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Is it just me, or did Nintendo have a lot MORE online offerings last gen? [roundtable]
 
People are just kind of parroting the whole "Nintendo doesn't get online" thing, but I think something more is going on here. There were a TON of DS games with online play. Quite a few Wii games, as well. Even stupid shoehorned stuff like the tokens in Metroid Prime.

Star Fox Command - > online - > Star Fox 64 - > NOT
Phantom Hourglass - > online - > later handheld Zeldas - > NOT
Fire Emblem DS - > online - > later Fire Emblems - > NOT
Picross DS - > online - > Picross 3D - > NOT

I mean, Nintendo really seemed to be trying for a while. Big titles, niche stuff like Custom Robo, a possible third-party push...

I don't think that the current situation is the result of some sort of Magoo-like befuddlement. I think that they just looked at the numbers and decided to only put often-played titles online. Another clue was in the Luigi's Mansion Iwata Asks. The guy from Next Level said that Miyamoto (I think) had told him that the multiplayer mode would be ankled if it couldn't be as popular/robust as Mario Kart (or something to that effect). That's a high fucking bar!

You know how gamers complain that Bioshock/Batman/etc. shouldn't have wasted resources on multiplayer? Well, I think Nintendo has been quietly following that path. Which is a shame, because a lot of those under-the-radar multiplayer experiences were super fun.

Even though I only played each one once.

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Posted: 03/09/14, 14:38:53  - Edited by 
 on: 03/09/14, 15:10:38
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Hm, I dunno--if you're counting MP3's tokens, then all the Miiverse interactions should qualify too, and every Wii U (and now 3DS) game has some of that going on. Plus, I like the sudden new focus on leaderboards in intensive games like Pikmin 3 and DKCTF. And Fire Emblem: Awakening had online features; lots of pretty robust DLC, much of it free.

Now that you mention it, though, it does seem like there may have been more online multiplayer last gen, but I'm not sure if I've seen enough yet to be a pattern. I think Nintendo's trying to do slightly different types of online integration than multi, as evidenced by Miiverse and such.
Posted: 03/09/14, 14:51:51
Yeah, that's true about the tokens. They seemed to be more about promoting online communication, so Miiverse is a superior, systemwide replacement.

To be honest, I don't even know how the tokens worked.

Leaderboards are nice, too (although DLC seems to be more in Nintendo's interests than ours).

But most of this is "Xbox Live Silver"-type functionality. Don't get me wrong. It's cool, and I appreciate it. But it really does seem to me that they're ratcheting back the "Xbox Live Gold"-type functionality (excluding the video streaming services, of course (and the internet browser)). I mean, after they introduced Nintendo Wi-Fi, almost every DS game for the next couple of years had online multiplayer.

PICROSS had online multiplayer.

Actually, this topic was supposed to be specifically about online multiplayer. I worded the subject badly, and shouldn't have brought up the Metroid tokens at all. But I couldn't think of very many online Wii games to fit my narrative. Oh, Battalion Wars!
Posted: 03/09/14, 15:09:00  - Edited by 
 on: 03/09/14, 15:15:08
I think they are just using StreetPass to fill that void with 3DS. Wii U is probably using Miiverse but I don't have the first hand experience to say for sure. All of this stuff isn't what comes to my mind when I think of what I want out of Nintendo online. Things like NSMBU, 3D World, Nintendoland, Mario Party 3DS. That's the stuff that is really being missed.
Posted: 03/09/14, 15:15:16
@Stephen
Not that I would mind having an online Mario Party, but it really does seem like a ridiculously difficult genre to integrate online play into. I mean, it seems like they'd basically have to create and test about 60-80 online modes just for that one game.

As for NintendoLand, I wonder of the appeal of it would translate online. In terms of local multi, it's a novelty, but when you're online, you can't see the other players' screens anyway, so...
Posted: 03/09/14, 15:18:34  - Edited by 
 on: 03/09/14, 15:20:23
@Anand

Mario Party wouldn't be too bad. The whole non mini game part is obviously turn based so no problems there. Some mini games would react better than others, anything turn based or that is done solely through one players' inputs can all be done flawlessly. You might get in to some issues with the more active ones but honestly its Mario Party. Chances are you are getting dicked over by the game anyway a less than perfect online connection cropping up isn't that big of a deal. What does Fortune Street do?

