News Article

Nintendo has no Desire to be Number One in Online Gaming

Posted by Trevor Chan

Wii U online functionality still important

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.


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User Comments (67)



Monsti said:

Well yeah, if the system has a browser the online is obviously important. _
No seriously: They're doing all this markting about third parties and wanting the gamers to be happy with the new system etc.
Eighter do an online system at least as good as the other ones or leave the gamers out of this....they won't come back.



XCWarrior said:

This is taking his quote out of context. They are striving to be better. Now the RPGs not coming to America, that is what pisses me off.



MeloMan said:

I never asked Nintendo to top Live anyway, so as long as they do more than what they are doing currently, and ask long as I get to play all types of games online, then that's all I need. Nuff said.



CanisWolfred said:

They could at least try for number two. Seriously, if they can top PSN, I'll give the Wii U some serious thought.



marioman123 said:

i think that nintendo should make it way better then the wii's online function but not focus on it that much



Kevin said:

They have no desire probably cause of this kiddie era and that talk about families playing together WAY too much as another hint.



Splat said:

To tell you the truth I'm not all that excited about Wii U. I understand the direction they are going I just don't think it will be for me.



kkslider5552000 said:

Just quote @8 over and over. (no seriously, do it)

That's more relevent now. Nintendo isn't trying to be the best online in gaming, that's not news. Half of the worthwhile games for the console people actually currently own not being released because NOA is run by monkeys is relevent.



Ichabod said:

I really excited about the Wii U, but it's statements like these that make my faith waiver a bit. Online might not be much of an issue for some, but for a vast majority of the gaming community, it is!! (And hasn't Nintendo spouted that they are trying to reach us all in some way). If the best they got for Wii U's online capabilities is a comparison between DS and 3DS, I feel that I'm going to be disappointed.



triforceofcourage said:

Take it as far as Sony has. Stop there. Keep it free.

I think the way the Wii-U works in general should be like the gamer Monster Hunter Tri plays online. Meaning the features should be the same. (messaging, friend roster works, etc.) I want to be able to "friend" someone I meet online, and keep them as a system friend. And I want more developers to embrace online gaming. Nintendo can do whatever they want with the system itself, but the games need to have good online play. Online leaderboards would be appreciated too.



MasterGraveheart said:

I'll settle for competency. I'm already buying a Wii U for the solo player experience games. Let the other two kiss up to Madden and Fifa. Just give me a non-lag online experience and that "traditional" profile system you mentioned and we're golden.



Henmii said:

A bit off-topic: Miyamoto looks old on that picture. He looked younger at E3.



TKOWL said:

At least make it a bit faster, and less glitchy. Just don't use this as an excuse for being lazy, Nintendo.



Hokori said:

well it is called Wii U not..... Wii have to make a network of online games thatll be popular for a month and die off. thats too long of a name for a console



V8_Ninja said:

Meh, whatever. Never really cared for multiplayer experiences on consoles. As long as Nintendo can still provide good single-player experiences I'll be happy with the Wii U.

EDIT: Oh, it would be also pretty cool if Nintendo could bring some long-term 3rd party support to the Wii U as well and not just some awesome 3rd party support at the beginning of the console's lifespan.



Radixxs said:

God stop doing pointless interviews in which nothing new or worthwhile is said and work on the damn thing. We don't need a new interview every day with Iwata or Miyamoto saying virtually nothing at all.



Ecto-1 said:

The competition's online services have improved significantly since their systems' launched. I honestly never expected Nintendo to even attempt to be better than the competition right out of the starting gate.



Supremeist said:

I would love to have more Online Play in games. But what they are doing is good enough for me.



NESguy94 said:

I wish they would try, if you try to be the best you may fail but 2nd isn't bad.



Tornado said:

If nothing else--for Nintendo's sake, I hope they make better use of online for marketing downloadable content. The Wii is so laughable--the casual user is unlikely even to hook it up to the wireless router, much less seek out information about content available for purchase. Information about hot titles should be "pushed" toward the user much more than it is on Wii now.



dizzy_boy said:

nintendo may not be to interested in online gaming, but they should at least make the wii u be able to do what the 3rd parties need it to do.
all i really would like to do is play games online without the glitches and as minimal lag (preferabley none) as possible.



