Apple Beat Nintendo to a Unified Gaming Network…For Shame

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Alright, I know this isn’t an Apple blog, but today’s iPhone OS 4.0 announcement brought us word that Apple is working on a unified social gaming network. That’s right, Apple beat Nintendo to it, leaving Nintendo the only major competitor in the market that doesn’t have one.

PS3 & PSP: Playstation Network

X-Box 360: X-Box Live

iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch: Game Center

PC: Steam

Wii & DS/3DS: ???

For being an a major innovator in the video game industry, Nintendo sure is taking their sweet time on this. If they don’t announce something at E3, I’ll be very, very put out. Its a matter of necessity at this point. A little hint, Nintendo: CLUB NINTENDO!

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18 Responses to Apple Beat Nintendo to a Unified Gaming Network…For Shame

  1. Jack says:

    Apple was late to the game with cut and paste AND with multitasking, and the keynote today from Cupertino pretty much blew the tech industry away.

    Point being, being late to the party doesn’t really mean much when you’re Apple, or Nintendo, and have such a dedicated (and incredibly large) fan base.

  2. garyaga says:

    I agree mostly with Jack.

  3. babble says:

    And people still think the 3DS press release was not in response to the iPad coming…

  4. Wii Wii says:

    I will continue to enjoy XBL and possibly enjoy the new apple service when it comes out in the future.
    As for Nintendo and the lack luster online service, it doesn’t matter to me anymore, seriously.Thats how they are rolling, so no use in complaining and getting frustrated, I guess. Thats Nintendos decision and my decision is to spend less and less time with Nintendo products and games. No big deal.
    I just spend MUCH more time and money on a good Online service in XBL, and MUCH less time on the Wii. I just play single player when I use the Wii, or local multiplayer with friends. For online gaming I have XBL and don’t need anything else, really. I got over Nintendos lack of online interest by becoming equally less interested in Nintendo .

  5. Ptolemy says:

    Does it sadden anyone else to see these two companies slugging it out in the head lines. Its just typical PR, really. Yes Reggie, the iTouch/Phone/Pad are actually good gaming platforms. Granted, to be successful, those games need to be free or $1. But I think games like We Rule which are add supported, have optional pay content and are free to play otherwise (yes, I play and enjoy this) are going to be huge.

    Steve, 50,000 games, really? I wouldn’t brag about that. We thought the Wii had a shovelware problem? Try sifting through 49,900 turds. Oh, and all this gaming stuff, hey, remember that other thing you guys make, yeah, the Macintosh? How about some freaking gaming on there. Steam cannot come soon enough. I’m dyin’ over here.

    Zacko, amen. Club Nintendo MUST evolve. Its already linked to my account, it knows when I buy a WiiWare or VC game, just make it so I can log in and play those games on any Wii. Give me cloud game save storage. Achievements? Those can burn in a fire. I prefer the gameplay to be the actual compelling part of my games, thanks.

  6. Jeff says:

    A simple fix would be simply to expand Super Smash Brothers Trophy system, put it on the Wii2 menu, and have it amass a collection of figurines as you progress through, beat games, get highscores, do special tricks, etc.

    That would be better than Achievement points, and Nintendo can pass it off as something they already invented. (not like achievement systems are new. Unlocking things in video games by doing a certain task has been around since Super Mario World, if not earlier. The only thing modernity has done is link it to our internet persona’s TwitSpaces or whatever.)

  7. Jeff says:

    Oh, drat a critical flaw with Nintendo’s hypothetical plan. They’d need third parties to actually support it, and so far they’ve been uncooperative with Nintendo these past years almost out of principle, bias, or hatred.

    Damn.

  8. Noremakk says:

    Now now, guys, they’re not being late-to-the-party. They’re being “family friendly” by making sure it’s too complicated for a child to ever connect to a stranger over the internet.

  9. Zachs Kappler says:

    It saddens me that it’s a big pain to play or find friends who own the same games on Nintendo’s currently flawed system. My guess is they will merge all friend codes to the single system code first like they talked about, then maybe link it more directly to your Club Nintendo account.

    Till then, Steam reigns king as my ideal online gaming community, which was brought up from the already basic “by server” system the original valve games had.

    Nintendo, Valve did it right. Learn from the best so I can brawl and race against my friends without this friend code blasphemy.

