WiiU

Iwata Acknowledges Difficulty in Surpassing Online Networks of Competitors

by Carmine Red - June 14, 2012, 5:43 am PDT
Total comments: 18 Source: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/library/events/120..., Nintendo

The Nintendo Global President also reiterates that a simplified way to add friends without friends codes will exist.

Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata admits the company lags behind its competitors in the field of online play and connectivity, and that it would take some time for the game company to catch up. 

At an E3 analyst event last week, Iwata answered a question on the subject by saying, "I can't sit here and say to you that we can very quickly overcome or catch up to other companies." He explained that Nintendo's competitors had been working on these types of online networks for years and had systems already in place that used them. He also admitted that these sorts of online networks were "not particularly well suited to the approach Nintendo has taken."

Nintendo has, however, promised improvements in the online functionality of their online game systems, including the addition of individual user accounts. At the same event, Iwata also reiterated that the company would streamline, though not completely remove, the Friend Code system, which some users have criticized as unwieldy. "We're not completely getting rid of Friend Codes," Iwata said, "but a function of the 'Miiverse' [system] will simplify the process of making friends with another user in the platform by eliminating the need to input Friend Codes."

However, Iwata implied that in the end he was aiming for something different than simply matching feature sets with Sony and Microsoft. "I don’t think that would be a smart strategy," he ultimately stated on the issue. Interestingly, Nintendo's focus at E3 was not on talking about actual online gaming, but their new game-centric Miiverse social network that could integrate even with single-player games, support player messages, questions, images, and doodles about the games they were playing, and even subtly recommend unowned games a user's friend or fellow gamers were active with.

Talkback

PlugabugzJune 14, 2012

Nintendo has had 6+ years to basically watch what Microsoft and Sony are doing.

No excuses.

AdrockJune 14, 2012

Quote:

However, Iwata implied that in the end he was aiming for something different than simply matching feature sets with Sony and Microsoft. "I don’t think that would be a smart strategy," he ultimately stated on the issue.

Fair enough. It would be nice he elaborated on why.

Miiverse sounds interesting from what little we know about it. I don't mind the 3DS system and if it's even easier and streamlined on the Wii U, even better.

DonnyKDJune 14, 2012

Nintendo has had 6+ years to basically watch what Microsoft and Sony are doing.

Chozo GhostJune 14, 2012

Quote from: DonnyKD

Because WATCHING is the exacting same as building your own version from the ground up, right?

Yeah, but why didn't they start building it 6 years ago? I think that was his point. Nintendo watched, but did absolutely nothing. I know Rome wasn't built in a day and no one is expecting them to catch up over night, but the point is why is the work on catching up only starting now?

I would say that Sony and MS' expertise on online networks started WAY before "six years ago." For example, don't you remember when MS killed Netscape in the '90s? Western style gaming networks are more a part of these company's dna than Nintendo's. Nintendo as a company has actually been messing with online since the famicom, but they've just never done it in a way that resembles a western style gaming network.

The difficulty isn't just that modern day online multiplayer is just something Nintendo lags in, it's that it's something that exists outside of their gaming philosophy.

CericJune 14, 2012

This brings to mind the Megaman Battle Net games.  The game in that series I played the web was its own world that you went into.  I think thats a fairly good analogy on Nintendo and online.  Look at there past efforts and it was a world you went to not something integrated into your core being.

Ian SaneJune 14, 2012

The rest of the industry went online around 2002 and Nintendo chose to wait.  That was the wrong decision.  They can't just be stuck at a generation behind forever.  At some point they have to make a big leap to catch up.  Why should anyone give them slack?  "Sorry, we fucked up ten years ago so now we're going to behind in perpetuity because it's too hard to catch up" isn't a good excuse.  You fucked up, everyone else told you were fucking up BACK THEN, and now you have to correct things.

Nintendo is behind on the tech specs as well, so do they get a free pass on that?  Will we let them be a gen behind on that forever?  No, they have to catch up.  If you're going to make short-sighted conservative decisions that later prove to be completely contrary to have everyone else is doing then, tough shit.  You dug yourself in a hole, pull yourself out of it.

I don't think Iwata's asking for a free pass. He's just being refreshingly candid about the company remaining behind their competitors in this regard, and the likelihood for this to continue in the near-future. Also, that he see's differentiation as just as important as "catching up."

ShayminJune 14, 2012

Xbox Live is like global thermonuclear war.

The only winning move is not to play.

MrPwnageJune 14, 2012

Iwata needs to stop worrying about all this "being different" garbage.... NO ONE CARES ABOUT "innovation"! WE WANT GOOD GAMES... And it is NOT okay to have microsoft and sony fans laughing at how bad Nintendo is appealing the (real) gamers nowadays.... Seriously Nintendo, WTF have you been thinking about for the last six years?


