Is Nintendo Wii online broken?

In short, yes. Internet play should be easy without sacrificing security. I loathe the fact that friends have to both manually enter in a very long console number before communicating. I realize the service is to protect against unwanted spam, annoying folk, and most importantly pedophilia, but there must be an easier way.

It would have been better to use a more easy to remember “gamertag” alias than the long beast of a number. And why not use a friend acceptance/rejection system? At least give us a simple profile browsing feature to encourage community. But unless Nintendo provides a firmware update, I’m afraid the console will never be able to hang with the “big boys” online. That’s a big sell for hard-cores.

Could this glass in anyway be half full?

18 Responses to Is Nintendo Wii online broken?

  1. MothSnesMonster! says:

    lets give thanks to the fat underworld fairy for this post.

    amen.

    PLEASE BIG OL’ N dont make us make our own community around YOUR wonderful machine.

    /hint miipages

  2. Ryuben says:

    Arrrgh!

    Sorry, but you’ve reminded me of how angry I am at the current state (as well as the foreseeable future) of the Wii’s online capabilities.

    If I’m going to play a game online, I want to have the greatest possible selection of people to play with. More than I can shake a stick at! What EXACTLY am I supposed to do if sites like Miipages didn’t exist?

    If anything, that long string of numbers should be used to unlock (or prevent entirely) direct communication between players. Outside of that, you should be able to play with anyone.

    ~Ruben

    P.S.
    Why is there not a DS channel?

  3. Jack says:

    It’s a fine line. Online certainly isn’t where I’d like it with Nintendo; but on the other hand I’ve extensively played Live and abhor the hate speech and 12-year-old insults. If Wii online eliminates that and is still mediocre overall, it’s a success in my book. Who’s to say the internal architecture isn’t such that Nintendo can mold it as they go? Ever the Nintendoptimist, I say that’s the case.

    If Mii’s can infiltrate into a game after the fact, then who’s to say online functionality can’t as well at a future date too? Don’t forget that Nintendo builds in latent features — think the simple change in Mario Kart DS depending on which DS you’re using. There coul easily be mor ethan meets the eye here, and Nintendo is has been notoriously tight lipped about everything Wii.

    As far as a DS channel, Wii Channels appears to have been designed with future modular additions in mind. It’s an upgrade away as soon as the functionality is there, I’m thinking.

  4. Ryuben says:

    I’m actually in the same boat as you, Jack. I really wish for all the things you mentioned to be true and I honestly believe they are possible. But does Nintendo care? Are they actively planning to do great things with their online functionality. I can only hope.

    I’m not really angry at Nintendo. I love the Wii and I want it to fully realize the immeasurable potential it has. I just see the current state of affairs and it worries me.
    I bitch because I care!

    ~Ruben

    P.S.
    lol @ Nintendoptomist.

  5. InvisibleMan says:

    Excuse me, but did Nintendo turned on online play while I was at work??

    There have been no games released with online play yet, folks! How do we know yet that you won’t be able to play with anyone in some games, just like you do with Mario Kart on the DS?

    As for the Friend Code system, the only difference between Xbox LIVE and the Wii system is that the former uses gamer-produced tags, which result in kid-unfriendly names like “holeENLARGER”, and the later uses randomly-generated numbers. That’s what you get with a free online service, since they can’t have age verification through a credit card registration! It’s for the kids, you know…

  6. tratch says:

    They way it should have been done is when you brought your Wii home, hooked it up to the interwebs, set it up, and entered a nickname for your system it would check online to see if anyone else had entered the nickname. If not, you’re set. If so, pick a different name or add a number or something and repeat.

    That way we would be happy because we wouldn’t have to enter 2004-1182-1888-0505-1892 to register friends AND Nintendo could block certain names like FuKKstiCK69 or holeENLARGER or whatever.

  7. Princess Mushroom says:

    You can’t block every obscene variant without having a person (who speaks each language) checking them.

