Skip to main content

Nintendo CEO: Wii U will have ‘flexible’ online system, no Blu-ray, and one controller

Image used with permission by copyright holder

A week after E3, buzz about the Wii U certainly shows no signs of slowing. Nintendo has published a translation of CEO Satoru Iwata’s E3 Q&A with analysts. The five pages are quite a read, but Iwata clarifies where Nintendo is coming from with its upcoming Wii U console, what audiences it plans to target, and some of its difficulties with the 3DS and Wii as of late.

We’ve compiled three of the most interesting answers below, which touch on Wii U issues including its online capabilities, lack of a DVD drive, and why Nintendo is only focusing on a single controller.

One controller

In short, yes. When asked what Nintendo’s plans are for bundling the controller and if the Wii U will support more than one touch controller, Iwata seems to indicate that the company’s next console will indeed be a one touch controller experience. “What I can say is that we are also thinking, as you imagined, that with one console you would get one of the new controllers as a complete set…Regardless of the technical question as to whether or not we could do that (use two of the new controllers), for the time being, we will focus on what we can do with a single new controller with the system.”

“In the future, we may look at what other opportunities there are for gameplay and, how having two of those controllers might create fun or interesting new styles of play, but of course in doing that, it would require a consumer to purchase an additional controller,” continued Iwata. “Therefore, we would need to carefully consider how we could create such an experience and, potentially, how we could ensure that there would be enough value within that experience for the consumer to accept that cost and make that purchase.”

DVD and Blu-ray

The Wii U will have neither. “Wii U does not have DVD or Blu-ray playback capabilities,” said Iwata. “The reason for that is that we feel that enough people already have devices that are capable of playing DVDs and Blu-ray, such that it didn’t warrant the cost involved to build that functionality into the Wii U console because of the patents related to those technologies.”

Wii U’s online “approach”

When asked about Nintendo’s online approach, Iwata was quite vague, but hinted at a less structured online platform than Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation Network, where publishers could better create their own unique experiences.

“I think, in general, the online environment is changing quite rapidly,” explained Iwata. “So, what I have come to feel lately is that the idea of saying, “we are going to create this style of online structure and that we would like you, the developers, to fit into the online structure that we are creating” is perhaps already out-of-date.”

“I think that Nintendo’s past console business has often included this idea of a set and fixed online structure. So, I think that, going forward, the question is really to what degree Nintendo can create a more flexible system for its consoles. And, what we found at this point is that, as we discuss the online structure with different publishers, the things that the different publishers want to do are in fact seemingly rather different. Our current direction is how we can take the desires of the third parties and create a system that’s flexible enough to enable them to do the types of things that they might want to do.”

Iwata then commented directly on voice over IP and social networking services like Facebook, explaining that Nintendo needs to look into these features, but wants to leave it up to publishers just how and where they are implemented.

Unfortunately, we won’t learn more until later this year or early next. While we are fans of Xbox Live and Sony’s PSN (when it’s not being hacked), it will be interesting to see exactly what Iwata means by a “flexible” system. Hopefully it involves some kind of central network and the end of those dastardly friend codes.

(Image via Reuters)

Editors' Recommendations

Jeffrey Van Camp
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Deputy Editor, Jeff helps oversee editorial operations at Digital Trends. Previously, he ran the site's…
How to fast travel in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Chocobo Station

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is a massive game with multiple regions to explore, and a whole lot of ground to cover within each one. You'll want to get around the world in the most efficient manner possible, which is by using fast travel. Below, we'll detail how to make it happen so you can keep your adventure moving at a brisk pace.
How to fast travel
There are two types of fast travel points throughout Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth: Fast travel within a region and fast travel to another region. These function differently, with the latter requiring an additional step.

How to fast travel within a region
When exploring a region, you can open your map and instantly fast travel to any previously visited location in that region. When traveling to a rebuilt Chocobo Station or Intel spot (tower, lifespring, or fiend), you'll also be able to choose whether to appear at the new location on foot or already on your chocobo. Efficient!
How to fast travel to another region
Fast traveling to another region requires you to speak to specific characters at designated spots within each region, such as chocobo ranches, the Costa Del Sol ferry boat dock, or various airstrips. Here are the spots you need to head to for regional fast travel.

Read more
How to change your party and party leader in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Cloud and Tifa stand back-to-back in a fight.

In Final Fantasy 7: Remake, Cloud was usually alone or with just one or two other companions at a time. Aside from a few instances, mainly combat trails and VR missions, you never had to worry much about party management during the story. In Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth, your crew starts out at five and only grows from there.

As was the case in the original and Remake, only three characters can be active in a fight at a time, one of which is the leader. While playing as Cloud is great fun, you will be doing yourself a disservice by not switching the party up and experimenting with different combinations. The game tells you that it can be done, but isn't as informative on exactly how to do these things as, say, Chadly would be. Here's how to change your party and set your party leader in Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth.
How to change your party and party leader

Read more
Star Wars: KOTOR remake developer reportedly sold by Embracer Group
A Sith lord in the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake trailer.

Saber Interactive, the game developer and publisher behind highly anticipated upcoming games like the remake of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2, is reportedly being sold by its parent company, Embracer Group.

Bloomberg reports that Saber Interactive will be sold to private investors for "up to $500 million." Saber Interactive has several subsidiaries, including 3D Realms, 4A Games, Aspyr Media, New World Interactive, Tripwire Interactive, and Zen Studios, but it's unclear how many of those it will retain ownership of after being sold at this time as Embracer Group and Saber are declining to comment on the deal. Embracer Group originally acquired Saber in February 2020, and it served as one of the company's primary operating groups.

Read more