements like exercises, weight fluctuations and BMI in safe environments with people they know. Players will be able to create Wii Fit U Communities on Miiverse from inside the game itself. According to Nintendo, similar functionality is planned for other upcoming Wii U titles.

Other updates will apply across the service. Nintendo singled out four elements — more than one official community per game, user-created communities, usability improvements and a filtering function — that will be added over the course of the year. "We plan to tackle these one by one in the near future," Iwata said.

Iwata added that this spring, Miiverse users will be able to engage with the network in browsers on smartphones; a Miiverse smartphone app will arrive later this year.

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