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Wii U online environment 'to take advantage of' voice chat, social networking features

Nintendo president opens up - a little - on its "flexible" next generation network plans

Satoru Iwata has said that Wii U's online environment will be much more flexible than the "rigid" ones employed for the company's previous consoles, and that it'll "take advantage" of features like voice chat as well as social networking services.

Speaking to investors at E3, Nintendo's president essentially said the company's aiming to please third party publishing partners and consumers alike by showing that it's capable of moving with the times.


"... What I have come to feel lately is that the idea of saying, 'we are going to create this style of online structure and that we would like you, the developers, to fit into the online structure that we are creating' is perhaps already out-of-date.

"So, for example with the question of VoIP, I think then what we would like to do is work with them on how to enable them to do that. 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.

"As for social networks, after examining the penetration and adoption rate of social networking services like Facebook, etc., we've come to the conclusion that we are no longer in a period where we cannot have any connection at all with social networking services."

Iwata said the company isn't yet ready to talk "concretely" about its online plans, but he did add: "I think that 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."