By M.H. Williams
One of the issues players have with Nintendo’s Wii is the lack of a unified online service, like Sony’s PlayStation Network or Microsoft’s Xbox Live. In recent months, the company has committed itself to improving that service for the 3DS and the recently-announced Wii U. Nintendo marketing manager Rob Lowe has told Eurogamer that the platform holder is ready to play ball this time when it comes to online.
“I think that in a similar way that we waited until HD technology was almost ubiquitous before we went in there with an HD console, it’s similar with the penetration of wi-fi,” he said. “I think now almost every home has wi-fi or broadband. It’s a universal truth that everybody is connected online and that wasn’t the case when the Wii came out five years ago.”
The 3DS has improved on Nintendo’s previous stance, with a single Friend Code tied to the console and the addition of the eShop. Lowe believes the company will push it even farther with the Wii U.
“If you look at 3DS and the online of that you’ll get an understanding of where we’re going with Wii U and we’re taking that even further,” he added. “We can’t talk about the details yet as Mr. Iwata will announce those slightly later. But with the online of 3DS it’s obviously a massive leap on from where we were with DSi and DSi XL. It’s smooth, robust, it doesn’t drop in and out.”
“The friend code system has also been refined. It still exists but in the same way that you’d need to pair up with friends on PSN or Xbox live. Now it’s much closer to that kind of online gaming experience than what it was before,” said Lowe.
“We always try and strike a balance. Because we do have more younger consumers than any other hardware manufacturer or games brand we need to protect them while also making it as accessible as possible for the more active and hardcore consumers to go online.”
We look forward to seeing if the Wii U can bring Nintendo into 2011 when it comes to online support.
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