fils-aime


When addressing the Wii U's online features, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime has responded with a functional shrug.

In a series of international press events last week, Nintendo filled in a lot of the gaps in the public's knowledge of the upcoming Wii U, including launch date and pricing information. But among all the announcements, there was one major omission: how will the system handle online multiplayer games?

It has been more than a year since the Wii U was first unveiled, and Nintendo has devoted precious little of that time to detailing how the Nintendo Network (the company's umbrella brand for online services on the Wii U and 3DS) will let Wii U users connect and play with each other online. Given the company's history with the much-reviled friend code system, gamers are rightly curious to see how Nintendo will be upgrading the online experience this time around.

My assumption up to this point has been that third-party developers and other insiders have been up to speed on the workings of the Nintendo Network for a while now. I believed that Nintendo was simply waiting until closer to the Wii U's actual release to unveil that functionality more fully (and get another easy hit of press attention). But in a recent roundtable discussion reported by Destructoid, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Director Katsuhiro Harada said that he's just as much in the dark as the rest of us. Answering a question about the game's online infrastructure on the Wii U, Harada said, "Not quite sure at this point. I don't fully understand it. We’re still working with Nintendo to find out about their network."

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Whatever it ends up costing, don't forget you're also getting a TV remote control for your money!

Amidst all the talk of the Wii U and its unique, touchscreen-equipped GamePad at this year's E3, one of the major specifications missing from the discussion was the massive controller's price. The mystery surrounding that pricing remains a major concern for those considering a purchase of the system, and according to Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, it was also a major concern for the company while the system was still in the design phase.

"Sometime during that final discussion [of the system's design], we almost gave up on the idea of the additional screen," Iwata said in an interview with London's Telegraph newspaper. "This was due to our concern over the expected high cost; it may not have been feasible to create this and sell it at a reasonable price point for the consumers."

The Telegraph interview goes on to suggest that Nintendo eventually figured the cost situation out, suggesting that it will be able to offer the controller for that "reasonable price point" at launch (for Nintendo's definition of reasonable, at least). That price could be more important than ever, as Nintendo announced at E3 that the Wii U would be able to support games that use two GamePads at once, though no such games will be available at launch.

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