Stiq Figures, May 12 - 18: Using social features in games edition

Welcome to Stiq Figures, where the sales data is after the break and the posts don't matter.

It's certainly not a secret, but our consoles are increasingly becoming more than just video game machines. Support for streaming apps is as expected as wireless controllers at this point, and features that boost a player's presence in social communities feel like the next universal standard. Inboxes, pop-up messages, pages filled to the brim with every stat you could ever want to know about your friends' game time - all of that doesn't even take into account the games that assign themselves the duty of serving socialites, like the incoming Driveclub.

There are plenty of potential reasons for the influx of social tools - it could be to meet player expectations, to help a community keep playing together for years to come, to use players as promotional tools on social media, or all of the above. It doesn't feel like something that'll fade away anytime soon, but my question to you is: do you care? Has there been a game that you've significantly enjoyed because of built-in or console-supplemented social features, some service that keeps your friends and rivals in the center of your mind? Or is it similar to the other features you glance over once on the back of the box before plugging away at the content that most interests you?

This is normally where I offer examples from my perspective of a topic, but aside from a week of scrolling through Miiverse posts and a stint of war-waging messages over Geometry Wars 2, I've never bothered with social elements to games. It's mostly fluff to me - my online matches are always pre-meditated, I'm not really concerned with the trophies my friends have earned, and pop-up alerts became frequent enough for me to turn them off so I could focus on what I'm there for.

I'm by no means a great measurement of the average gamer though, so I'd like to see where this stuff lands for you. Are social features nice once in a while, something you use all the time, or totally irrelevant to your play style? Share your view in the comments, right after you check this week's Japanese hardware sales after the break!

3DS LL: 18,350 [DOWN] 10,064
Vita: 12,810 [DOWN] 4,333
PS3: 7,339 [DOWN] 345
PS4: 6,792 [DOWN] 1,688
Wii U: 6,716 [DOWN] 897
3DS: 5,250 [DOWN] 2,279
PSP: 1,642 [DOWN] 380
Vita TV: 1,055 [DOWN] 296
Xbox 360: 201 [DOWN] 32
[Image: Nintendo]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.