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?