Power means EVERYTHING when it comes to next gen consoles... It's what makes games more fun. Not crappy motion controls... What the hell do you think the difference between the Gamecube and the N64 was? POWER. No power= same quality games as last gen. The EXACT same hole Nintendo dug themselves into last time they are doing it again with the Wii U... Just now catching up with the PS3/360 and yet are nonchalant about Sony and Microsoft's NEXT iterations of their systems...

Quote from: MrPwnage

Iwata needs to stop worrying about all this "being different" garbage.... NO ONE CARES ABOUT "innovation"! WE WANT GOOD GAMES... And it is NOT okay to have microsoft and sony fans laughing at how bad Nintendo is appealing the (real) gamers nowadays.... Seriously Nintendo, WTF have you been thinking about for the last six years?

Power means EVERYTHING when it comes to next gen consoles... It's what makes games more fun. Not crappy motion controls... What the hell do you think the difference between the Gamecube and the N64 was? POWER. No power= same quality games as last gen. The EXACT same hole Nintendo dug themselves into last time they are doing it again with the Wii U... Just now catching up with the PS3/360 and yet are nonchalant about Sony and Microsoft's NEXT iterations of their systems...

That's not the Nintendo I signed up for...

McDaniel-77June 15, 2012

Miiverse is the best idea!
This will lead to a true friendly community, where you can see everyday, what you friends are playing.
Fights for records are much easier and even single-player games will benefit from Miiverse, that a real win for us. Albeit Nintendo should support online multiplayer the same way, as offline MP.
McDaniel-77

PlugabugzJune 15, 2012

Quote from: DonnyKD

Nintendo has had 6+ years to basically watch what Microsoft and Sony are doing.

Because WATCHING is the exacting same as building your own version from the ground up, right?

You have no idea how this works, do you?

If it were as easy as watching a competitor do it and then getting right to that level by emulating it, PSN would be a lot better than it is. Sony still hasn't gotten their service to the level of Steam or Xbox Live, and they've been actively working on it for years. I don't expect Nintendo to get it perfect right away, but I want to see them making progress, and with what I've seen on the 3DS and the little bits we've seen about the Wii U I think it's clear they're learning.

Chozo GhostJune 15, 2012

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

If it were as easy as watching a competitor do it and then getting right to that level by emulating it, PSN would be a lot better than it is. Sony still hasn't gotten their service to the level of Steam or Xbox Live, and they've been actively working on it for years. I don't expect Nintendo to get it perfect right away, but I want to see them making progress, and with what I've seen on the 3DS and the little bits we've seen about the Wii U I think it's clear they're learning.

We should never forget what hackers did to PSN last year. For Nintendo's sake (and the millions of consumers who will be using the Wii u), I hope they were watching that and learning so they don't suffer a similar problem.

PlugabugzJune 15, 2012

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

If it were as easy as watching a competitor do it and then getting right to that level by emulating it, PSN would be a lot better than it is. Sony still hasn't gotten their service to the level of Steam or Xbox Live, and they've been actively working on it for years. I don't expect Nintendo to get it perfect right away, but I want to see them making progress, and with what I've seen on the 3DS and the little bits we've seen about the Wii U I think it's clear they're learning.

I had to bold this bit out, i didn't say to basically emulate but to "exploit avenues for development". WiiConnect24 was the first attempt at this, probably, and MiiVerse seems to take that and move forward with it. That in itself is exactly what i mean. Except it's been 6 years to get to this stage.

ThePermJune 15, 2012

this is a disturbing thing to say. Make it so the consoles can play each other easily, talk to each other easily, find new friends easily. How hard is that?

accounts with passwords and age settings, and friends lists. Web cam chat is a plus. I think the download service is working pretty well. I like the channel set-up and hope it continues. Actually, I would kinda like Windows 3.1 meets the Wii interface, that would be awesome. Whats that like? Windows 8 is kinda similar.
If the wii menu had more tabs that would be interesting.

Uncle_OptimusJune 15, 2012

Mr Pwnage, "being different" is not just a mantra of self-identity or quirky catch-phrase - It is a company strategy for survival.
Nintendo can thank a largely well-executed plan for "being different" as to why they can confront this very trying period of industry change from a position of relative health...strong global brands and plenty of assets stashed away. If they were losing the kind of money their more well-heeled and well-diversified competitors were flushing per console they would be lucky to have half the cash they have now.


However, in case you are considering throwing up your hands in consternation and dropping a preorder on a XBox 720/PS4, please take note that it may well be the case that the upcoming consoles will not provide such a startling jump in graphic-driven experiences as this console generation has.
After all, a) both MS and Sony (more so Sony) have to be more careful than in the past when balancing their loss-leading equation and b) how much better is the output of today's top graphics cards (a good guess for what a 2013-14 console would pack) compared to the most inspired offerings on current platforms?


I am not sure of the answer to that last question, I just suspect that a good number of folks are not too sensitive to the differences. 

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