News Article

Iwata: Nintendo Looking to Improve Online Efforts

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

Company is "not satisfied" with current functionality

When it comes to online functionality, Nintendo doesn't rank particularly high among developers – and they know it.

Earlier, Shigeru Miyamoto expressed the company's need to rethink it's online strategy on a macro level. Now, in an investor Q&A session held during E3 last week (via Kotaku), CEO Satoru Iwata explained that Nintendo isn't too pleased with its own online games to date.

Of course, I have heard commentary that people feel that Nintendo's online functionality is behind the others or is lacking in some ways. And I can say that we are not currently satisfied with the online efforts that we have made so far, and we are working at ways to improve those. On the other hand, I do not think that online functionality is something that we should be devoting resources to for every single product. Instead, I think that Nintendo's ability to create an offline experience that feels incredibly unique and compelling is a particular strength that we have.

Iwata pointed to New Super Mario Bros. Wii as an example of a unique offline experience. According to Iwata, Miyamoto ultimately decided not to devote the necessary resources for an online component because he felt that the "true value" of the game would be based on shared experiences of people in the same room.

When it makes sense for a game to include a robust online component, he said, then it'll get one.

Going forward, what we will continue to do is to evaluate the individual products and experience that we're creating on a product-by-product basis, and make a decision as to whether or not it's more important to devote resources to making that offline experience more fun and compelling for products where that is going to be the most important element of the game play; and then for products where it is going to be more important, to add online functionality and make that online functionality robust and compelling. We will continue to focus our efforts there when it's appropriate, but it's going to be a product-by-product decision.


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User Comments (33)



jdarrell said:

From the quotes, it sounds like the only action they're planning is to make a new good online game.



Deviant_Mugen said:

"On the other hand, I do not think that online functionality is something that we should be devoting resources to for every single product. Instead, I think that Nintendo's ability to create an offline experience that feels incredibly unique and compelling is a particular strength that we have."

Well said, Mr. Iwata, well said...



Oregano said:

I think one FC per account(based on Miis) and Nintendo Channel and shop merged and part of the main OS, instantly accessible and just general improvement in usability but nothing extreme.



oinkmooblah said:

I do believe that Nintendo should focus on the offline experience. Local multiplayer on the Wii is incredible. I really don't care for playing against random cussing ten year-olds...



Egg_miester said:

at least they are starting to care last gen they didn't believe that anyone wanted online play



DAaaMan64 said:

Wuhu Island with your Mii you can actually control, that'd be awesome. Walking around with all those guys.



Kimiko said:

More DS games that have internet multiplayer modes, and virtual console for DS would be great.
Offline the DS is already the best, so they don't need to focus on that more than they already do.



zionich said:

I appriciate that Nintendo wants to stay true local multi-player experience, and yes a game like Super Mario Bro Wii benifits from it, but I think they fail to realize that all friends and family will not be in the same area.

I personally think its sad that Capcom did a better online model with Monster Hunter Tri, than Nintendo does with all its online play games.



Chris720 said:

Wulu Island as a hub would be awesome!

I'd like them to change it up a bit, but I like it as it is...



Croz said:

Re-release super smash bro's brawl with with voice chat and a better match making system and i'd be quite happy.



Brainhost said:

Out of that last quote, I'm getting this:

We're going to keep doing what we do. We're just trying to justify why.



odd69 said:

Well that is a very good thing to do,I would for sure play more online games for the Wii.



RoyalBlur said:

I agree that Nintendo can do more to improve the online experience in regards to the Wii and DS platforms.
I must say that Nintendo has improved with the Nintendo DSi by adding the DSiShop. Nevertheless, I think that the online experience that Nintendo is creating with the Nintendo 3DS is going to be 100% near perfect, especially since it's going to be like WiiConnect 24. As far the Friend Code system Nintendo has, I must admit that I like. It helps to keep things cut and clean and unique, unlike the online set-up for the PSN, PSP and iPod Touch. Nintendo's success and strength is that they are unique and one of a kind.



JebbyDeringer said:

Great as long as they do still focus on offline like he says. This is the one way that the Wii kills the competition. Both the 360 & PS3 support up to 4 players but both systems really neglect that feature and focus on single player or multiplayer online. Some games do 2 player split screen but they mostly dumped 4 player offline gaming this generation.



KrazyKain said:

well its obvious they are already working on this considering conduit2 claims to have voice chat with non friends and adding 'rivals' (which they claim are essentially friends minus the code)...

MH3 is already proof of this



komicturtle said:

Developers complaining about the online expirience on Wii should look to Monster Hunter Tri. Capcom has it's own servers dedicated to that game- making a really smooth and fun online expirience. If developers at LEAST talked to Nintendo and work things out just like Capcom had done, then their games' online portion wouldn't be too messy. MH3 proves that the Wii is at least capable of a great online experience. Not only Nintendo, but many 3rd Parties REALLY need to step up.

Then again, Local Multiplayer beats Online Multiplayer- tenfold



Slapshot said:

I wouldnt be happy either. When you company is getting slaughtered in online. The sad part is the DS runs better online than Wii, heck even the DS had a headset instead of the horrible WiiSpeak.



HipsterDashie said:

I heard somewhere that The Conduit 2 will let you talk to ANYONE regardless of whether they're on your friends list or not. Is this true?



GamerZack87 said:

Ahh! Game Boy Games at last!!

AHH! Super Mario Land 2 at last!!

You just know Nintendo's cooking up something; there's a reason, after all, that there were more Game Boy and Game Boy Advance consoles and games sold worldwide than NES, Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 consoles and games combined! Everybody's been bugging Nintendo for re-releases of some of their top titles! (I want Link's Awakening Miyamoto-san! I want Pokemon Red and Blue Tajiri-san! I would like Super Mario Land 2 please Iwata-san...arigatou gozaimasu! Actually, that last one was probably just me )



JimLad said:

With the next console they need to hit the ground running with online and not wait six months to even start it. I think that severely dented 3rd party support and belief in the service.
Many of their games don't benefit from online, but they have missed some royal oppertunities over this console's lifespan: Wii Sports (one of the largest install bases of any game) Smash Bros (most anticipated, most flawed)

It seems now High Voltage is leading the way, with their abandonment of friend codes.



Token_Girl said:

The thing is they can't just keep the focus for online limited to particular titles. They need to have the basic online structure down to enable devs to take advantage of whatever online system would be best for their games. They don't have this yet, though the system is opening up, as seen with MH3, which is great.



gaminguy said:

I think wuhu island would be a great hub, also. Actually, for the third wii sports (if there is) that should happen and they should add a lot of games, online rankings, and rivals

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