First-Party Wii U Launch Windows Titles Confirmed Offline Only

Well it may have taken a week or so, but 1Up was able to squeeze the information from Bill Trinen that Nintendo’s first party launch window games, running through the end of March 2013 will not feature any online multiplayer whatsoever.  Instead all first-party Nintendo games will utilize the Miiverse in bold and interesting ways.  This likely refers to being able to post messages via New Super Mario Bros. U, and other interactions like that.  Here’s exactly what he said, when questioned whether or not Nintendo Land would feature online multiplayer.

It’s not going to be played over the network.  For Wii U launch specifically one of the things that we want people to understand is that a network connection to a game can mean a lot of different things. It can mean online gaming, but it can also mean other unique ways to connect to other people. Miiverse is an important part of that. So for our first-party teams, particularly at launch, what they want to do is try to lead the way and show people different ways that you can use Miiverse in a meaningful way to connect the content to the Internet.

That pretty much confirms one of my biggest fears that Nintendo still doesn’t really ‘get’ the idea of online multiplayer and why it’s so important in today’s day and age.  Third party titles will utilize the Nintendo Network, but we haven’t been told how friend lists and communication will work, or if that will even be implemented.  At this point it seems Miiverse will be the direct hub for friends, messages, etc, but it won’t be tied into games for those purposes.  At this point we really can’t confirm anything, but I have the feeling we’re going to learn a lot more in the coming weeks leading up to its November 18th launch.  One thing is certain, all Nintendo games launching with the Wii U will not feature online multiplayer, and that’s really a downer.

2 thoughts on “First-Party Wii U Launch Windows Titles Confirmed Offline Only”

  1. Perfectly fine with this. As long as third parties are not restricted from online play, it’s all good as far as I’m concerned. Mario Kart 7 came out of Nintendo, and it has a robust online experience so I know that if they want to focus on that as a developer, they can. It’s not that they unintentionally don’t know online or are being stupid. They’re just stubborn and persistant to show off what they think will add a lot to the online experience: Miiverse. Paving the way as they’ve put it. I’m taking a wait and see approach on this one.

    1. I still find it a downer, like I wrote above. I mean sure we know from a technical standpoint Nintendo knows how to provide an online service, and if they don’t they can easily afford to find someone who does. It’s the corporate attitude that worries me. Sega started making inroads in the online space with the Saturn back in late 1996 (!) From there the company evolved the idea to SegaNet in 2000 with the Dreamcast. It took about a year or so, but eventually they started releasing online content in virtually every game they produced. From sports games featuring online multiplayer to an MMO itself, they continued to push online content while concurrently keeping local multiplayer alive and well. To this day I still say Sega was the only console maker to understand and “get” online, because they made it part of their identity. Everyone else tried to do away with local multiplayer as time went on.

      Microsoft took what Sega did and evolved on it ten fold, and we sort of know how everything else turned out. With Nintendo though I always feel like the company just doesn’t understand the potential for greatness. This was the company that first introduced a system with four controller ports because of the multiplayer experience, and yet doesn’t feel the need to stretch that out on a global scale. Sure we get SSB, Mario Kart and a few others that the media would destroy if they didn’t have some sort of online multiplayer, but as a whole I just don’t think Nintendo sees the big picture, and that’s a real shame. I honestly think Nintendo could do some truly wonderful stuff in the online space if they only took it series. We are now 2012, an incredible 16 years after Sega launched the ill-fated NetLink adapter for the Sega Saturn and there will be a new console arriving without first-party online multiplayer support. I truly never imagined that would happen. I thought for certain that online multiplayer would co-exist with local multiplayer starting with the Dreamcast, PS2, GameCube and Xbox generation, but obviously that’s simply not the case.

      Hopefully that puts things into perspective a bit. Am I not going to purchase the system now, no of course not, but it certainly seems to me that Nintendo might never fully come to terms with online multiplayer if they have pretty much ignored it for the past two generations.

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