Burning Attack: Friend Codes Back?? WHAT THE #$*%!!!!!

Friend codes are back. Go ahead and scream if you have to.

By James Stank. Posted 01/15/2011 12:00 8 Comments     ShareThis

James Stank Burning Attack Friend Codes

Nintendo, the incredible games you make never cease to amaze me, yet at the same time neither do your horrible business decisions. Xbox Live was up and running on the original Xbox in 2002, and yet here we are nine years later and you still can’t come up with an online service to match it. In June of 2010, Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s President, said that Nintendo was “not currently satisfied with online efforts.” Was that just a lie? Because earlier this week we found out that friend codes are back in some form in Super Street Fighter 4: 3D Edition according to a Famitsu preview. I am less than pleased. Furious, actually.

Nintendo knows that no one likes friend codes. We hate them. What is so hard about making a service like Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network or Steam? Obviously, it’s just too hard for Nintendo. I accepted friend codes on DS, as it was Nintendo’s first true foray into online gaming. When Wii came out two years later, I didn’t know what to think. Surely Nintendo was learning. It had to be working on something better. I hated the friend codes on Wii just as I did on DS. When I first heard about 3DS, and later about Iwata’s comment, it gave me renewed hope. “Nintendo is learning after all,” I thought. Iwata knew that Nintendo’s online service had to be closer to the competition’s.

If the competition was going to steal Nintendo’s ideas, then it was about time Nintendo stole one of theirs. Nintendo needed a central online service, and I thought Iwata understood that. But friend codes. Here we go again. I love Nintendo, but I am sick of hearing, “We do things the Nintendo way.” Even if the 3DS has a system specific friend code, as opposed to game specific ones, it doesn’t matter. We shouldn’t have friend codes, period. Will I still be buying a 3DS on launch day? Yes. Will I get annoyed every time I try to add a friend on 3DS? Yes. It is much easier to answer “What’s your PSN name?” as opposed to “What’s your friend code?”

I’m mad, too, Reggie

I hope Nintendo still isn’t satisfied with its online efforts on 3DS. After all, the 3DS online functionality is only nine years behind that of Xbox Live. Sony created the PSN in 2006, and it has already caught up to Xbox Live, and even surpassed it in some ways. Yet Nintendo’s third online gaming system is still behind the original Xbox when it comes to playing online. We keep getting told that things will get better, but my question is when? Maybe by the time Wii3 is out, Nintendo will have finally caught up with Xbox Live and the PSN. But at this rate, maybe it never will.

The 3DS was supposed to be Nintendo’s renewed attempt at bringing hardcore gamers back. These hardcore gamers that owned a PSP and not a DS that Nintendo is going after don’t want to deal with friend codes. They didn’t have to with their PSP, and they won’t have to with their PSP2. So why should they have to deal with them on 3DS? When it comes to video games, Nintendo, not Sony is the leader. It has always been Nintendo that is the first to try new ideas, and soon afterward everyone else is copying their ideas. It just happened again with Wii and motion controls. But for once, just once, could Nintendo please not try to be so different, and do what everybody else is doing. Microsoft and Sony have it right when it comes to online, Nintendo. When will you figure that out?

8 Responses to “Burning Attack: Friend Codes Back?? WHAT THE #$*%!!!!!”

  • 696 points
    Matthew Tidman says...

    Completely off topic, but Reggie looks constipated in that pic.

    Back on topic: I definitely agree. I keep hoping that Famitsu was misinformed, but I can already hear the collective groan if it’s officially announced Wednesday that the system will use friend codes. At least the Tag Mode should be better this time since it’s integrated at a system level.

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  • 697 points
    Adam Sorice says...

    Nintendo is shying away from online for a variety of reasons, all perfectly sensible and valid for their customers and shareholders alike.

    The ten year old kid screaming profanities down a headset mid-Halo match has never been Nintendo’s brand image, especially for children. It knows that parents don’t want that for their kids and part of the Blue Ocean strategy is to get the parents on board as well as the kids. While Friend Codes may spoil the fun somewhat, they keep everyone safer.

    And while Sony and Microsoft are doing online play masterfully, I’d bet that it doesn’t come cheap. PSN and Live must cost those companies a small fortune to manage and run, never mind design and operate in the first place. Nintendo doesn’t want to pass on those costs to itself or the customer and that’s why it’s working on smaller online play systems (though Smash Bros. Brawl was atrocious.)

    And you say that Nintendo’s rivals have already mastered online play, so why should Nintendo try and play catch up? By now players who wanted to play online will have flocked to the 360 or the PS3 and anything Nintendo creates is likely going to be appear shoddy and “me too” in comparison. Nintendo’s days of grabbing onto the coat tails of its competitors (the GameCube came one generation too late and spelled the end of the company for many) are over and they have instead found success in breaking new ground that has proved vastly profitable.

    So I don’t see Nintendo focussing on online play in the near future. At least not until their virtual reality helmet releases in 2020.

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    • 393 points
      James Stank says...

      Adam, I may be wrong, but after reading your comment it seems to me as though you think that Nintendo can never win the hardcore audience back with a home console. I completely disagree. Nintendo can get the hardcore audience back. Great online play would go a long way to achieving that goal. If the GameCube had a DVD player and better online play, it would have done much, much better.

      If 6NES (that’s right, not Wii2, but 6NES) has the power of PS4, and the online play to match it, then it will get all the third party games that Wii is currently missing. Once all systems have the same third party games and online play, it will come down to console exclusive titles, and Nintendo would win. FFXV on 6NES? Mass Effect 4? I don’t think a console boasting the best first and third party games could lose. But remember, that is if everything else is equal. It wasn’t equal with the GameCube.

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  • 697 points
    Adam Sorice says...

    I think 6NES refers to the future successor to the Wii, given that it’ll be the sixth home console from Nintendo beginning with the NES as 1. The Wii was referred to as “N5” or something like that in the early days before the working title of Revolution was devised or released.

    ANd I’m sure Nintendo could win back the hardcore if it wanted to, I just don’t think it does. The company’s found a market so much more impossibly bigger than just the hardcore and it’s instead now selling to the biggest market possible ; everyone. The hardcore gamer who relishes unique and boundary pushing games is something of a diminishing breed, he’s being replaced by casual Call of Duty fans and Wii Fit Mums by the bucketload.

    I have no doubt that Nintendo would be able to do all these things to rectify their situation if they wanted to, I just don’t think they have any motivation to actually do it.

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    • 393 points
      James Stank says...

      You may be right Adam, I just hope you aren’t. What is the message they are sending with the 3DS if they have given up regaining the hardcore audience on the home console front? I want to see Nintendo back on top for everyone, so I have to believe that they haven’t given up, even if it looks like they have.

      And Noah, I chose 6NES as a new, more hardcore title for Nintendo’s next home system (though N6 would work too, but seeing as we have N64, I figured 6NES worked better). As Adam said, it refers to it being Nintendo’s sixth home console, and would be pronounced “sixness.”

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      • 697 points
        Adam Sorice says...

        Are you scheduled to teach my film class at university by any chance? All my lecturers have decided to invent new words by adding “ness” to the end of them, it’s driving me up the frigging wall.

        I’ve already had “filmness”, “televisionness”, “liveness”, “everydayness” and “intrinsicness-ness”. Sixness would be far from the daftest sounding :P

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      • 393 points
        James Stank says...

        Hahaha I understand, but at least here it makes sense, (as opposed to your teachers adding ‘ness'” 6NES. 6 Nintendo Entertainment System. Or you could call it NES 6, but put the 6 before it like in resident evil 4.

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