Wii U Details Provided by Nintendo President Reggie Fils-Aime
In an interview with Kotaku at E3 last week, President of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime sat down to discuss some previously unrevealed details about the Nintendo Wii U. Amidst the discussion, battery life, used games, friend codes, and achievements for the new console were all detailed.
Friend codes aren’t going anywhere for the Wii U, but they won’t necessarily be the same as we remember with the Wii. With Nintendo’s previous home console, users had to swap individual 16-digit codes with people they wanted to be friends with.
Extremely secure, but arguably frustrating for many.
“There are friend codes, but it’s not the existing friend code system,” Fils-Aime said.
“What do I mean by that? Here’s what I mean: you will be able to identify people as friends and have a certain level of interaction vs. a different level of interaction for the more general population. The method by which you identify someone as a friend is a lot simpler than what’s happening today with Friend Codes.”
Kotaku’s Stephen Totillo then prompted Fils-Aime with a more direct inquiry, saying: “The problem I believe people had with the Wii version,[I told Fils-Aime], is that adults who owned the system felt like, hey, if I’m an adult, treat me like an adult and let me friend people I’ve met online without having to call a person and exchange a code or something like that.”
He then asked, “You feel like those people will be happier?” To which Fils-Aime responded:
“Yes, they will be.”
Regarding Nintendo requiring developers to add achievements to their games for Wii U, Fils-Aime responded simply: “That is not our philosophy.”
Like the Nintendo 3DS which has system-level achievements for features like StreetPass, the Wii U will have Achievements that are based around system functions.
“We will have that,” Fils-Aime said. “Once you start getting into game-specific [Achievements] that’s developer driven.”
No further details have been given.
Users can transfer purchased Wii content to the Wii U
Content like game saves and purchased downloads can be transferred from the Wii to the Wii U, confirmed Fils-Aime. Whether this means full Virtual Console or WiiWare titles has yet to be revealed.
“We don’t have a policy surrounding used games,” Fils-Aime said. “We have not put in place any technology to go after the used game business.”
Well thank goodness for that.
GamePad Battery Life
As Nintendo is notorious for, Fils-Aime avoided giving direct statistics for the battery life of the Wii U GamePad. He instead opted to let consumers know that it will not “get in the way of the gaming experience.”
“I have to say that, as a company, we are amazingly conservative when it comes to giving guidance on things like battery life. If you go back to the 3DS discussion on battery life, the numbers we gave before launch vs. the reality of launch were very different. So what I would tell you is that Nintendo is absolutely committed to making sure that the battery life for the Wii U will not get in the way of the gaming experience.”
No Internal Data Storage…Again
“The main message we’ve communicated is that it’s got USB ports so you can keep adding storage to your heart’s content.”
So…there’s your confirmation. The system will likely, and similarly to the Wii, contain about 512mb of internal flash storage for game saves – something the typical Wii Fit U or Super Mario Bros. gamer won’t have to worry about filling up.
You should be able to use the aforementioned USB ports for [hopefully] any third-party USB hard drive or thumb drive.
Playing Solely on the GamePad
A feature that’s likely to be marked on retail game boxes for the Wii U, the ability to play games off of the TV screen is a capability for every game, but ultimately comes down to the developer’s choice to implement it.
It’s officially titled “Off-TV Play.”
Wii U to 3DS Linking
“It was last year that we talked about a new Smash Bros. that will have some interoperability, some linkage between Wii U and Nintendo 3DS,” Fils-Aime said.
“Obviously [Smash Bros. lead designer] Mr. Sakurai, having just finished Kid Icarus, hasn’t made a ton of progress on that game, but that’s going to be the one where we talk about how the two systems could work together on one game.”
Hopefully it will make its way into some other key games through the systems life-cycle.
Wii U GamePad is not multi-touch
“When we went through the building of this and, given some of the functionality, we thought that single-touch was a more appropriate option, especially when you’ve got other button configurations.”
I’m pretty sure it’s a matter of cost – quality multi-touch interfaces are expensive, especially given how much retail space a screen that large has.
Console Launch Colors
They showed off both white and black consoles at E3, but Fils-Aime says “We haven’t said anything about launch.”
The following questions received no answers:
- Supported virtual console platforms, do they run on the GamePad?
- Wii U launch line-up and price?
Nintendo, just announce a handful of first-party titles and we’ll be alright. Friend codes still sound lame, but I’ll let it slide (again) if you announce a new StarFox.
Regardless, be sure to check out the full Kotaku post to get more information on controller comparisons, the MiiVerse, and other details Mr. Fils-Aime felt like dishing out.