Saturday, July 9, 2011

Nintendo not aiming to best Xbox Live or PSN

Nintendo’s online service trails behind its competitors, yet the company has no plans to directly compete with them, even with planned upgrades during the launch of Wii U.

"We're not going to sit here and say that our goal is to become the number one online gaming company, because that's not our goal," acclaimed Nintendo developer Shigeru Miyamoto told MTV. "But, understanding that the types of experiences our consumers like to play do often contain elements to them that can be improved or may even require an online connection and also knowing that the system is going to have a browser I think suggests that obviously internet and internet connectivity is going to be very important for the system."
Nintendo has already begun improvements to its online service with the release of their 3DS by eliminating the detested friend codes, which required gamers to input long strings of number and letters for each game in order to play online multiplayer. The company has also added the ability to see what friends are playing and expanded on their online downloadable game shop.
Nintendo has always taken a different approach to their online multiplayer service in order to keep it more family friendly. This has meant more safe guards and limited connectability with people you don’t know. Nintendo released a microphone half way through Wii’s lifecycle, yet failed to support the device with many of their future releases.
Gamers can expect improvements with Nintendo’s online service next year, just expect them to happen under Nintendo’s own terms.
"There are opportunities to take advantage of online to expand a local, same-room multiplayer experiences by connecting that to the internet and making new types of play that way," Miyamoto said. "Also by having the smaller screen, being able to go online and perhaps see what game your friend is playing or see what TV they're watching, I think there are a lot of possibilities for how you could use that. Certainly internet functionality is something that will be important for the system."
Gamers can hopefully expect the company to more away from friend codes and more towards a gamertag system centered on their Mii characters.
"We have introduced Miis to the world and everyone will hopefully have their own Mii, so obviously I think there are possibilities along those lines," Miyamoto added. "And I will say that this is a system that will have a great deal of appeal for its online connectivity."
It’s probably safe to assume that Nintendo’s new online network will still be heavily focused on privacy and parental controls. The kind of chatter that happens during a typical Halo or Call of Duty match just doesn’t seem like a good fit in a game like Animal Crossing. -TNGG

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