Author Topic: The Great Online Overhaul of 2013 (Dare to Dream)  (Read 1979 times)

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Offline Zacko

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The Great Online Overhaul of 2013 (Dare to Dream)
« on: March 06, 2013, 02:27:36 PM »
Hey guys, we all know that Nintendo's online situation is a mess. Seriously, its terrible. I just picked up a Wii U this week, and its hitting me more than ever. I love the games and the overall look-and-feel of the system, but with 3 different eShops (Wii, Wii U, and 3DS), 3 different account balances, and no cross-platform compatibility, its a nightmare for consumers, and it must be a nightmare for Nintendo as well. Alot has been said about how badly they need to consolidate their online infrastructure, and I figured I would throw my hat into the ring. Allow me to paint a picture of my ideal future (and honestly, if they don't do this, poo-poo on them):

1) Wii U: Stability has improved, and load times are better. The Nintendo Network ID on the system is now on the web, and people are able to log into Miiverse and the eShop online. Wii Shop Channel is still buried in the Wii Mode, and has largely been abandoned by Nintendo. You are able to register multiple Wii Us to your NNID. (Ideally, this means the introduction of a "buy once, play anywhere" mentality, but I'm not going to get too crazy. I more expect the ability to have multiple pieces of hardware registered to a Nintendo ID. Which brings...)

2) 3DS: Miiverse is now on the 3DS, and you can tie your friend code to a Nintendo Network ID (existing or new). The home screen now has WaraWara Plaza on your top screen in full 3D, and Swapnote has taken a back seat to the Miiverse. Because your Wii U and 3DS now share a Nintendo Network ID, you now have a unified Friends List, and it will show you if your friends are playing Wii U or 3DS.

3) Online Miiverse: You are able to access both the Wii U and 3DS Miiverse communities in both the desktop browser, as well as mobile phone apps.  If you don't have a Wii U or 3DS, you are able to browse the Miiverse anyway, but cannot post (ownership of a Wii U or 3DS is required to create a NNID). You can also access the eShop online, with Wii U and 3DS available. Via Spotpass, you can purchase a game in the browser and have it pushed to your hardware, and have it available when you next pick it up.

I think that this is more likely that some cynics might believe. With the hardware teams for Wii U and 3DS now combined, I think Nintendo sees the benefits of a unified infrastructure. Merging multiple accounts into one account may be a daunting task, but once its done I think it will create a lot of good will for Nintendo, as well as promote a "halo effect." Keeping the eShops and Miiverses entirely seperate will only reduce the amount of crossover that the two platforms share. If you add your friend on the Nintendo Network, you may see that they've been playing an awesome 3DS game, and want to finally pick up that 3DS. Likewise, if you are browsing the 3DS Miiverse and see that your friend posted on Mario Kart Wii U, you will be more likely to go out and buy a Wii U. Dare to dream, people! DARE TO DREAM!!!
3DS: 2019-9753-7573
Wii U: Dorgon

Offline Ian Sane

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Re: The Great Online Overhaul of 2013 (Dare to Dream)
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 05:09:41 PM »
I think that consolidating things to one online account is the way it just plain SHOULD work.  Like if you were starting from scratch and had the slightest familiarity with how online stuff works, that's how you would design it.  Nintendo's approach comes across as a band aid solution to a flawed original design and it will just get worse over time without some sort of overhaul.

I trace the whole thing back to Nintendo's decision to not go online with the Gamecube.  It was a short-sighted decision then and everything that has followed is what one would expect from a company that is several years behind the rest of the industry.  I think the only way to overhaul it is to bring in consultants from outside the company.  Nintendo makes too many obvious mistakes that we spot a mile away.  If they could do it themselves, they would have already.  They're trying to invent the wheel when the auto-repair shop is right across the street with a wide selection of tires.  The wheel is already invented.  Quit wasting time doing redundant work and go across the street and buy one.  Outside consultants could bring Nintendo up to date and then they can just continue at the same pace as the rest of the industy instead of being stuck in a perpetual game of catch-up.

They can't do it themselves.  By the time they figure out how things should be in 2013 it will be 2017 and things will have changed.

Offline Spak-Spang

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Re: The Great Online Overhaul of 2013 (Dare to Dream)
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 08:23:04 PM »
I don't think it is Gamecube's fault. 

I think it solely lies on Nintendo not seeing the two platforms: portable gaming and console games as the same.  They always separate them.  This honestly good when it comes to game design, but Nintendo should have viewed online as a separate beast as well.

Nintendo should have viewed the market as Consoles, Portable gaming, Online Network.  And the online Network is completely separate from any console or portable device...but Nintendo didn't.  They viewed the online experience as something tied to either console...and since console and portable gaming is separate never the two shall meet properly.

For instance, there should have always been only ONE virtual console.  Buy the game once and play it on the console or portable.  Or Buy the game once and upgrade it for partial price to play on the portable or console.  The Virtual console games should have never been separated, should have never needed a weird transfer system...it should have just worked, on an account.