    Personally, I want to be protected from online crudity. That is one reason (among many) I would prefer Wii to XBox.

    The system used in Clubhouse Games (you can play with anyone but only chat using set phrases until you have entered a friend code) seems ideal and will probably be used on Wii.

    Plenty of people to play with and full chat with trusted friends. I agree the codes are a pain, but i seems a small price to pay for security and fun.

  8. Ryuben says:

    “If anything, that long string of numbers should be used to unlock (or prevent entirely) direct communication between players. Outside of that, you should be able to play with anyone.”

    I’m very pleased to hear that a system like this is already in place.

    Thanks, Peach!

  9. vakerorokero says:

    my god, guess some of you people don’t see farther than your nose. I have 2 little sisters and I don’t want them near the xbox whne I play since every little prick there talks like a fucking sailor, Since you guys enjoy words like: asshole!, nigger! and motherfucker! (the top 3 messages on Xboxlive) I sure don’t but guess not everyone enjoys the same education level, that’s why I buy Nintnedo products, since their first priority is family & not juvenile hardcore dorks. I don’t wanna hear someone speaking like a lion got their balls in my living room that’s why trading codes with people you already know is better. I f you don’t have friends try chat rooms.

  10. used routers says:

    It can sound extreme but I’m with Vakero on this one.

    If nintendo wants to attract the non-gamer and casual gamer, they ABSOLUTELY MUST keep “aSSmUNCHER” and “holeENLARGER” off the Wii.

    If my parents or mature friends saw such names, they would immediately write off any hope of getting into video games.

    Everyone talks about Nintendo being “kiddy” but I guarantee you that “holeENLARGER” is not an adult and certainly isn’t mature. It may seem that Nintendos decisions are to protect the kids but I think its also to avoid scaring away the mature adults that might find XBOX LIVE rather repulsive.

    Sure live is cool if you are a hardcore gamer and have no problem reading pornographic names or even watching porn, but I promise you there is a large portion of the population who avoid video games for this very reason. XBox live totally reinforces the negative stereotype that gamers are immature and undersexed males playing out fantasies online.

    Hopefully Nintendo can demonstrate that not all gamers are of the xbox live variety.

    As for my Mii address book, its almost full. I just wish it held more than 100 spaces.

  11. Joshua Skurtu says:

    You guys are missing the point. It is not that we want to be able to name ourselves “holENLARGER” or something else silly. It’s that we want accessability. I don’t want voice chat with strangers, but I want to be able to add a friend to my friend’s list easily. I want to be able to join online games with people I do not know, just like I have been able to do in PC games for the past 10 years. Children play PC games too. If you do not want your children to hear the sailor swearing, turn the voice chat off. It is THERE FOR A REASON! Just because you want to be sheltered from the horrors of the idiots on the internet does not mean the online capabilities of the Wii should be gimped. If you gimp the system, you gimp the games, and you gimp the long-term life of the system. Games like Call of Duty and others have evolved to the point in many gamer’s eyes that without an online capability it is a pile of crap…

    If you want to protect your family from profanity, do it! THere are parental controls! I’m sure a parental control can be put into place to block voice chat, to block chat from outside Wiis, and even, if you really wanted to, to block all internet access. Protect your child all you want. Really. Please DO! I don’t give a flying fuck about your child. But don’t try to say that something I want should not be done so that your little ones can be protected. If you are proactive about what goes on in your children’s internet and video game usage, this should never be a proble.

  12. Ryuben says:

    THANK YOU!

    What’s the point of parental conrols if Nintendo is already doing the parenting for us?

    The parental controls should be robust and fully functional so that there’s no reason the rest of us can’t enjoy this console to the fullest!

