Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has in the past expressed the company's dissatisfaction with its online efforts on the Wii, and although it's plausible to think that Nintendo will attempt to pull out all the stops with the upcoming Wii U, Nintendo EAD general manager Shigeru Miyamoto has given some insights on what is, or rather what isn't Nintendo's goal regarding online functionality.
Speaking to MTV Multiplayer, Miyamoto was asked about the online experience that Nintendo has planned for the Wii U and his response was:
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... 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.
It seems slightly counterintuitive to hear online functionality being described as something important that needs to be executed correctly, yet knowing Nintendo in some ways won't be trying to provide the best online experience it possibly can.
Nintendo marketing manager Rob Lowe has compared the Wii U's online functionality over the Wii's to the leap that the 3DS has taken over its respective predecessor, the DS. Miyamoto reiterated the importance of online by imagining how developers could incorporate online functionality into the link created between the TV screen and the Wii U controller:
For example, there are opportunities to take advantage of online to expand a local, same-room multiplayer experience by connecting that to the internet and making new types of play that way. 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's a lot of possibilities for how you could use that. Certainly internet functionality is something that will be important for the system.