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Nintendo leak reveals why company opted for Friend Codes

A recent Nintendo leak has revealed the reason why Nintendo opted to use Friend Codes on its systems from the Wii onwards. The company’s data, in the form of a powerpoint presentation, reveals that in the early days they thought that signing up for a Gamer Tag could confuse the audience and that if they weren’t able to get the name they wanted the user would end up being frustrated. This is when the Wii launched, but it is clear that they figured the Friend Code option is the best one to this day, as it’s what the Switch uses.

18 thoughts on “Nintendo leak reveals why company opted for Friend Codes”

  1. Real talk; I don’t mind Friend Codes. Yes they were a nightmare back in the Nintendo DS/Wii days where you had a code PER GAME but once the Nintendo 3DS/Wii U came along, they became much better.

    1. How is that worse than a twelve digit code? Even if that were your username, it’s less to remember and you could still have Tommy as your display name.

  2. Friend codes are terrible to me. Just a random succession of numbers, another number to add to the memory aside from my government number.

    If you want to share your number, you better have a long scroll to write it down because clearly Nintendo still lives in the days of cheat codes and password saves.

    It’s a terrible idea and I would still like for them to change that, but I would also like for them to completely change their whole online structure as well meaning not very likely.

  3. I think the screen name + 4-digit code like Discord would have been better. Speaking of Discord, being able to talk to your friends on an OS-level would be nice. We could party like it’s 2005 in Nintendoland. Still one of my big gripes about the Switch.

        1. I know you were never the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree but it’s amazing to me that you can’t follow this conversation.

          You said it was good that Nintendo lets you use friend codes because you can save them on your phone or in your notes.

          What makes that a more convenient way to tell people how to add you on their Switch than a username?

  4. Some people act like they’re just constantly giving out their friend code and it’s some kind of constant hassle to them. I’d rather give it out once or twice a year and be able to change my name whenever I want, personally. Not like it’s hard to just make a memo in your phone or something.

    1. There’s no reason they couldn’t allow you to change your username, if they got rid of the requirement of using friend codes. Every single service that you have an account for has you under your username and another unique identifier. The unique identifier could be your number in the database, or in Nintendo’s case, they could make it your friend code. They use those identifiers to store user relationships and link user data, so changing your name wouldn’t have any effect on that.

  5. If I can pick a screen name on AOL when I was 8 I think I can pick a gamer tag on a Nintendo console. There are usernames for everything now, why does Nintendo think its users would be confused? Do they think we’re stupid?

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