  13. Rollin says:

    Josh hammered that nail dead on. Don’t pretend the entertainment device your kids use is also their parent. If that’s what keeps you from playing Xbox, someone should inform you that Live is not a mandatory feature and you can play it by yourselves. Another thing: don’t kid yourself, friend codes and online profanity are not what gave Nintendo the kiddy image. I’d like to know what family oriented, online, voice chat enabled games from Nintendo offer a similar experience to Live minus the profanity, otherwise i don’t see how your preference has any bearing on your kid sisters.

    Personally i don’t buy this excuse for friend codes. I think it’s Nintendo’s way of being lazy due to the service being free. They let the consumers do the legwork. It’d probably take a massive firmware update to change it from numbers to usernames.

  14. Hannah says:

    I just don’t see what all the fuss is about. It’s easy to put in the numbers. My Mom and I had our systems talking to each other within minutes.

    I like that it’s an easy way to connect to people I know. It’s really no big deal to write that number down at the ‘puter and then take it one room over to the Wii. Once it’s input, fix and forget!

    Now when it comes to online play with strangers, a system like this wouldn’t be so easy. However, my bet is one it being done similiar to the DS (Mario Kart and Club House being prime examples).

    When I’m playing online with strangers, I have no need or desire to see player name’s like the aforementioned “holENLARGER.”

    I’m content to wait and use friend codes for people I know and want to associate with on a constant basis. When online play actually comes down the pipe, that’s when I’ll either break out the parade or start complaining 🙂

  15. Joshua Skurtu says:

    Yes, Hannah, Princess, we get that you want to be able to play with people you really know. Giving US the ability to play with strangers without having to find friend codes and find people on the internet that are online at the time with our games is not going to take away your ability to play with people you know in real life. Personally, I only know ONE other person with a Wii, and only ONE other person that might get one in the future. Should I only be able to play with those two people? Hello! FPS games need at least 6-8 people in one game to make it entertaining.

    We don’t actually know what Nintendo is going to do with the online. The console codes might just be there to connect them to put messages on your console and people in your Mii Parade. We have to wait and see how they do it.

    It’s pointless to beat a child BEFORE they have done something wrong. 🙂

  16. used routers says:

    I could be totally wrong but all you people complaining that somehow you will ONLY be able to game online with people in your friends list are, I think, totally wrong.

    Comments like:

    “Personally, I only know ONE other person with a Wii, and only ONE other person that might get one in the future. Should I only be able to play with those two people?”

    …make no sense to me.

    What is giving you the idea that this will be the case?

    It can’t be the DS online structure seeing as you can play strangers on all the DS online games.

    So where are you folks getting these ideas? You’re losing me.

    My understanding is that the Wii friends list is primarly for communications. I think the whole, “adding peoples Wii numbers” is to allow you to communicate outside games.

    I don’t think it is to set in stone a possible player list. Like I said, I could be wrong.

  17. Hannah says:

    Thanks, used routers. Indeed that was what I was trying to get at with my post. Joshua, I think you’ll find in my post that I mention that I feel Wii numbers would not work very well with online play with strangers 🙂

    And, as online play hasn’t yet started, I don’t see a reason to get up in arms about something we don’t really know how it will work.

    As I mentioned before, I do feel looking at DS games which utilize online play gives clues as to how the Wii will work. Again, ClubHouse and Mario Kart are prime examples of simple and safe (aside from potentially naughty usernames) yet surprisingly fun ways of instant online play with strangers. This is how I see the Wii’s online functionality working. No friend codes, no usernames or passwords, just access the server and bam, you’re playing online with people.

    And while we’re speaking of conjecture, I’m also thinking Nintendo might even integrate your Nintendo account/username in some way in the future. Already you can link your Wii to your account, what’s not to say that this account will become your main identity in a WiiConnect community?

    And lastly, I did want to clarify – the point of online play for me is to play the game with people – strangers or people I know – WITHOUT hearing the f-bomb every other word or being asked if I want to “cyber” as soon as my identity as a female is known 😉

  18. Ryuben says:

    Hey Hannah,

    Wanna “cyber”?

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