More details surrounding the Wii U‘s online infrastructure are trickling in. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed in the latest Q&A Interview that he believes an online strategy where Nintendo creates the central infrastructure and allows developers to support it is “perhaps already out-of-date.” Instead, he wants to offer developers a more “flexible” Wii U online strategy. It sounds like Iwata is telling every game developer to manage its own servers and create its own backbone to support online play – no centralized friends list, voice chat or Achievement/Trophies.
This comes as no surprise, as Nintendo fans will know that the company has always provided a lackluster online service, from hardly supporting it on the Gamecube and then giving us the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection – a platform that can’t hold a candle to Microsoft’s Xbox Live or Sony’s PlayStation Network. To prove my point, it’s been nearly three years since Super Smash Bros. Brawl first allowed online matches, and I have yet to battle in one fair fight that isn’t ultra laggy. Nope, not once.
Those who were holding out on an Xbox Live or PSN equivalent with the Wii U should probably just give up now. It’s quite a shame that for all the acknowledgments that Nintendo has shown for its weak online offerings, it still doesn’t seem to want to build the robust infrastructure fans so desperately desire.