WaraWara Plaza Definition

WaraWara Plaza
Nintendo

Definition

The main screen for the Wii U, which contains little characters commenting on games.

Pronunciation

wahr-uh-wahr-uh plah-zuh

Details

When you start up the Wii U, you see Mii avatars rush into an open space filled with floating game icons. This is WaraWara Plaza. Comic strip style voice balloons pop up from Miis with comments regarding the game icon they are under. While the plaza will display canned phrases like “connect to the internet and check out Nintendo eShop!” if you are offline or lack a Nintendo Network account, it is designed for online Wii U’s that can pull comments from the Miiverse gaming forum for each game.

If you have access to Miiverse then you’ll see a rotating selection of each forum’s most popular comments, questions and drawings.

Ambient, musical sound plays in WaraWara plaza. The appearance of voice bubbles is accompanied by wordless exclamation sounds.

Upon startup, WaraWara is displayed on the television while the Wii U menu is on the gamepad, but it is possible to swap these. Doing so allows you to interact with WaraWara Plaza. You can zoom in on a Mii by tapping it or tapping a voice balloon. These Miis represent other players, and once zoomed in you can save their Mii design to your own Mii collection or go to the Miiverse to read their profile or their current post.

It is also possible to interact in the same way with the Miiverse on the TV itself if you use a Wii remote.

10 game icons appear on screen at a time, arranged in a semi-circle. These change over time, and represent a mix of games, apps, and forums.

Nintendo has editorial control over the display of icons, and while in some cases they are clearly putting in icons for promotional reasons, it is unclear exactly why you get the icons you get. Game and app icons generally come from those you have installed, but forums displayed are not necessarily those you frequent.

You can reposition the icons by using the gamepad shoulder buttons. This forces the Miis in the plaza to run after their icon.

If you have no interest in live updates through the WaraWara Plaza, you can use Parental Controls to turn off access to the Miiverse, in which case the Plaza will look as it does for those with no Internet access.

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