A fair amount resting on these little shoulders

Nintendo might feel that it's finally starting to get the hang of digital storekeeping, but what about a console's online presence and functionality?

Speaking to Eurogamer, Nintendo marketing manager Rob Lowe explained the importance of having a strong online set-up now as opposed to having one back in 2006 when the company launched Wii:

I think that in a similar way that we waited until HD technology was almost ubiquitous before we went in there with an HD console, it's similar with the penetration of Wi-Fi... I think now almost every home has Wi-Fi or broadband. It's a universal truth that everybody is connected online and that wasn't the case when the Wii came out five years ago.

Citing the refined online set-up of 3DS as an indication of what Nintendo has planned with Wii U, the latter will hope to take things even further:

We can't talk about the details yet as Mr Iwata will announce those slightly later. But with the online of 3DS it's obviously a massive leap on from where we were with DSi and DSi XL. It's smooth, robust, it doesn't drop in and out... The friend code system has also been refined. It still exists but in the same way that you'd need to pair up with friends on PSN or Xbox live. Now it's much closer to that kind of online gaming experience than what it was before.

Acknowledging that Nintendo consoles ― as well as the games available for those consoles ― attract younger gamers, Rowe went on to say that protection for the user is important, as is the accessibility for the more "active and hardcore" consumer that wants to go online.

Rowe also reiterated what Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said last year, regarding Nintendo's dissatisfaction with its own online efforts:

With Wii U I think that we've already hinted that we're looking at getting people in that know and understand online gaming as it's something that perhaps we've struggled with in the past.