Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Nintendo Input Devices Wii Games

Iwata Confirms Nintendo Network, New Wii U Controller Functions 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the get-us-some-of-those-networks-everyone-likes dept.
New submitter DeanCubed writes "In a Nintendo investor meeting, CEO Satoru Iwata confirmed a new Nintendo Network for the company's 3DS and upcoming Wii U game systems. This includes multiple user accounts per console (not tied to hardware, a first for Nintendo) and digitally distributed retail software releases for their online store. Iwata also noted that the Wii U's tablet controller will feature NFC (Near Field Communication) functionality, allowing the ability to use figurines and cards to input visual data to the console. They are hoping to use this to make micro-transactions for paid DLC easier."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Iwata Confirms Nintendo Network, New Wii U Controller Functions

Comments Filter:
  • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Friday January 27, 2012 @11:56AM (#38840007) Journal

    Having read both TFA and a few other more detailed articles out there (Eurogamer has a good one), the Nintendo Network looks like a good thing, albeit one which is many years overdue. It'll be good to have the it there, but it's hard to see anybody getting excited about it, given that at best it will bring functionality on a par with Xbox Live and the Playstation Network.

    I think the Wii-U is a cause for greater concern. It's going to be launching in difficult economic times. The 3DS did that last year and its initial sales were poor. They've now recovered a bit (though they're still below forecast), but only at the expense of Nintendo having to sell the system at a loss. Now, selling at a loss isn't exactly a bad strategy (it worked wonders for Sony with the PS2), but it's very much counter to Nintendo's historic strategy. The Vita, also launching in difficult times, has had a poor Japanese launch despite a really quite good launch-games lineup. Having seen what the Vita can do, I very much want to own one - but I'll be surprised if its US and European sales don't fall well short of targets. I get the feeling that 2012 is going to be a really bad time to be launching a console - most people are unlikely to be feeling any kind of real economic recovery during the year. Microsoft and Sony have clearly decided to hold on and wait in the hope of a kinder economy; Nintendo, with Wii sales exhausted and their finances at an all-time low, don't have that option.

    But more worrying still is the lack of a real public narrative around the Wii-U. The Wii had one of these. Motion control was easily grasped. You could watch somebody demonstrating one - or try a demo unit yourself - and "get" the concept instantly. If you actually used the thing more extensively, you'd come up against its limitations very quickly; the motion control was imprecise and in many cases placed a barrier between the player and the game that meant it ended up less immersive than traditional controllers. But by then, the sale was made. The Wii-U is a much harder concept to grasp. It's a home console which has some tablet-ish features. But how will it work with a room full of people? What will the tablet actually add to the games? And how is it going to be fun at a party with a room full of people with a few drinks inside them?

    There are actually answers to those questions if you look around enough at the material that's been made available. But they're not simple answers and they're not easily communicated. On that basis, I just cannot see the Wii-U replicating the success of the Wii's early years. I'm also unsure that the pitch to the more traditional "gamer" crowd will work. There's a lot of frustration with the current generation's techological limitations. But I don't sense any confidence that Nintendo - who, let's not forget, have spent the time since the Wii's launch neglecting this demographic - are the people to usher in the next generation. I also find it hard to imagine developers doing much with the Wii-U's hardware - which is better than the current generation, but not by a huge margin - putting much resource into developing games for it that actually push it beyond what the 360 and PS3 can do. More likely, it will just get a lot of PS3/360 ports, which present little compelling reason for the "gamer" crowd to jump ship from their existing platforms until those get replaced.

    The 3DS also suffered from a mis-managed message at launch. It was launched on the basis of "look 3d!" rather than "look, more powerful DS with better graphics". People weren't interested in 3d. A better DS is a stronger pitch and Nintendo have had more success with the 3DS since they switched to it. But I'm struggling to see what the pitch is with the Wii-U.

    I've been wrong on calling "Nintendo are doomed" before. But I'm finding it very hard to see a convincing path to success for the Wii-U. The Wii was the right product at the right time (I admit it took me a while to recognise this). But for Nintendo to capitalise on that success, I think they needed to have a replacement ready by the back end of 2009 or early 2010 at the latest. As it is, they've endured a pretty grim second half of this console cycle and are in a very risky position now.

