News Article

Iwata Talks Wii U Voice Chat and Social Networking

Posted by James Newton

Promising improvements

Nintendo's not revealed much of its online plans for Wii U, other than saying it represents a massive leap forward, but President Satoru Iwata spoke to investors after E3 to reveal a little more about the company's pledge to give developers more freedom in creating online environments.

Referring to the company's current model of offering a rather rigid online structure for developers to fit into, Iwata gave the example of enabling voice chat, something that's already been confirmed as a major feature of the new console.

So, for example with the question of VoIP, I think then what we would like to do is work with them on how to enable them to do that. But, what we're not going to do is to consider as prerequisite conditions that every game includes features like that because obviously there are some developers who may not want to do that.

Iwata also notes the huge popularity of social networks, an area the company has so far shied away from, saying:

We've come to the conclusion that we are no longer in a period where we cannot have any connection at all with social networking services.

While the President couldn't give any solid details about the online functions Wii U will offer, the ethos seems to be a marked change from the Wii's often criticised connectivity offering:

I think that once you hear what we'll have to say, you'll feel that Nintendo has a policy of adapting itself to changes in the network environment in a flexible fashion rather than the one of sticking to a rigid mechanism, or perhaps you'll notice that we have found ways to take advantage of these types of features like VoIP and social networking, where our systems have been seen as being weak in the past.


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User Comments (16)



SigourneyBeaver said:

Seems to make sense that a console dubbed "we/you" is connected in every possible way and offers social interaction.



GameLord08 said:

Wii U Online... We + you online.

I'm still incurably curious to see what the Wii U's online system looks like and what it has to offer.



sgotsch said:

Multiplayer / Coop Game: Everything is on the TV Screen, and you comunicate with your coplayers with the controller in your hands by VoIP, webcam and drawings on maps. Perfect.



komicturtle said:

I kinda have small-ish hands for someone my age, so the controller will be an okay fit for me. I dunno if I can hold it the way Iwata is- but..

I want to play with it




Sir_Deadly said:

The contoller and console look like the same size to me. Was expecting the controller to look bigger.



iPruch said:

Nintendo, you have a very good example of how online features could be almost perfect: Steam's friends system. Simple, easy and with opportunities. Managing friends, chating or talking, joining to their games, showing/seeing your/their collection, statistics and achievements... Why not?

I hope they are thinking also in 3DS. It needs a chat, since the friends system is useless if you need MSN or any kind of instant message service in order to meet friends and invite them to play online.



timp29 said:

VoIP is promising. I doubt Nintendo's variation of social networking will match facebook though.



moosa said:

I think the point is that they would integrate somehow with Facebook rather than attempt to replace it.



danschemen said:

i would like it if you would create a name and no one else has that name but you. i just really don't want friend codes cause that's really not new just really annoying, even if you only have one it's still stupid



NintyMan said:

That would be interesting if there was Facebook and Twitter support on Wii U, but, wow, that controller looks huge! And I hope his palm has a firm hold on the console itself!

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