And it’s totally not as slutty as that headline might lead you to believe, but sex sells, and sex in headlines sells stories – or so I’m told. Anyway, Nintendo plans on being a little less tight-fisted when it comes to the online capabilities of its upcoming, we-put-a-screen-in-your-controller Wii successor, the Wii U.
Traditionally, console manufacturers have walled off their online functionality, meaning game publishers have to play by their rules. Microsoft’s Xbox Live is the best example of this. There is no third-party online functionality found on the Xbox 360. You want your game to have online features? Then you play by Microsoft’s rules for Xbox Live.
Sony, however, has since started relaxing their online chokehold on the PlayStation Network. Case in point: Steam Works, a completely separate yet integrated online platform, is now available on the PlayStation 3. This, obviously, makes Valve very happy as it opens up a ton of traditionally PC-only features to the PlayStation 3, making their lives a lot easier and their games more commercially viable.
So what’s Nintendo up to?
According to American boss Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo is looking towards a “more flexible system”.
“We’ve seen what our competitors have done, and we’ve acknowledged that we need to do more online,” he confessed to Forbes in a recent interview.
“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. 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.”
It looks as if Nintendo is planning to take on competitors’ consoles by appealing to third-party publishers. The more third-party publishers they keep happy, the more games they’ll get for their console. Publishers might be more inclined to create Wii U exclusive titles if it means they can bring their proprietary online functionality to the console as well. A good move on Nintendo’s behalf, considering third-party games were severely lacking on the Wii.