Wolfenstein83 said:

The only online game I play on the Wii is Mario Kart, and that's good enough for me.
I like the fact that if I win a race I don't have to hear some little kid blabbering his mouth off either.
Pretty much I only play racing games online anyways, all other games I am not too great at, unless it's Unreal Tournament.
Oh, and one more thing, I did attempt to play The Conduit (the first game) online and wow, that game has been hacked to no return.
My save file got erased and now I have to go back and do everything all over again!
Anybody know if that was fixed in the second game?



NeoShinobi said:

I never expected Nintendo to offer the best online service. I just wanted them to offer something that felt like it came from the 21st century.



Tasuki said:

For me this isnt a big deal cause I dont play to many console games online. I dont want to deal with foul mouth 12 years or drunk college kids.



Gamer83 said:

It's looking extremely likely that if I even buy the Wii U it will just end up like the Wii. A secondary system to the next Xbox or PS 4.



IronMan28 said:

I remember reading at some point or another that Nintendo attempted to have an integrated online service with Super NES, but it never panned out; and that project had basically been shelved since. One could posit that because it was such a dismal failure in the eyes of Nintendo so long ago that they are being cautious when it comes to online play.



Despair1087 said:

i say stuff like that all the time. undersell so that no one is dissapointed if it isnt too good. then if it is friken awesome they are surprised.



Capt_N said:

I don't have local playing buddies. I need online for/if I want to multiplayer. Playing alone isn't always great. The WiiU's online doesn't have to be superior to competitor online services. It(WiiU's online) just needs to be good enough to get any job required of it done sufficiently, & then some. For the most part, I'm not liking the WiiU the more I hear on it.



retro_player_22 said:

To me I don't like playing games online all that much so Nintendo not having the best onlineplay isn't a problem for me just as long as their single player aspect and local multiplay are great then that's good enough for me. To me online like graphics are just the icing on the cake, the extras. As long as the package is full of the main ingredients then the extras may come later.



daznsaz said:

i never used to like the thought of online gaming it wasnt till i got doa on 3ds that i went online but i would of traded it before now if it was just local and self and resi mercs will be a good game but because its got online it will be a keeper for me so im embracing it myself surprisingly



Expa0 said:

I think this is just Miyamoto being senile. After 3-7 days were probably going to hear a completely different take on Wii U online by some other Nintendo person. Not that I care though because online isn't important for me in the slightest.



JimLad said:

They don't need to be the best, but if they don't at least have the same functions as their competitors third parties won't support them properly. Wasn't that one of the things they wanted?



TikiTong said:

Whatever.If they have good online great.If they dont great.I do like online play,but i did enjoy playing with friends a lot too



jerryo said:

"the leap that the 3DS has taken over its respective predecessor"

well as far as online goes i've yet not seen any such leap. a nice update of online functionality is there, but nothing ground breaking or something they shouldn't have done many years back.



Bass_X0 said:

The Wii had a browser. Online wasn't very important there.

I've still used it for about 1600 hours.



AlbertoC said:

Online playing adds a lot of replay value to every game. That said, nobody wants a crippled WiFi system like the one Smash Bros Brawl has. Not everybody lives in Japan or haves 10Gbps connections.

Do not ever do that.



Glade said:

Well long as it is good i don't really care. But seriously the price is what that matters, and the quality...



Token_Girl said:

Really? I hadn't noticed. Live offers the best online experience, but you need to pay for it. It's understandable that Ninty isn't going to be aiming for #1, and I'm ok with that if it keeps it free.

Honestly, I'd just like to be able to play games online lag free. However, local multiplayer is more important to me, and if you want local multiplayer games, Nintendo DOES have a pretty good selection of games (the only thing they're missing is a decent co-op shooter campaign, but let's be serious, if you're into shooters, you got an HD Twin long ago).

Nothing beats the fun of multiplayer in the same room. But online is fun too. Just let me play games like NSMB Wii, Mario Kart, Goldeneye, SSBB, etc. without lag, give me an easy friendlist (one friendcode or username), and voicechat with friends in games, and I'll be set.



