Nintendo Wii U's Online Service Will Not Mimic Xbox Live Or PlayStation Network

Nov 29, 2012 10:06 AM EST | By Juan G. Rodriguez

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  •  Nintendo's President Satoru Iwata displays the Wii U during E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, in Los Angeles
  • Reuters

Nintendo will not emulate the online services of Microsoft's Xbox Live or Sony's PlayStation Network for the recently released Wii U video game consoles, according to company president Satoru Iwata.

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In an email correspondence with IGN, Iwata said that Nintendo's online plans will differentiate from its chief competitors. The Wii U will not offer a universal achievements system or voice chat. Those features will be supported by some games, but not as a universal, system-based feature.

"We have not thought that offering the same features that already exist within other online communities would be the best proposal for very experienced game players," Iwata told IGN. "Nintendo has paid a great deal of attention to the dynamic of people playing video games together in the same room. With Wii U, we thought about expanding this concept into separate rooms, which are connected online."

Nintendo created a unique online message board, called Miiverse, in order to accomplish its online goals.

Iwata told IGN,"Miiverse is a network community dedicated to video games that represents a very unique game-dedicated social graph that has never existed before," he added, that "advancements and improvements" will continue to evolve the Wii U's experience. 

Iwata also said he believes that the gamers should be able to enjoy all the new features of the Wii u out of the box, but that system updates are now part of today's industry.

"Personally I think that users should be able to use all the functions of a console video game machine as soon as they open the box," Iwata told IGN. "So I feel very sorry for the fact that purchasers of Wii U have to experience a network update which takes such a long time, and that there are the services which were not available at the hardware's launch."

Iwata also addressed the criticisms that the Wii U has received and said that these criticism have become common when Nintendo launches a new system and are forgotten when the system is successful.

"The brand new user interfaces that Nintendo invented often faced skeptical views before a hardware launch, but wound up becoming de facto industry standards," Iwata said. "The majority of observers had skeptical views toward the potential of the Wii as a game machine. Exactly the same thing could be said about Nintendo DS. These are typical examples of hindsight bias where, only after noticing that these machines had sold beyond their expectations, their memories have been rewritten."

He says that once people get their hands on the Wii U, they will recognize that the system has lots of entertainment potential.

"It is challenging to communicate attractions which are hard to understand unless you actually touch and experience them yourself," Iwata told IGN. "This is especially so with Wii U because it has unprecedented entertainment potential."

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