Rather than going the obvious, convenient and sane route, Nintendo opted to go with a more frustrating and convoluted online identifier system for the Wii: the dreaded friend code. The system was designed to protect children when they play online – specifically, preventing them from befriending random adults – and, while it was a noble pursuit, all it ended up accomplishing was making the online experience far more frustrating than it needed to be. Well, it looks like Nintendo learned their lesson.
According to a report from MTV Mutliplayer, the Wii U will ditch friend codes entirely in favor of a unified identifier, one much like you see on Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. The news came out of a private demo from Ubisoft to select members of the press, where Ghost Recon Online producer Adrian Blunt made the reveal while discussing Ghost Recon Online‘s multiplayer on the Wii U. “Rather than using friend codes, which we’ve had in the past, we’re able to connect players in a much easier way, which allows us to have a community that’s playing together in the game,” he explained. “There’s a few things on that. The first is the ability for individuals to make accounts. Rather than a machine having an account, each individual user has an account.”
Nintendo hasn’t verified any of this at this point, but the possibility that I won’t be having to memorize any more friend codes is a huge relief. I’m kind of terrible at memorizing things.