There is still loads of time for Nintendo to decide how they’re approaching the online component of Wii U, but almost a month after the console’s E3 unveil, they certainly aren’t doing much to indicate that a clear vision is established.
Following slightly confusing comments made in June, especially regarding the Friend Code system, Nintendo of America’s Reggie Fils-Aime tells Forbes that Wii U, shockingly, won’t be directly doing what Xbox LIVE and PSN do; Nintendo has to do their own awkward thing.
“We’ve seen what our competitors have done,” said Fils-Aime, “and we’ve acknowledged that we need to do more online, starting with the launch of our eShop on Nintendo 3DS, and we’re going to continue to build our online capability.“
“For Wii U, we’re going to take that one step further, and what we’re doing is creating a much more flexible system that will allow the best approaches by independent publishers to come to bear,” he explained.
“So instead of a situation where a publisher has their own network and wants that to be the predominant platform, and having arguments with platform holders, we’re going to welcome that. We’re going to welcome that from the best and the brightest of the third party publishers.”
That sounds like Nintendo will be quite all right with, and potentially even encouraging, the continued practices of companies like EA, which use their own infrastructure on top of a hardware maker’s platform. at E3 Ubisoft talked briefly about their unique efforts with titles like Ghost Recon Online, and they’re definitely separate from a standardized ‘Wii U Network’.
“We’ve said that the Wii U will have an extremely robust online experience. There will be other publishers talking about that as well, and from our perspective, we think it’s much more compelling for that information to come from the publishers than to come from us.“
Err… somehow I take it I’m not the only one still raising an eyebrow here. Hopefully more concrete details will be divulged in the coming months, ahead of Wii U’s mid-to-late 2012 launch.