Nintendo Will Not Be Bringing Twitch Streaming to the Wii U

Nintendo does not see the value of watching 30 minutes of "Joe Blow" streaming gameplay.
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One of the quibbles at the start of this console generation was the capacity to livestream gameplay from your console to Twitch. Twitch streaming was a launch attribute for the PS4, and later integrated into the Xbox One. But what about that other console, the third of the big three, the Wii U? 

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While not a system seller, Twitch streaming has seen a huge gain in popularity since the start of this latest generation, but there’s been no word from the Nintendo camp about whether or not they would include it on the Wii U. 

According to an interview between Polygon and Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, you shouldn’t expect Twitch streaming anytime soon. Or at all. Nintendo’s philosophy has always been, “It has to be fun.” And according to Nintendo, streaming gameplay does not fit the bill. 

We don’t think streaming 30 minutes of gameplay by itself is a lot of fun. 

This isn’t to say that Nintendo has anything against Twitch streaming. The Nintendo Treehouse Live at E3 was done through Twitch, and Fils-Aime said, “We’re looking to do a lot of great things with Twitch.” The Smash Invitational, one of the big Nintendo events at this years E3, was also streamed. While Fils-Aime doesn’t see an inherent value in watching “Joe Blow” stream, he does see a value in content like the Smash Invitational from an educational standpoint. 

We loved that streamed because that’s where you are able to see how these players perform, the moves they make, you can learn something. That has value to us. And you can expect us to do more of that type of activity, highlighting our games and providing a forum for players to learn how to play better.

There has even been some activity from the highlight reels that players can put together in Mario Cart 8, which Fils-Aime points to being a different kind of user video experience since the player has some choice in what content is put together and distributed rather than just mindless streaming. 

What do you think of Nintendo’s decision not to include Twitch streaming on the Wii U? Why do you watch Twitch streams? 

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Amanda Wallace
Former rugby player, social media person, and occasional writer.