Nintendo’s Iwata: Wii U Online Structure To Be Flexible To Developer Needs

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“I think, in general, the online environment is changing quite rapidly,” Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, stated to analysts at a recent Q&A, following the reveal of his company’s Wii U system. Iwata was fielding a question regarding Nintendo’s approach to online infrastructure with the new console.


“So, what I have come to feel lately is that the idea of saying, "we are going to create this style of online structure and that we would like you, the developers, to fit into the online structure that we are creating" is perhaps already out-of-date,” Iwata continued. “I think that Nintendo’s past console business has often included this idea of a set and fixed online structure.”


The goal for Wii U, then, is to create a more flexible online system, Iwata believes.


“What we found at this point is that, as we discuss the online structure with different publishers, the things that the different publishers want to do are in fact seemingly rather different,” Iwata revealed. “Our current direction is how we can take the desires of the third parties and create a system that’s flexible enough to enable them to do the types of things that they might want to do.”


Nintendo will work with developers to enable functionality like online voice chat and so on, Iwata revealed, but will not force developers that aren’t interested in such features to use them. He also pointed out social networks such as Facebook as a connection that can’t be ignored any longer.


“I think we’ve come to an era where it’s important to consider how the social graph of the social networking services can work in conjunction with something like a video game platform,” Iwata stated, before assuring those in attendance that Nintendo’s new online structure would be both flexible and strong.

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Image of Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.