There are a lot of mixed feelings about the Wii U day one system update for online services. Either you kind of expected it and have sympathy for the idea that the product needs to be tuned as much as possible even up to the day of release, or you were upset that Nintendo couldn’t have all their stuff ready in time for manufacturing. Whatever your opinion, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime maintains that it was necessary to meet Nintendo’s standards for product quality.
“Nintendo developers want to make sure that the very best product is available to consumers. That creates a dynamic where our developers are working on elements until the very last point possible. That’s why the system update was required on Day One – and this is quite similar to what’s happened with other consumer electronic products.”
He added that while the updates will come pre-installed on future Wii U hardware, that won’t be until early 2013. In the meantime, people will have to wait through their lengthy downloads and installs before using online features. He also had a bit to add about the initial service outages for Miiverse and the delay for Nintendo TVii. Read on to see.
Without getting into a lot of technical details, the Miiverse [problem] was not purely driven by capacity. That gives us confidence that come Christmas morning, those servers will not be challenged in the same way. Come Christmas morning, the Wii U will be available globally. We know there will be a lot of consumers utilizing their Wii U for the very first time. So we’re working very hard to make sure the initial customer experience is a good one.
Every time we launch a new system, there are significant challenges. There’s everything from supply to making sure the new offering meet our expectations. In the digital, connected services area, much of what we’re doing is groundbreaking, so we are having to learn as we go to make sure the consumer has the very best experience possible.
Pardon me for saying so, Mr. Fils-Aime, but on the service side I can’t see anything particularly groundbreaking about what’s being offered. You have video chat, you have a system-based Twitter feed, you have an online digital goods store, and you have a virtual account system. Exactly what on that list is unprecedented? The only difference is that these services are being offered with second-screen integration and the ability to link shared content directly with the games – but that doesn’t exactly have much to do with the online side of things, does it? In the case of most of these features, there’s quite literally a decade or more of similar services to work off of.
And even then, in some areas you completely ignore the things that consumers value.
To be fair, I’m fairly happy with Wii U from a usability standpoint. Nintendo’s done a great job ensuring that Wii U is functional and fun to use. There’s just a lot of work to be done before they’ve really done anything “groundbreaking” on the service side.
As for Nintendo TVii, Reggie says what we all probably expected – it just wasn’t ready to go in time for launch:
On launch day for us, Nintendo TVii wasn’t at a point where we wanted it to be. It was not the compelling innovative product we wanted it to be and we needed it to be.
We’ll see how it shapes up in the end when it launches later this month.