An anonymous developer has come forward to discuss the genesis of the Wii U, describing something of a shambles, with senior Nintendo staff unfamiliar with console networks.
In a much-discussed anonymous tell-all on Eurogamer, an anonymous source describes the process of working with Nintendo to develop a third-party title for the Wii U, starting prior to the hardware’s internal reveal.
The developer has some strong criticisms regarding the Wii U’s architecture, much of which was discussed in the build up to its launch, but it’s their commentary on Nintendo’s approach to the online features of the console that is particularly interesting.
“We got the chance to talk to some more senior people in Nintendo, via a phone conference, as they were gathering feedback on our development experiences and their toolchain,” the developer wrote.
“The discussion started off well enough and covered off our experiences with the hardware and (slow) toolchain and then we steered them towards discussing when the online features might be available. We were told that the features, and the OS updates to support them, would be available before the hardware launch, but only just. There were apparently issues with setting up a large networking infrastructure to rival Sony and Microsoft that they hadn’t envisaged.
“This was surprising to hear, as we would have thought that they had plenty of time to work on these features as it had been announced months before, so we probed a little deeper and asked how certain scenarios might work with the Mii friends and networking, all the time referencing how Xbox Live and PSN achieve the same thing. At some point in this conversation we were informed that it was no good referencing Live and PSN as nobody in their development teams used those systems (!) so could we provide more detailed explanations for them?”
The rest of the article describes the difficulty of communicating with Nintendo staff via multiple translators; implies a lack of third-party support; discusses the notorious day one OS patch; and predicts tough times ahead for the Wii U.