Critiquing Nintendo’s Online

We’ve all seen cases of Nintendo’s plight with its online situation. A good majority of players have been turned off by the almost archaic systems that Nintendo seems to use, and more players are turning towards Sony, Microsoft, or the PC to suit their online needs. Why is it that Nintendo is so far behind in their current infrastructure? I will most likely use this article to critique some of the major weaknesses in their system, and look into possible solutions that could be implemented in the future.

One of the major weaknesses that I find with Nintendo’s current online system is the Friend Code system. This system was introduced back during the release of the Nintendo DS back in 2004 and still exists even in 2015. It is about ten years old and one of the more irritating aspects in the 3DS online, as you would have to send a player your stream of digits and in order to play with them you have to add their code, something that is too time consuming.

Another major weakness in the online infrastructure is its lack of overall structure and organization. The eShop was released with the Nintendo DSi and it felt disorganized and clunky. Accessing different menus was painful, and things were strewn about randomly. The 3DS shop feels the same way, with items being categorized randomly and relying on a scrolling list of items. The 3DS also utilizes an SD card, with a completely different system for size management. While the memory card remains in MB/GB apps on the eShop are determined by the number of blocks. I would very much like to meet the person who invented the block system and bop him on the head a little bit.

On a side note, let’s talk on the new Pokémon games and their lack of true structure. With the Global Trade Station, there is just no good filtering option that is default, as on most occasions the player has to manually input the same tedious defaults over and over again, otherwise the screen is loaded with fodder offers of trash monsters for legendary creatures. With the release of Pokémon Bank and Transporter, Nintendo missed a golden opportunity and instead had to deal with a server overload and long delays, delays that still plague a majority of the player base. To me, this shows lack of anticipation, as they released the application on Christmas Day, failing to anticipate the many children that would be receiving Nintendo 3DS systems and connecting to the eShop to activate their systems. It also shows a terrible system as Nintendo had been flooded and could not resolve the system for several days. Steam had a similar issue with Left For Dead 2 being given away for free, and their systems were fully operational in hours.

A third issue that could be discussed is the police state feeling that Nintendo wants its players to feel. While this could elicit responses such as “This system is kid friendly, it needs to be,” I think Nintendo is losing players in its older age group with such measures. A lot of the core Nintendo audience has grown up and it is sad to see that Nintendo is not growing up with them. When using the MiiVerse community or just the online in general, there lies censorship, but what makes things laughable is that the censors are relatively easily bypassed by adding in accent marks to terms, or using derivations of letters to make the point. The online infrastructure, to an older player such as myself, feels old and dated and so restrictive that it is not a surprise that people are flooding into other systems.

And on a last point, does anyone else feel that the Nintendo 3DS online in general is just not up to par as it was on the DS systems? Online games are sparse to find as of late, relying more on StreetPass and SpotPass, aspects that are downright weak for those who live in sheltered communities with little interaction. Games that should have had online are limited to local multiplayer, such as Fire Emblem: Awakening, or Star Fox 64 3D. It feels that with each generation Nintendo gets lazier and lazier and fails to meet the demands of its audiences.

I am going to leave you guys with that. If you are just tuning in, what do you find is weak about the Nintendo online infrastructure? Do you see any ways that you can improve on it? How do you feel regarding censorship on the infrastructure? Do you like or dislike the lack of overall organization on the eShop system, and do you wish for a friendlier alternative to the Friend Code system? Chime off in the comments below!

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About The Author

Josh and Jelani's Personal Dork

Hey there, my name is Brandon, you may have seen me around on different forums as Ryukouki. I've been involved in video gaming media over the past six years, starting out as a small time blogger and then moving into the bigger leagues. I'm a jack of all trades, able to work as a news writer, reviewer, or editorial writer. I hope to continue seeing you guys around the site!