However, Nintendo is a business and you can't double or triple dip that way.  It is huge shortsightedness...and Nintendo needs to get its act together a begin looking at big picture future proofing the user experience instead of seeing what can be done now. 

This is the big advantage Microsoft had on both Sony and Nintendo, they understood the online gaming market...and although paying for online was a dick move...they proved a great future proof online system...that will easily transfer over to the next console experience and beyond.


Offline Ian Sane

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Re: The Great Online Overhaul of 2013 (Dare to Dream)
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 01:22:07 PM »
However, Nintendo is a business and you can't double or triple dip that way.  It is huge shortsightedness...and Nintendo needs to get its act together a begin looking at big picture future proofing the user experience instead of seeing what can be done now. 

Shortsightedness comes up with Nintendo a lot.  Consoles operate on a five year cycle (and it's now expanded to six or seven years) and Nintendo seems to operate on an annual cycle.  Well you just can't do that.  You don't have the flexibility.  You have to operate at least on the same length cycle as the product itself.  So Nintendo decides to not go online on 2003 (which was an odd decision even then) but then that decision is still in place going into 2006 when it makes no sense.  They decline on HDTV support in 2006 but still had that in effect going into 2012 when it seemed embarassingly out-of-date.  They'll make a decision that makes some sense for the next fiscal year but it has to stay in place for the next several years.  If the decision has to be stuck to for the next several years you plan for the next several years.

As Spak points out the online network is a different product than the individual systems.  Nintendo planned the Wii online store as a Wii product.  But a network doesn't have a shelf life tied in with a specific product.  It isn't something you plan to last for the next five years and call it a day.  It's something that should be expected to last indefinitely.

It is not surprising that the company that decided not to go online because it didn't make sense for the next fiscal year would design an online system that wouldn't be futureproof.  Nintendo does this all the time and that's why I think the only way to fix their online setup is to bring in people from outside.  Shortsighted planning is clearly part of the Nintendo corporate culture and only someone from the outside will not be "damaged goods".

Offline pokepal148

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Re: The Great Online Overhaul of 2013 (Dare to Dream)
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 02:07:29 PM »
didnt nintendo say most of this was happening

oh i get it
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Offline Zacko

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Re: The Great Online Overhaul of 2013 (Dare to Dream)
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2013, 03:16:56 PM »

For instance, there should have always been only ONE virtual console.  Buy the game once and play it on the console or portable.  Or Buy the game once and upgrade it for partial price to play on the portable or console.  The Virtual console games should have never been separated, should have never needed a weird transfer system...it should have just worked, on an account.


I forgot to mention that, but that SERIOUSLY needs to be addressed as well. I understand that the software behind emulation on different platforms is a pain, but I'm not going to pay to play Super Mario Brothers on my Wii U when I already have it on my 3DS. I would even accept the discounted price that is going to be happening with the Wii-to-Wii U Virtual Console. Bottom line: once you have purchased a VC game, you should never have to pay full price for it again. We'll see if that's how it goes, though.


The fact that they casually mentioned that GBA games are coming to Wii U VC makes me wonder if they are on their way to the very consolidation we're talking about. Maybe we're seeing Nintendo's attitude toward Virtual Console shift, and from now on their infrastructure will actually make sense!


Or maybe they're just doing wacky things like they always do.
3DS: 2019-9753-7573
Wii U: Dorgon

Offline Spak-Spang

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Re: The Great Online Overhaul of 2013 (Dare to Dream)
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2013, 11:13:00 PM »
I hope you are right about the shift...but something tells me they haven't changed.  Because they haven't just made one eshop.  Or Nintendo shop or whatever they want to call it. 

The market and industry are moving towards giving gamers more stability and assurance with digital purchases, gamers like Ian Sane (who is completely right on this issue) need to know their digital purchases are safe.  That they can back them up, the games won't be pulled.  That games will transfer to other devices and into the next console generation. 

There is no excuse not to build this type of experience.  And I don't think you can use the it is hard to emulate these games on new hardware excuse.  Nintendo can build a good OS that can be scaled to different devices and then create emulators for that OS. 

Nintendo really needs to see beyond games and into the bigger world of computers and gaming.  I believe they are making changes, but I don't see Nintendo having the same user experience big picture innovations needed. 

I still think Nintendo makes some of the best games in the industry, but the industry standards are so high now, and so many great games are coming out, Nintendo needs to be more than just amazing great games.  Because I can play amazing great games on any system...and many of those systems have better overall experiences. 


Offline Ian Sane

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Re: The Great Online Overhaul of 2013 (Dare to Dream)
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2013, 01:01:09 PM »
There is no excuse not to build this type of experience.  And I don't think you can use the it is hard to emulate these games on new hardware excuse.  Nintendo can build a good OS that can be scaled to different devices and then create emulators for that OS.   

