In an interview with Forbes, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime lays out some of the ideas behind the Wii U’s online capability.
“So instead of a situation where a publisher has their own network and wants that to be the predominant platform, and having arguments with platform holders, we’re going to welcome that. We’re going to welcome that from the best and the brightest of the third party publishers. 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.”
So it sounds like Nintendo’s idea is to be “hands off” which is an interesting position to take to say the least.
The entire Q&A is worth a read. I found this bit interesting:
Microsoft’s message at E3 was all about Kinect, how there will be no controller, you are the controller. It seems like Nintendo’s at the polar opposite; you’re putting even more in the controller. Is this indicative of a basic philosophical difference between the two companies?
Well, all I can say is that this is not the first time that Nintendo and our competitors have had dramatically different views on the future of gaming. When we launched the original DS everyone was saying the handheld competitor coming from Sony has more powerful graphics, that’s really the way to go. And we showed that no, two screens, a touch screen, a microphone, that actually led to better gaming experiences. With the Wii, again, at the time our competitors were all about high resolution graphics. We said we think that a motion controlled experience could be more fun. Eighty six million units later around the world, I think people would say we got that one right as well. In this case we’re saying that this two screen experience –either two screens playing the same game or two screens doing fundamentally different things– is the future.