    • at best it will bring functionality on a par with Xbox Live and the Playstation Network.

      And probably not even that. Though Wii has WiiWare, which compares to Xbox Live Arcade, I don't see Nintendo introducing a counterpart to Xbox Live Indie Games any time soon.

      I think the Wii-U is a cause for greater concern. It's going to be launching in difficult economic times.

      I was under the impression that toys were one of the more recession-proof sectors of the economy. What kind of economic times was the Super NES launched into?

      It's a home console which has some tablet-ish features.

      As I understand it, it's the evolution of the GBA-as-a-controller concept that the GameCube tried

      But how will it work with a room full of people?

      Only one player can use the tablet. Other players can use a Wii Remote+Nunchuk or the Classic Controller. How does the PC work with a room full of people?

      What will the tablet actually add to the games?

      For one thing, ability to play while the TV is in use. For another, the same thing that the second screen of the DS added in 2004.

      And how is it going to be fun at a party with a room full of people with a few drinks inside them?

      Developers of games for Xbox 360 and PS3 have allegedly already been ignoring this market, making games whose only multiplayer is online because they can sell more copies that way [cracked.com].

      • by RogueyWon (735973) *

        This is interesting stuff - but it just serves to illustrate the problem. All of the questions I asked can be answered (as I said in my original post). But the answers don't fit into a simple narrative. And not all of the answers are particularly satisfactory or exciting. And when it comes to the last question (how it works with a room full of people), you basically have to just point out that developers for the 360 and PS3 have neglected the same market.

        This is valid and true. But the point is that the "no

        • by nthwaver (1019400)
          Time passing is narrative enough. Wii is crusty, people are ready for something new. Especially gamers who are often young, for whom 6 years is an eternity. But I'm personally looking forward to Wii-U because then original Wii will be cheaper and I can finally afford to play Mario Galaxy :P
      • by CastrTroy (595695)

        How does the PC work with a room full of people?

        A PC Doesn't work with a room full of people. The only time I've seen a PC work with a room full of people is when It's a LAN party, and each person in the room has their own PC.

        • by RogueyWon (735973) *

          I remember some pretty fun experiences with a PC and a room full of people back in the early/mid 90s with the Battle Isle games (which I did a journal post on the other week).

          Now admittedly, it was a room full of very nerdy people who actually found hex-based turn-based strategy games fun, but still...

        • by tepples (727027)

          A PC Doesn't work with a room full of people.

          In theory it can when games are programmed to make the most of a home theater PC by reading more than one USB gamepad. But as the Cracked article explains, big-name video game developers have been reluctant to cater to the HTPC market.

          • by DarkOx (621550)

            I realize Cracked is not exactly a hard news source but the basic statement is true. The big-name video game developers have not really released any 'deliberately' HTPC friendly titles.

            I would hazard that has allot to with the fact the HTPC comes with all the control limitations of a console -AND- the potential hardware compatibility, and performance problems of a PC. Sounds a recipe for an experience that is going to be at best slightly better than current generation consoles and a total headache at wor

            • by tepples (727027)
              What I fear is that the market will segment into one set of platforms (consoles) just for major label games and one platform (PC) just for indie games. This will make it less likely for people who play major-label games to try indie games at all.
        • by Ihmhi (1206036)

          Just to be pedantic, but there's nothing stopping you from hooking up four USB gamepads to a USB hub, loading up ZSNES, and getting some four player Turtles in Time action going on.

          Pretty much any console prior to the current generation is playable on the PC, so... yeah. Why have 10 or 15 consoles hooked up to the television when you could instead just have one PC with a bunch of emulators and ROMS and some USB controllers? And that's not to mention all of the games you can play exclusive to the PC that are

          • by basscomm (122302)

            Just to be slightly more pedantic, one thing would stop you: the SNES version of Turtles in Time was a 2 player game.

          • there's nothing stopping you from hooking up four USB gamepads to a USB hub, loading up ZSNES, and getting some four player Turtles in Time action going on.

