Nintendo employs a lot of brilliant people. When it comes to game design they are often leaps and bounds ahead of their competition. But there's one pretty big area in which they often fall behind: The Internet.
Sure, their online games like Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 tend to work fine, but when compared to Sony or Microsoft their set of online features is significantly lacking. Even things as simple as friend lists are needlessly convoluted on the Wii U and 3DS.
But hope is on the way. During a financial briefing in Japan this week, Nintendo announced the first plans for its new account system. It will be called, simply enough, Nintendo Account, and it will allow you to connect a single username to your PC, your mobile devices, services like Facebook and Twitter and, of course, your dedicated Nintendo gaming systems, including their upcoming system code-named the NX.
Among the features Nintendo promises are the ability to keep save data across platforms via cloud storage, unified friends lists and membership benefits through another new program called My Nintendo.
The company followed that up by announcing its first program that will be available on smart phones. Sorry, but it's not a Zelda or Mario game, it's an app called Miitomo.
The way Nintendo pitches it, Miitomo sounds like a twist on social media services like Twitter. You create a digital avatar of yourself, answer questions, and then send that avatar off to talk to the avatars of your friends. Nintendo thinks this will be a safe, secure and welcoming way to start conversations.
Both Miitomo and the Nintendo Account service will be available in March of 2016.
OK, that was a lot of Nintendo talk. If you want to relax, might I suggest painting some happy little trees?
In a weird but awesome move, Twitch, the online streaming service primarily used for playing video games live, is streaming more than 400 episodes of The Joy of Painting, the popular painting show from the '80s and '90s featuring Bob Ross. The episodes will run back to back for roughly 200 straight hours.
Why? Well, it was Bob Ross' birthday on October 29, when the stream started, but do you really need a reason to experience the joy of painting? The stream will run through November 6.