Nintendoland could definitely be argued but I think it is worth doing if only because Nintendo needs to start thinking of online play as an extension of the local play. That's the end goal afterall and we won't get there by doing only Mario Kart and Smash once a generation. At least not for a very long time.
Posted: 03/09/14, 15:32:52
@Stephen
Fortune Street is JUST a board game. It's kind of like Monopoly.

As for NintendoLand, I made this topic because I think that Nintendo is specifically moving away from that. I think they figure, "Hey, 98% of our customers just want to play Mario Kart and Smash online. Let's just focus on those guys." It's the Electoral College all over again. If you can take California and Texas, who cares about Rhode Island?

It makes sense, honestly (especially since Nintendo games typically hold their value, even without shoehorned multiplayer modes), but it's kind of unfortunate.
Posted: 03/09/14, 15:51:44  - Edited by 
 on: 03/09/14, 15:52:03
Well, there are two "big" online 3DS games from Nintendo that didn't really have DS counterparts: Luigi's Mansion and Kid Icarus. And isn't Mario Tennis online too? So how the 3DS stacks up against the DS, I can't really say for sure without looking at actual lists (LISTWARZ) but it seems like it could be a decent battle there.

The Wii U, on the other hand, has had a terribly slow start for online games from Nintendo. But then again, how many did the Wii get?

I do think that someone somewhere has basically taken the viewpoint that Mario Kart and Smash Brothers are all that you really need online. I don't agree with this position, but I suspect it exists.
Posted: 03/09/14, 18:01:56
@Zero

Yes, Mario Tennis Open has online multiplayer. It's quite good, in fact.

The recently released Steel Diver: Sub Wars also has online multiplayer. Pokemon of course does, and the 3DS release of Tetris has online, too.

The upcoming Mario Golf: World Tour has online multiplayer as well. So...I dunno Anand. I don't think Nintendo's really moving away from online multiplayer. Maybe some of the games they kind of shoe-horned online into last gen don't have that feature this gen, but I feel just about any game that it makes sense to have online multiplayer, does.

The one exception being the Starfox 64 3D remake...I'm still surprised that one didn't get any online interaction at all. Especially when they went and added all those cool modes and features to the standard multiplayer mode. Heck, we didn't even get leaderboards, which is also pretty baffling.

But yeah other than that, I think things are more or less the same. Maybe better, since DS didn't have Mario Tennis/Golf AT ALL, let alone online. Same for Smash Bros.
Posted: 03/09/14, 18:53:23  - Edited by 
 on: 03/09/14, 18:54:42
I'm not really feeling that sentiment, on the 3DS at least. If I want to play online, I can easily pop in Mario Tennis Open, Mario Kart 7, Kid Icarus Uprising, Pokemon X/Y, or Steel Diver: Sub Wars. On the Wii U, it's a different story, and yes, we're desperately in need of some online multiplayer options. Thankfully Mario Kart 8 and Smash Bros release this year.
Posted: 03/09/14, 19:36:03
Hmm, you guys make some strong points. I conveniently forgot about a bunch of 3DS games... Maybe I was focusing more on the home consoles, where Nintendo's online efforts have traditionally been more anemic, anyway.

Or maybe Nintendo gives every multiplayer-focused series a shot at online play. And if nobody plays it online, they don't focus on that aspect for future revisions? I dunno.
Posted: 03/09/14, 20:45:45  - Edited by 
 on: 03/09/14, 20:46:46
Let's hope Smash Bros. makes it all alright.
Posted: 03/09/14, 21:11:07
I don't think this is necessarily true for the 3DS for reasons already stated, but for Wii U, I think it's the case. It's been over 15 months and the Wii U still doesn't have an online game published by Nintendo. The first will be Mario Kart 8, 18 months after launch. The first online game on Wii was Pokémon Battle Revolution, which was released 1 month after launch in Japan and 7 months after launch in North America. Plus Wii had other cool alternative online games like Battalion Wars II and Endless Ocean. The abysmal third-party support probably also means that we'll be seeing less third-party online titles as well.

I kind of feel like Nintendo think things like Miiverse are a good enough substitute for online and so they'll release even less instead of more like they should be doing.

EDIT: Whoops, forgot about Wii Sports Club. And Dr. Luigi. So just no online game at retail.
Posted: 03/09/14, 21:34:44  - Edited by 
 on: 03/09/14, 21:36:07
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