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Online Strategy for Wii U to Be Evolution of 3DS

by James Jones - June 14, 2011, 7:22 pm EDT
Total comments: 10 Source: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-06-13-wii-u..., Eurogamer

Nintendo plans an experience closer to its rivals than any system to date.

Nintendo plans to present an online model for Wii U that is significantly more sophisticated than the online offerings for Wii or DS. Speaking at E3 with Eurogamer, Nintendo UK marketing manger Rob Lowe noted that Nintendo recognizes that the online presence of a game console is far more important now than it was when the Wii launched. In much the same way that HD has become the de facto standard, a robust online presence is required for a modern console.

To demonstrate kind of evolutionary leaps that should be expected by Nintendo's next system he points to the evolution from DS, which used game-by-game friend codes, to the 3DS, which uses a single system-wide friend code. "We can't talk about the details yet...But with online of 3DS it's obviously a massive leap on from where we were with DSi and DSi XL." The friend code "still exists but in the same way that you'd need to pair up with friends on PSN or Xbox LIVE" to exchange screen names.

Nintendo faces unique challenges in the online space. Lowe notes that "we do have more younger consumers than any other hardware manufacturer... we need to protect them" while striking a balance with the needs of "more active and hardcore consumers."

He reconfirmed that Nintendo has brought in outside expertise in order to best design the online experience that Wii U will offer, noting that online gaming is "something that perhaps we've struggled with in the past."


OblivionJune 14, 2011

Wait, is he saying that the friend code system from the 3DS is more like the HD consoles, or that the Wii U's friend code system is like th HD consoles?

If it's the latter, then we're all fucked.

TurdFurgyJune 14, 2011

I wasn't supposed to say anything, but I'm the outside source.

StrawHousePigJune 14, 2011

Man, I don't want to be inundated with inane status messages all the time. I don't want to send them out, either. Now git offa my lawn! :@

EnnerJune 15, 2011

So I'm guessing we'll still be trading friend codes per person instead of screen names per person. It'll be like telling each other our phone numbers.

Lady MushroomJune 15, 2011

I hope Nintendo doesn't think streamlining friend codes is IT - all they need to do to make a "massive leap" for 3DS.

They need to be building a really rock-solid online gaming/social environment with 3DS to be ready for WiiU.

His friend code example is a reference to the progress from DS to 3DS. He is technically correct, all the online services require the swap of some identifier, it just so happens that the 3DS assigns you one that there is no way you could ever remember.

ShyGuyJune 15, 2011

At least the 3DS has a Universal friend system, better than separate usernames for Ubisoft,  EA, etc.

It's not so much how you register friends (this is done one at a time on every system) but rather how you can interact with them after that. It's easy to build up a lot of 3DS friends. The question is what good that does any of us. There are what, two online games so far? We can't voice chat, or even send messages, and we certainly can't PictoChat online.

It's also a bit about how you register friends. On XBL and PSN you can send a friend request, so that only one person needs to enter the code/username.

I could see Nintendo taking the "Rivals" system they've used in a couple games and expanding on it for a systemwide feature, allowing you to add people you've met in-game to a list to play again but with a separate set of permissions.

EnnerJune 15, 2011

I certainly like the idea of a tiered contacts list for my gaming system.

Quote from: ShyGuy

... better than separate usernames for Ubisoft,  EA, etc.

Oh, I really hope that Nintendo sees that they can't let this happen. The player base will be fractured enough with no cross-platform multiplayer and the separate waiting lobbies in any given game. It will be awful if the user identities are scattered across multiple networks.

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