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Nintendo details Wii U online

Will welcome publishers' online networks.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Nintendo will welcome publishers' networks when it comes to online gaming on Wii U.

The Wii U offers a "much more flexible system" than what we're used to, Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime told Forbes.

"We've seen what our competitors have done, 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," he said.

"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."

Currently, Xbox Live is somewhat of a closed system, forcing publishers to employ Microsoft's infrastructure and systems when it comes to online gaming.

The PlayStation Network is more open to third-parties in this regard. Upcoming online shooter Dust 514, for example, will launch on PlayStation 3 because, developer CCP has said, Sony has relaxed its rules.

How the Wii U will work when it comes to online, however, remains something of a mystery.

Last month Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said the Japanese company aims 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 said.

"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 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.

The Wii U launches in 2012, but not before April.

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