Wii U Online Network Open

Published on July 5th, 2011

Nintendo of America’s President Reggie Fils-Aime has discussed further the firm’s plans for ’s online capabilities, and suggested that Nintendo may open the console up for publisher-specific networks, rather than launch a universal online service similar to Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.

“We’ve seen what our competitors have done,” said Fils-Aime in an interview with Forbes, “and we’ve acknowledged that we need to do more online, starting with the launch of our eShop on Nintendo 3DS, and we’re going to continue to build our online capability.

“For Wii U, we’re going to take that one step further, and what we’re doing is creating a much more flexible system that will allow the best approaches by independent publishers to come to bear.

“So instead of a situation where a publisher has their own network and wants that to be the predominant platform, and having arguments with platform holders, we’re going to welcome that. We’re going to welcome that from the best and the brightest of the third party publishers.”

Reggie added that further information regarding Wii U’s online capabilities would be “much more compelling to come from the publishers” than Nintendo.

The system suggests that third-party publishers may require users to register multiple accounts to access their online services.

For example, you may be required to register an Activision account to play Call of Duty online, and an EA account to play FIFA online, should the games make their way to Wii U.

If true, the system would be similar to the one used by platform-holders in the early days of online console gaming.

Konami and EA both required individual logins for access to their online services before online play became unified by the relevant platform holders’ online networks.

Activision’s Bobby Kotick said last week that the company needed “more clarity” from Nintendo on Wii U’s online capabilities. In that regard, Reggie’s messages today seem slightly confused…

Wii U is due to launch in 2012.


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