Nintendo has expressed its own dissatisfaction with its online efforts and it's clearly one area that will need to be tackled with the upcoming Wii U. When Nintendo of America's president Reggie Fils-Aime spoke to Forbes, he talked about implementing a more flexible online system that will appeal to developers and it now seems that EA Sports might be in a somewhat influential position with regard to the Wii U's online set-up.
EA Sports' vice president Andrew Wilson spoke with Eurogamer and he revealed that new development kits suggest the Wii U will be able to do anything that the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 can do:
As every new piece of hardware and every new development library comes through we get a greater understanding of the power. With our early research we had been very happy with the output of the box and we expect that that will only go up moving forward... There are added challenges for us as developers when you think about rendering on two screens and what that might mean, but we're looking forward to that challenge... It's still moving, but I think we'll be able to do anything that we can do on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on the Wii U.
The Wii U's online functionality is certainly an interesting area that needs to be elaborated on by Nintendo, but Wilson has so far described Nintendo as being open and willing in cooperating with developers and publishers and revealed that EA Sports has been "working very closely" with Nintendo with the Wii U's online infrastructure:
[Online is] something that we're working very closely with Nintendo on... We are highlighting to them what we believe are the most important elements to that infrastructure to deliver a connected experience that we think is the future of gaming... They have demonstrated an openness and willingness to work with us and work with developers that I think will only land us in a positive place... We're working through the development with them now... We have a series of people who are under very strict NDAs as you can imagine, operating with them, building that system out.
EA Sports games have traditionally used EA servers for online play, examples include Grand Slam Tennis and the Tiger Woods PGA Tour and Madden NFL series, all of which use a dedicated EA online account that gamers must register before playing online is enabled.