In an answer to Nintendo’s online functionality and policies, Mr. Iwata confirmed that Nintendo are busy working on system-wide asynchronous multiplayer for Miiverse, or as Cheesemeister3k translates for us, “you’ll be able to send your play data to Miiverse for others to download and play against at a different time.”
What does that mean for us? Good things. Very good things.
It essentially allows us to play turn-based online multiplayer games without a concurrent internet connection between each other, making it perfect for strategy games such as Advance Wars, or turn-based battles in the likes of Pokemon or Sujin Taisen. One player makes their move, sends it to ‘the cloud’ via Miiverse, ready for their opponent to download that ‘turn’ and submit their own.
This functionality is what makes social games like Words With Friends so hassle-free to play, and 17Bit Studios allowed Skulls of the Shogun players on Windows Phone, Xbox 360 and Windows 8 play in this very way, cross-platform, in what the developers called “Skulls Anywhere”.
It’s a smart move, nonetheless, allowing Nintendo to support new types of games, and vastly enhance the multiplayer experience of others, and also shows that they are responding to outside trends, as Apple are busy making this very functionality a system-wide thing in iOS 7, with “Turns”.