After experiencing online play with Nintendo’s Wii console, I had consigned their online prospects to an early demise. The interface was messy, friend codes annoying, and experience laggy. So I was immediately surprised with the Wii U and 3DS’s much improved online capabilities to be on-par or better than Microsoft’s or Sony’s online services.
Lets start with the 3DS and the recent release of Pokemon X&Y. When connected online, you pass by strangers that are in the same area as you, and everyone is capable of sending various power-ups to each other, which is helpful. People can also trade Pokemon just as easily, just click on somebody’s icon and presto! Trades ahoy!
Also, in the endgame of Pokemon, they introduce the friend safari, where every friend corresponds to a select amount of Pokemon that you can discover there, thus encouraging you to get as many friends as possible. Personally, I hunted down all my friends with 3DS’s just to discover what new Pokemon they could introduce to my game. It was addicting, and well implemented.
The Wii U is also home to a few innovative ideas, namely, the Wiiverse. After playing a level in New Super Mario Bros. U., you are given an option to leave a comment or drawing for others to see. These messages are great comforts to see after failing a particular stage, as they let you know others struggled just as you have. It reminded me of the messages seen in Demon Souls and Dark Souls, albeit, not as cryptic or dark.
Nintendo has also started to do day one digital releases, something Microsoft and Sony are jumping on with their Games on Demand services. Nintendo has also forgone any charge for their online services (yet!) and that fact alone wins a lot of favor with me. Hopefully, Nintendo can continue with their improvements on their online services and may turn out on top.