            1. Turtles in Time for Super NES came out before the multitap, as basscomm pointed out. 2. Super NES cartridges don't fit in a PC without an obscure German adapter sold only online [retrode.com].

            And that's not to mention all of the games you can play exclusive to the PC that are fun in their own right

            Do you know of a list of worthwhile PC-native games supporting two to four gamepads?

        • by djdanlib (732853)

          Simple, hotseat gaming a la Worms Armageddon / Worms World Party! We had some good times with that game back in the day...

        • by Turken (139591)

          A PC Doesn't work with a room full of people. The only time I've seen a PC work with a room full of people is when It's a LAN party, and each person in the room has their own PC.

          There are a few other instances that come to mind -- "You Don't Know Jack" for one. Sure, three people on the keyboard at a time might have been a little cramped, but it made the punching/shoving to keep from getting badly "screwed" all the better. Also any hot-seat games work as a group. Or classic adventures, where others can s

      • by Bagels (676159)
        I've heard rumors that Nintendo might go to an app-store model for the Wii U that would presumably be a lot more open and XBLIG-ish than their current system (wherein they won't even consider giving you a dev kit unless you're an established development company with a dedicated office, etc.). If they actually did that they'd have to eat a bit of crow, though; Iwata and co. have come out against the app store model in the past pointing at all the crap that winds up making it through. Perhaps they're realiz
    • by oGMo (379)

      People weren't interested in 3d.

      I agree fully with the majority of your post. In fact, I think this is the only sentence I don't. People want 3D. But they want the 3D that's in Star Wars and science fiction, not the 3DS. I actively sought out a 3DS in Best Buy just to see the 3D, because while I've never been interested in touch and motion control as particularly useful to gaming, I think that 3D certainly could be.

      But spending 30 seconds using a 3DS and playing Pilotwings Resort, it's clear from the d

      • by Turken (139591)

        I think the 3DS would have done better if they had also designed the demo unit stands to allow for more flexibility in holding and viewing the unit.

        Just like you, I sought out a demo of the 3DS when it first came out, and from the Best Buy demo station was not impressed and generally uncomfortable with viewing the screen. However, after my wife bought me one for Christmas and I've had a chance to play it while sitting down with the unit right in the "sweet spot" instead of awkwardly crouching over a too-lo

    • by StoneyMahoney (1488261) on Friday January 27, 2012 @12:41PM (#38840579)

      "The 3DS did that last year and its initial sales were poor."

      The 3DS may have had sales figures that weren't as good as they were expecting, but having sold 15million units quicker than either that Wii or the DS, I have to wonder just what those forecasters were smoking at the time. The attach rate of the console was pretty poor at first but that was mainly because the hardware launched without any first-party titles alongside it.

      "What will the tablet actually add to the games?"

      Rephrase that question to what will the Wii-U bring to tablet games, and keep in mind how popular the touch screen has become as a gaming interface in the mobile arena. I think that's a smart angle to go for. Nintendo promised the world with motion controls, disappointed everyone at first, but then lived up to that promise (for a price) with MotionPlus. Considering that Wii-U works with Wiimotes, MotionPlus might get a chance to shine and revitalize enthusiasm for motion control like Kinect did.

      "I'm struggling to see what the pitch is with the Wii-U."

      That's probably because they haven't pitched it to us yet.

      • by Gravatron (716477)
        a lot of the farcasts were based on the current situation. In japan, per nintendo's own numbers, it took 19 weeks to move a million, and 35 weeks to move 2 million. So for 34 weeks, it was shipping less week to week, by far, then the DS for the same time frame, and well below the wii's timeframe.

        Once they slashed the price, and then released the first major first party games, things started to do well. But till then, Nintendo looked to be in trouble.
    • How much of the 3DS's poor launch can be explained by a poor economic climate, and how much can be explained by having a relatively poor selection of games on release? The 3DS sales started to go up after the price drop, but they only started their spike when Super Mario Land 3D and Mario Kart 7 came out, a spike which was perfectly timed to disrupt the Vita's launch in Japan. To me, that suggests that the real determining factor behind how strong the Wii U launch will be is what games they have available o
    • The Vita, also launching in difficult times, has had a poor Japanese launch despite a really quite good launch-games lineup.

