On the whole, the Wii is a very approachable and entertaining console. Compared to that of the GameCube, Nintendo has made considerable strides to improve its stance in terms of online features. However, even though the online functionality of the Wii is far more superior to the GameCube and Nintendo DS, there are still some lingering online feature issues. Here are the top five issues that Nintendo desperately needs to approach for a more seamless online experience.
5) Lack of a hard drive
Although this is more of an indirect issue with Nintendo’s online functionality, the lack of a hard drive is an extremely significant flaw. Satoru Iwata recently noted that only a small number of Wii owners are discontent with the Wii’s memory situation. That is a huge understatement, as many have complained about the inconveniences the Wii’s limited flash memory create. Now that WiiWare has been released a hard drive is more necessary than ever. People are growing rather tired of cleaning out their virtual fridge, and are also growing increasingly impatient. Losing some accessibility in order to improve the frustrations gamers face with downloads is well worth the sacrifice.
4) Wii Shop Channel issues
A voting channel? And a weather channel? These Wii features are pleasant, temporary distractions, but more useful/gaming related channels would be warmly accepted. The Nintendo Channel was the biggest step in the right direction, as gamers finally were finally given access to gaming related material. At the same time, however, there still are many avenues that Nintendo could travel down for ideas. The most obvious is a Wii demo channel, a DVD channel, and perhaps even an instant messenger channel. In addition to mostly useless channels though, the Virtual Console games don’t fare much better. The numbers of games that have been put up for download on the shop channel have decreased in both quality and quantity over the weeks. People are beginning to grow tired of the one-title-per-week cycle with the quality of the games comparable to that of China Warrior.
3) Better use of WiiConnect24
Remember when Nintendo promised new content such as a new level or vehicle when you wake up in the morning? Well, players have not really been seeing anything in terms of new content. Some games have been offering light use of WiiConnect24, but not to its fullest extent. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, for instance, players can only obtain new levels, images, and videos by manually connecting to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. No games are offering true original content though, which is a shame because adding something such a feature to a game can extend the life of the title tremendously. Oh, and where are the automatic Mii updates?!
2) Voice chat
We know, we know Nintendo. You love making sure that little Johnnie is not kidnapped by some random guy on the Internet. Voice chat is an essential inclusion in online gaming these days, however, and Nintendo needs to grow up. The lack of communication functionality in online games makes arranging matches and choosing options a very arduous task. Also, not being able to trash talk your buddies online stinks. Nintendo has added voice chat on the DS, so there is no reason as to why something similar could not be arranged on the Wii.
1) Friend codes
When Nintendo finally entered the world of online console gaming in 2007, expectations for the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection on Wii were rather high. After all, Nintendo was able to take a crack at an online system with the Nintendo DS. Fans, however, wanted more from Nintendo’s service than the offerings on the DS – Removing friend codes for each online compatible game was definitely on the top of many wish-lists. In spite of the vociferous cries from Nintendo fans who were clamoring for a more seamless online experience, Nintendo did not deliver, and still hasn’t. Friend codes, just as they were on the DS, are still a dominant issue with the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. It is undeniable that having to write down codes for all online games is a nuisance. On the other hand, games such as Mario Kart Wii will do all the hard work for you, as long as you have your friend registered on your Wii console. However, this should be an option with all games, and it does bring up the question as to why such a feature was not implemented sooner.