Building the emulator isn't the challenge.  The problem is that Nintendo didn't seperate the emulator from the ROM so you can't run your SMB you bought for the Wii on the Wii U (outside of Wii mode), not because Nintendo doesn't have a decent NES emulator for it but because there is no way for the copy of SMB you bought to use any other emulator.  They have to give you either a new version with a Wii U specific emulator or give you just the ROM to work with a built-in emulator, but then that would NOT work in Wii mode because the Wii doesn't have an emulator so it can't read just the ROM.  Nintendo would have to update the entire Wii VC interface to get the same VC games to play on both systems, while making you re-download your games.

That whole setup only makes sense if there is no intention for the VC service to exist beyond the Wii.  But surely Nintendo wanted and planned for the VC to be a success so taking the extra time to make it futureproof would have made sense.  The execution is so shortsighted that it seems like the sort of work one does a 4:55 on the Friday before a long weekend when they just want to get home.  The best excuse I can think of is that Nintendo assumed they would have a backwards compatible Wii successor so the VC would just work and they had not thought of ideas like off-TV play yet that would require an update to the emulator.  If you just think of playing the games on a TV then the need for an update to the emulator seems less necessary.

Offline Spak-Spang

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Re: The Great Online Overhaul of 2013 (Dare to Dream)
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2013, 11:08:31 PM »
Again, that goes to the core OS.  If Nintendo designed a core OS that could be ported to other systems, and was robust enough to be future proofed this wouldn't be a problem.  Nintendo could have and should have created an OS that could be modified for the future.  I don't see my many problems. 

Plus, I don't believe Nintendo couldn't have created a Wii U channel to run those emulators in Wii U mode.  Nintendo didn't want to risk an exploit.  Which is fine, but that also goes to not having a sold OS on your device. 

And Nintendo didn't want ROMS not attached to an emulator out there because then people could exploit those games...I understand that too...and you can argue that isn't shortsightedness but just a business decision, but I wonder if it was the right one.

If Nintendo had created encrypted ROMS and then a emulator channel inside the software it would have been easier to transfer over.

I don't want to say Nintendo screwed up with the Wii, because honestly who knew the VC would have been one of the coolest and best features of the system.  I will even forgive Nintendo's overall online account system and everything for their first go around.

But for the Wii U and 3DS Nintendo should of had a plan and something better in place.  Afterall, its not like they didn't have plenty of successful models to look at for inspiration:  Steam, iOS app store, Xbox Marketplace, Google Play, ect.  Hell licensing one of those companies to have build your online infrastructure would have been more ideal.   

Offline pokepal148

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Re: The Great Online Overhaul of 2013 (Dare to Dream)
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2013, 07:31:23 AM »
Again, that goes to the core OS.  If Nintendo designed a core OS that could be ported to other systems, and was robust enough to be future proofed this wouldn't be a problem.  Nintendo could have and should have created an OS that could be modified for the future.  I don't see my many problems. 

Plus, I don't believe Nintendo couldn't have created a Wii U channel to run those emulators in Wii U mode.  Nintendo didn't want to risk an exploit.  Which is fine, but that also goes to not having a sold OS on your device. 

And Nintendo didn't want ROMS not attached to an emulator out there because then people could exploit those games...I understand that too...and you can argue that isn't shortsightedness but just a business decision, but I wonder if it was the right one.

If Nintendo had created encrypted ROMS and then a emulator channel inside the software it would have been easier to transfer over.

I don't want to say Nintendo screwed up with the Wii, because honestly who knew the VC would have been one of the coolest and best features of the system.  I will even forgive Nintendo's overall online account system and everything for their first go around.

But for the Wii U and 3DS Nintendo should of had a plan and something better in place.  Afterall, its not like they didn't have plenty of successful models to look at for inspiration:  Steam, iOS app store, Xbox Marketplace, Google Play, ect.  Hell licensing one of those companies to have build your online infrastructure would have been more ideal.   

encryptions WILL be broken if the demand is there, given the Wii's homebrew community it would have happened
ea did help set up some portion of the Wii U eshop but that love story screwed up quite nicely.
let me ask how many of those services you mentioned were arround in 2006?

i just think we're being a little bit spoiled here imo
i mean the PS4 just said screw backwards compatibility.

honestly all i want is an account system and more futureproof VC system(hopefully thats where the upgrade fees go)
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 07:50:54 AM by pokepal148 »
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Offline Spak-Spang

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Re: The Great Online Overhaul of 2013 (Dare to Dream)
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2013, 08:27:33 AM »
You know, yes encryptions can and would be broken...but if the price is fair it won't matter.  After all the ROMS can be found on the internet already.  The encryption is there so internet ROMS can't be played on the Nintendo Hardware, you have to buy it from the VC.  So encryptions could be broken but that doesn't mean that person can do the encryption process.  It means that hacker spent a lot of time breaking something he could have found much easier online.