GammaGames said:

God dammit Nintendo wii need an online like Microsoft has! Well, except for the subscription. That's not really possible for free...
Just remove friend codes and it's good



wiiuhellyeah said:

there is no online war its all myth ms has you believe theres some online power strggle that there winning THE TRUTH is that 99.9% of online games on xbox live are not even played outside of COD and HALO theres effectively no one out there i watched a youtube about it this guy was going from, one game to the other and every single game NO ONE WAS ONLINE NO ONE AT ALL GLOBALLY

nintendo making perfect sense yet again



Pj1 said:

I wonder if they keep the VC and Wii-ware services, it doesn't sound too good. If the big N doesn't support it I won't buy one, simples! also Wii-U still sounds like it's no where near being complete, so this time next year we will still be talking about it.... December 2012 I reckon it will appear,I also think Nintendo will step up their support for 3DS in the mean time and I also think they will do another 'New Super Mario bros' to keep the Wii alive until they are ready to launch Wii-U.



wanderlustwarrior said:

Of all my wii games, the only one I play online at all is Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. Not because I don't want to play more, but because the Wii's online is quite frankly terrible. We had a Brawl matchmaking thread here, and I only rarely got to fight because setting anything up through the wii was a large hassle. I don't play any wii games socially since I got out of college because if they're not in the room with you, nintendo doesn't believe they're your friends anymore.

After the Wii online experience, I have practically no hope that Nintendo will ever make an enjoyable online experience. As usual, it'll be up to 3rd parties to make the framework at least useable.

Since Nintendo is a gaming company, and the only console manufacturer to be one chiefly and solely, one would think they would try to be the best they can be in all aspects. But, they settle for admittedly popular first party games, and rare successful innovation, pat themselves on the back, and call it a day.

I don't play those first party games, and I see the innovation as a temporary solution consistently outclassed by competitors. Nintendo's behavior, and statements like this, disappoint me.

Fortunately, the Wii has rare gems like Bit.Trip and No More Heroes that I love. If not for those, I'd say I settled on console due to price. Unlike my DSi, but like with my gamecube (bought for Sonic, kept for Smash, Joe and Soul Calibur), I own a Nintendo console and not the competition not because of Nintendo, but despite them.

Full disclosure: my only other console not mentioned above was a Disc Read Error PS2. I wish I still had a ps2 to keep playing the games for it, none of which were by sony.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. I just wanted to speak my mind for a bit.



Hokori said:

wow I expected this to be full of rants on how nintendo is bad, glad it isnt



lex0plex said:

I am surprised that Nintendo keeps saying things like this. It's like they're limiting themselves. Good, but not great internet. Good, but not great graphics. Good, but not great touchscreen. So what will be great about this system, Nintendo?

I see potential in the Wii U don't get me wrong. I guess time will tell...



Infernapeking said:

I really don't care all we need is a more powerful Nintendo WiFi Connection and more stable online. We don't need something like Sony PSN that got HACK nearly a month and we don't need some online connectivity that you got to pay to play online(Xbox Live).



deftheman said:

I was almost sure that nintendo announced it would work real hard on their online gaming experience and now they are taking that back?

We are not living in the 90ish where people played mostly solo_player games.
Nintendo should have at least the goal to improve the online experience, without that the wiiu will be doomed..
The weakest console + bad internet = FAILURE



Pod said:

The Wii survived despite being the weakest console and having "bad" internet.

He's just saying Nintendo won't compete on internet by doing the same thing the others are doing. And I'm happy to hear that personally.
He won't guarantee "the best" internet, because they have no interest in attempting to win over the people who already adore XboxLive. They will do their own thing, and I'm excited to see what that will be.



Mandoble said:

Who cares about what Nintendo plans for MP games as long as game devs have a device that can handle whatever they implement for online gamming?



hYdeks said:

This is basicly Nintendo saying they'll have a better online service than the Wii, but still not good compared to PSN and XBL. So...why bother if your not willing to compete with PSN or XBL? Is Nintendo willing to fight to be #1 in anything anymore? geesh...



rjejr said:

They really need multiplayer in their own games. Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort - at their very core they are multiplayer games, who plays Wii Sports alone? - but no online? It's an embarrassment for Nintendo that Wii Sports won't work online. The new Kirby game is 4 player, Mario was 4 player. I'm not saying online only but my kids have cousins all over the country who have Wiis but we don't play online together yet everybody owns Wii Sports and Sports Resort. It's an embarrassment. We never even use WiiSpeak except in the "chat" channel. I don't need Live or PSN but if you make a game that 's MADE to be multiplayer it SHOULD have online.



motang said:

I don't care if they are #1 or not, I just want them to have a descent online stuff like PSN



JustanotherGamer said:

Nintendo never could hope to be #1 in on-line gaming. Sony, Microsoft, Apple have Nintendo beaten when it comes to on-line gaming. Nintendo could never hope to beat them. Nintendo just has to have a decent on-line gaming system/network. What they have now is crap.



Dorkvader said:

What ever Nintendo does with Online multiplayer or any online services with the Wii U i hope it's free to use like the Wii

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