  10. Zacko says:

    @Jack, I don’t think Apple blew anybody away with their announcements. If you look past Steve Job’s reality distortion field, cut-and-paste is just cut and paste, multi-tasking is just multi-tasking. They polished the idea, yes, but that’s it.

    @Wii Wii, I think the only real point to complaining is to get Nintendo’s attention and tell them what their customers want. Then again, their customers at this point are people who barely ever play the Wii. Can you imagine, though, if with the 3DS rollout we have an integrated Club Nintendo account and you can automatically connect any new games with that account? Good-bye friend codes, hello catching up with everyone else.

  11. Joe says:

    Isn’t there enough social networking going on else where, why does Nintendo need social networking? Isn’t there facebook or myspace for that? When I turn on my Nintendo, I don’t need to know what somebody ate for dinner. Nintendo is for video games and I hope they leave it at that.

  12. Watire says:

    @Noremakk & Joe: AMEN !

  13. frstOne says:

    I guess I’m too old to care about achievements and that things.
    But, a unified friend list would be great. There is a “Wii code” that was supposed to eliminate the need of a per-game friend code. What happened with that? Why did they keep adding per-game friend codes on every game? I’ll never understand :(.

  14. elmer says:

    You know, ostensibly Nintendo’s restricted ‘social’ gaming policies (I consider remote gaming with strangers far less social than being with friends and family in a room together) may have been reasonable for a responsible company that makes family entertainment up ’till this point, but the barrage of ‘social’ networking platforms and shocking errosion of individual privacy at every level of nearly every demographic in developed society has become so prevelant and inescapable that Nintendo’s efforts to protect are an umbrella in a tornado. A child may not be very tracable by a predator via pictochat, but a predator can get at just about anyone via their myspace/facebook/bebo/twitter etc. networks – or their friends, acquaintances, or acquantances of virtual acquaintences networks’ – and that’s just using legal snooping techniques.

    What I’m saying is Nintendo’s policies can’t protect anyone from anything any longer, so they may as well give up the ghost and make me (and many of my peers) grumpy about all those abusive ASBO types pervading the systems. At least the ASBO teens and the bloggsphere will be happy, and judging by the ipad’s hype response, that really does seem to count some with sales. Sure they’ll get blamed by the news media for putting the children at risk, but hey, they are already.

    Or have I just become so cynical about electronic communication that I’m advocating something I consider reprehensible just because I feel defetaed?

  15. Lance says:

    There was one time where Satoru Iwata had stated that online gaming wasn’t that important and that it was more of a fad. That’s the reason that the Wii and DS online offerings are so week.

    The only community item that I actually downloaded on the Wii was the Nintendo Channel and that’s become a bit of a joke. I can watch all those videos before they’re even on the Wii, and Nintendo Week (their show equivelant to Qore or Inside Xbox) is just crap.

    Nintendo does need to step up their game in the online fields with a unified platform but I don’t think that’ll happen until the next console and handheld because neither of the systems have a proper architecture built in for that kind of online support. It’s minimal at best.

  16. deepthought says:

    nintendo’s online existence has been highly underwhelming. as usual, i really dont care if it’s smart business or not really a weakness in their model. it’s still a complete letdown to fans.

    steam is first class. xbox live contunes to be worth the ridiculous subscription fee. and ps3 is catching up.

    time for nintendo to join the online generation. just because they can ignore it doesnt mean they should.

  17. matt says:

    its not got these game companys very far with these dedicated online services i would say that wiiware is the best dlc for indy games and xbox arcade has the most intense games but wiiware/dsiware are doing fine nintendo dont need to rush they can call there dedicated online N-cloud that sounds amazing N-cloud should be free like psn but there is no rush i think if they adopt this before mid 2011 it will be amazing because games will be consistent in terms of quality then and something like this will make more sence N-cloud sound sub

  18. matt says:

    iphone games are hardly worth even considering a dedicated online service wow what idiots i mean iphone is rubbish for games i would only be swayed to have dedicated online on 3DS as a portable device 3D is more hardcore therefore online is important plus graphics will be awesome on that system aswell so 3Ds yes iphone/dsi/psp not a chance they need something different apple/sony/microsoft are all copying each other and nintendo iphone copied the touch screen,sony have copied nintendo on everything since way back in the day,microsoft copy everyone,nintendo innovate and drive the industry foward FACT

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