Nintendo president Satoru Iwata recently discussed the online focus for Wii U, and how the company aim to do things differently.
When Nintendo proposed a fully-integrated online system for their next home console, many fans conjured up the idea that it would bare similarity to what Microsoft and Sony have developed for their consoles. The Wii U approach is a tad different and "not particularly well suited to the approach Nintendo has taken", according to Iwata.
Whilst briefing investors, the man in charge of Nintendo admitted that because other systems, like Xbox Live and PSN, have been in development for years, it isn't worth rushing out an online interface that rivals those networks so quickly, it wouldn't be a "smart strategy".
Instead of crafting such a system, Nintendo hope to use the already robust Mii Universe as a starting point to develop and expand the online communication and play with the Wii U and 3DS also.
We think that one fun area of possibility, as we have discussed, is for people not just to enjoy the games but also communicate with others about topics relating to the games. We also believe that the 'Miiverse' will serve the purpose of giving people an opportunity to discover other games that they haven't yet started playing.
Iwata was also quizzed on those pesky Friend Codes. Will we, won't we? The answer is, as Reggie Fils-Aime recently put it - a different process, but they will still exist in some form.
We’re not completely getting rid of Friend Codes, but a function of the “Miiverse” will simplify the process of making friends with another user in the platform by eliminating the need to input Friend Codes.
Headlines have misconstrued Iwata's comments, claiming that Nintendo wouldn't be able to catch up to other online networks. Instead it's about the Wii U building a new foundation with Miiverse and eventually evolving the Nintendo Network into a more unique system, rather than a rushed clone of an existing structure.
What do you think of Nintendo's approach to online communication and play on the Wii U with Miiverse, compared to other networks like Xbox Live, Steam and PSN?