Nintendo Wii U: Nintendo Promise Wii U Will Feature A ‘Significantly Improved Online Experience’

Nintendo UK product manager Rob Lowe has stated that the Wii U will offer a significantly improved online experience to that of its predecessor, the Nintendo Wii. Speaking to online gaming publication Eurogamer Lowe revealed that strong online functionality is much more important now than it was back in 2006 when the Wii launched.

“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,” he said.

“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.

Lowe pointed to the 3DS’s refined online set-up as an indication of where Nintendo’s aspirations lie for Wii U.

“If you look at 3DS and the online of that you’ll get an understanding of where we’re going with Wii U and we’re taking that 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.

“We always try and strike a balance. Because we do have more younger consumers than any other hardware manufacturer or games brand we need to protect them while also making it as accessible as possible for the more active and hardcore consumers to go online.

“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.”

– Rob Lowe, Nintendo




  1. “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.”

    Oh boy, well anything is better than the friend code system on the Wii, even though some of the latest games managed to skip in some way the difficulties like Rock Band 3

    1. Actually that was done before with earlier games around 2009. I believe that Guitar Hero 5 was the first to introduce the idea of only needing to add people on the Wii and not individual games as well. I remember reading some type of interview about it way back.

  2. If anyone doesn’t understand the whole FC comment, he means that the console is still going to have an FC, but you can register an account, and that’s how you register friends. But everything is still marked with friend codes, even though you don’t have to enter them in.

  3. Yes, they’re getting it! But I’ve never played online with my games anyways. I had Nexuiz but that is full of addicts. I once killed someone in my team by accident, and then he started swearing at me. That was my last play with Nexuiz.

    So I won’t be using it.

  4. Rob Lowe works for Nintendo, eh?

    also, boo friend codes. i can live with it, but that’s already a bad start for their online, certainly doesn’t help pry anyone away from their PS360. imo.

  5. If friend codes are just going to stand there while we’re using gamertags on the same system, why even have them there.

    I honestly think they should redesignate them to Parental Controls as an option that could be turned on or off. When on, the code would have to be entered and children would have a protected experience. Meanwhile, those with it off would have the online experience they’re proposing.

    Fantasy aside, I’m glad to hear Friend Codes will NOT have to be entered.

  6. They are actually keeping friend codes? Ugh… Nintendo, you idiots. See, I was all excited about this console, and then I realized you guys are only learning half the plot here:

    1) Circle pads instead of analog sticks for your controller? WTF?

    2) Regular buttons for the shoulder triggers, instead of multi-level triggers, like you had on even the GameCube?

    3) Friend codes instead of selectable gamer tags/screen names? Ugh… account or not, entering in numbers (and having to remember it to give to friends) is a fucking bad idea. Bad move.

    The more I hear, the less I like.

    1. 1. The “Circle Pads” on the controller aren’t exactly like the Circle Pads on the 3DS. Based on most reports I’ve read or heard, they handle like the analog stick of a Nunchuck. If you were hoping to click the analog control like a button, sorry you’re outta luck, but we’re not just getting the exact control scheme from the 3DS slapped onto this.

      2. They should address the lack of analog in the triggers. I’ll agree with you on that.

      3. If the use of them is being equated to the gamertag system, I’d assume we’ll primarily be using names (introduced on the 3DS) instead of friend codes so you’ll never have to enter them. As MagmaBeatles stated above, it seems this will be an account-based system where you find friends via account and not by the friend codes themselves.

      If the online system is handled in this fashion, friend codes will just sit there never being acknowledged. It would be as if they’re not even there. However, there might still be the possibility of Nintendo using friend codes as usernames, and that would be a problem when looking up friends. No one wants it to come to that, but it’s still up in the air.

  7. After reading through this article a few times, it’s very clear Lowe is only talking about a theoretical Wii U network based on the current 3DS network.

    None of this is a confirmation of anything other than an official announcement by Iwata coming “slightly later” and that the Wii U’s online will at least meet these standards but will almost certainly surpass them.

    We will have no details about the network until Iwata reveals them.

  8. This is all I ask for from Nintendo. They got everything else right except their online services. Finally, they are improving it!

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