Nintendo president Satoru Iwata believes that we’ve reached the point where social features have become mandatory in all games, even pure single player ones.
"We have reached an era where even a single-player game experience [can] have a social component that is very important," was his exact words. "And I think that social component is mandatory."
One of the main features of Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U is the Miiverse social network. It features a home screen where hoards of other players’ Miis (avatars) gather around icons representing the games they play. The Miiverse also allows players to share comments in-game so that their friends would read or listen to them when they pass the same location while playing.
"Early on, when I played a Mario game, it was really fun for me to sit and chat with my friends about, 'Hey I found coins over here, there's a hidden place.' [or] 'This is how far I got.' That interaction was great," Iwata reminisced.
"What we really want to do is create a place where folks who are playing by themselves will not feel like they are playing by themselves. They'll be able to share those experiences and have that empathy."