While the Wii was a runaway success, it's newfangled controller attracting an entirely new audience to console gaming, it's online offering was poor, to say the least. But with its successor, the Wii U, well on the way, Nintendo have the chance to right those particular wrongs and prove they can deliver a fully featured, reliable online service.
"Nintendo's past console business has often included this idea of a set and fixed online structure," explains Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata. "So, I think that, going forward, the question is really to what degree Nintendo can create a more flexible system for its consoles".
According to Iwata, Nintendo is "discussing" the Wii U's online system with third-party publishers in an attempt to nail down exactly what would work best for them. "Our current direction is how we can take the desires of the third parties and create a system that's flexible enough to enable them to do the types of things that they might want to do".
Iwata didn't drop any concrete details, but did confirm the Wii U will support voice-chat. And they're considering how significant it might be to tie the Wii U's online with social networking services such as Facebook. "We've come to an era where it's important to consider how the social graph of the social networking services can work in conjunction with something like a video game platform".
We already know Nintendo is ditching the old model of friend codes for a far more polished, intuitive system akin to Xbox LIVE and Playstation Network. Despite our initial reluctance, we're starting to come around to the idea of the Wii U. Here's to hoping Nintendo can fulfill their lofty promises. [Eurogamer]