Nintendo's new Miiverse social network likely aims to build excitement for the upcoming console Wii U

Nintendo has announced the upcoming launch of its own social network called Miiverse ahead of the Japanese company's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) presentation in Los Angeles this week.

The Miiverse network is Nintendo's own social network that allows users to interact with their friends and other players. Users can see what others are playing, share game content, use the Wii camera for video conferencing, and use the controller to update picture/text messages on the network.

The move is likely in response to Nintendo posting its first annual loss this year. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, Nintendo reported a net loss of 43.2 billion yen ($532.5 million USD). This is huge, considering the game maker generated a profit of 77.6 billion yen ($958.9 million USD) one year earlier. Nintendo also took a 36.2 percent hit to its revenue and had an operating loss of 37.3 billion yen ($460.9 million USD).

Nintendo's loss was blamed mostly on poor Wii sales and a slow start with the 3DS portable system that the company released last year. In fact, Nintendo was forced to slash the price of the 3DS from $249.99 to $169.99 only months after its release.

Nintendo is expected to release its Wii successor "Wii U" this year, which will feature a controller with a 6.2-inch screen, an accelerometer, gyroscope, rumble support, microphone, speakers, stylus, sensor strip, and a front-facing camera. It is designed for multi-player gaming, but does allow single-player gaming. The console itself features an IBM Power-based multi-core processor and measures 10.5" in length, 6.8" in width, and 1.8" in height.

Nintendo's new Miiverse social network likely aims to build excitement for the upcoming console, but some are skeptical about how successful Miiverse will be. While Nintendo says that the social network will eventually be capable of access through the 3DS, smartphones and PCs, its lack of connection with Facebook or Twitter will leave it behind in the social networking race.

The announcement of Miiverse didn't exactly impress investors either. Nintendo shares only increased 0.2 percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange today when the announcement was made.

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata released a video where he formally introduced the Miiverse social network. Check out the video below:

Source: BBC News

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