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Iwata outlines Wii U online direction

Will enable VoIP, "more flexible system".

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has revealed his vision for Wii U online gaming.

The Japanese company aims to create a "more flexible system". It wants to allow each publisher the freedom to do what it wishes with its games in an online space.

"Nintendo's past console business has often included this idea of a set and fixed online structure," Iwata told investors at E3.

"So, I think that, going forward, the question is really to what degree Nintendo can create a more flexible system for its consoles.

"And, 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.

"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 pledged to work with game makers to enable voice chat (VoIP).

"But, what we're not going to do is to consider as prerequisite conditions that every game includes features like that because obviously there are some developers who may not want to do that."

Iwata also said Nintendo will "consider" how Wii U will work with social networking services, such as Facebook.

"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."

Nintendo isn't ready to offer concrete details on its Wii U online plan, but believes it will impress gamers in the end.

"Once you hear what we'll have to say, you'll feel that Nintendo has a policy of adapting itself to changes in the network environment in a flexible fashion rather than the one of sticking to a rigid mechanism, or perhaps you'll notice that we have found ways to take advantage of these types of features like VoIP and social networking, where our systems have been seen as being weak in the past."

Nintendo told Eurogamer at E3 that Wii U will offer a significantly improved online experience to that of its predecessor.

"The friend code system has also been refined. It still exists but in the same way that you'd need to pair up with friends on PSN or Xbox live. Now it's much closer to that kind of online gaming experience than what it was before," marketing manager Rob Lowe outlined.

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Wesley Yin-Poole


Wesley worked at Eurogamer from 2010 to 2023. He liked news, interviews, and more news. He also liked Street Fighter more than anyone could get him to shut up about it.