Wii U will not have Xbox Live-like online service

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Nintendo promises to improve its online presence with the Wii U, but it won't mimic what's already on the market.

In an interview with Forbes, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said the company's next home console will have a more robust online experience, commenting, "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," he added.

So what this means is instead of a central online community like Xbox Live or the Playstation Network, it sounds like Nintendo will let each individual publisher set up their own online service. This offers a more flexible approach but most certainly does not solve the problem many had with the Wii.

Among the many things that made the Wii exceedingly technologically inferior to its competitors has been its extreme lack of online services. For example, if you want to play an online game with someone, you first need to contact that person through external means, exchange complex Wii Friend Codes, then coordinate a gaming session over the phone or instant messaging, and finally connect with one another on the Wii.

The Xbox 360 and PS3, by contrast, integrate online connectivity as the lifeblood of the console, essentially being their own respective social networks.

It wouldn't take much for the Wii U to have a better online infrastructure than the Wii, but it sounds like the company is still uneasy about creating a true online platform.