Wii U shouldn't copy Xbox Live, says Iwata

Plus, company president addresses pre-launch scepticism

Nintendo will not follow the lead of Xbox Live or PlayStation Network when designing and expanding the Wii U's online services, company president Satoru Iwata has said.


As a way of explaining the Wii U's lack of universal achievements system and cross-game chat, Iwata argued that the console must offer online services that differentiate it from its rivals.

"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," he said in an e-mail interview with IGN.

Nintendo has faced criticisms for abandoning such features, which some see as baseline requirements for online console services. But its unique online message board, called Miiverse, has drawn acclaim.

"Miiverse is a network community dedicated to video games that represents a very unique game-dedicated social graph that has never existed before," he said.

Elsewhere in the interview, Iwata acknowledged the pre-launch cynicism surrounding the Wii U but assured that this has preceded all of Nintendo's most commercially successful systems.

"The brand new user interfaces that Nintendo invented often faced sceptical views before a hardware launch, but wound up becoming de facto industry standards," he said.

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

"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."

Meanwhile, Iwata accepted that the market desires a console that can cultivate more than just Nintendo's own games.

"Our first party software alone can't be enough to appeal to the different tastes of all game fans. The decision of Nintendo that it will publish the two software titles from Platinum Games is one answer to this challenge," he said.

Nintendo has said the Wii U's first week sales performance in the US was healthy, with around 400,000 units sold.

The Wii U UK launch date is November 30.