Iwata Talks Wii U Voice Chat and Social Networking

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.

[via nintendo.co.jp]