      The Vita (and 3DS) have a much bigger problem than hard economic times: the explosion in smartphone gaming. Why buy a dedicated handheld gaming device when you already have a perfectly good handheld gaming device that you already carry with you everywhere you go? The Vita is a bit more powerful than most current phones, but that will stop being true once Tegra 3 based phones become widely available. About the only thing dedicated handhelds have over phones is better controls. I think the Xperia Play is

  • I don't have any practical experience with NFC, but couldn't someone put a NFC reader up to unopened game boxes that have DLC codes in them and steal the codes? Is there a cheap and easy way to prevent people from doing something like this?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The codes are actually a hashed key. You need the real key inside the package to make them work, because unlocking the hash gives you the key you need to register the product. NFC salted hashes are useless if you steal them because they tell you HOW to decrypt the real DLC code, not what the original DLC code is. Hope this helps.
    • by zorg50 (581726)

      Is there a cheap and easy way to prevent people from doing something like this?

      Adding a switch or button on the device that controls NFC could prevent that functionality from being activated until the box is opened.

  • by edmicman (830206) on Friday January 27, 2012 @12:14PM (#38840265) Homepage Journal

    I feel like the online component is a place where Nintendo had an opportunity to excel and they completely dropped the ball. The Wii had connectivity all along. It's storefront worked fine. But that was all. The Opera browser sucked, and still sucks. First they charged for it, but because it sucked they finally gave it away. You could add friends somehow, but it was some convoluted confusing manner of trading codes with each other and typing them in onscreen. They had downloadable games but no support for downloadable content (I'm looking at you, myriad of trivia games). Why? The Wii could have been a pioneer in living room web browsing and content but had nothing of it. It seems like Niintendo didn't thing this 'Internet' thing was going to take off or something.

    And so now, they start to make an attempt at an online component but it's not going to be available to the millions of units already out there. Sigh....

    • adding this functionality to the wii and ds/dsi would involve completly re-writing the os, which i doubt nintendo will do this late in the consoles life.
  • next gen is going to suck. I hope these next devices don't sell. All I want is a console I can put my game into and play it on some controllers. i hate motion control. really, i hate it. I hope microsoft or Sony bring gaming next gen. nintendo is a lost cause
  • ...the first thing I thought of was "Skylanders".
    Skylanders uses RFID for its "Portal of Power", not NFC, but NFC is essentially just building on RFID anyway, and is backwards compatible with existing RFID infrastructure and tags. The "Portal of Power" may have been a gimmick, but it was a very profitable gimmick that was popular with the kids. Incorporating that kind of functionality direct into the Wii U controller is a stroke of sheer genius from Nintendo, IMO. RFID tags are cheap. $0.15 for a passive (
  • Couldn't be less enthused about a new console then Wii-U. Wii turned into a huge disappointing largely because of the strict adherence to produce juvenile games and a stunning reality that Nintendo invested $0 into any innovation outside motion control. Wii is last Nintendo product I will own, period.

    • But TFA kinda just disproved your notion that Nintendo is investing zero into innovation... where have you been the last two E3s?

      I've been perfectly happy with the systems and games they've been putting out, but maybe that's just me.

  • I will respond to this information with a true gamer's response: I will buy a Wii U the day Pikmin 3 is released. Basically, content is king. I know people bash the Wii a lot, but I realized when organizing my shelves the other day that my SO and I have managed to collect more Wii games than I've had for any other system in my life. Some were great, some were so-so, but I don't regret any of the purchases.
  • The wii was a success due to the innovative new controls and a comparatively low pricepoint. admittedly the wii can be a lot of fun. firing up wii sports with people who would never normally touch a game (my dad and others) was great. and there are some good games out there.

    however that time is over. looking at gamespot wii has had almost no good 3rd party games out in a while. i haven't bought a new one in ages. and Skyward sword while an ok Zelda game hit me hard because i played skyrim at the same time

  • All Nintendo has to do is make a Pokemon MMORPG and they got the killer app for the Wii-U and the Nintendo Network.

    Unless of course, they try to make it a WoW killer.

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

Working...