IGN NVC: Crazy Tales from the inside of the Nintendo Wifi Connection (WOW!!!!)

Vanillalite

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Apr 14, 2008
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IGN NVC

IGN's Nintendo podcast brings you a very special episode this week. Join host Jose Otero, Peer Schneider, and Brian Altano as they remember the recently disabled Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection with Todd Northcutt, former General Manager for GameSpy Technology -- the company that built Nintendo's DS and Wii online infrastructure.
Some Wow Moments:

- Not getting a copy of Monster Hunter from Capcom and having the game go live in Japan and kill server capacity while not having anyone that spoke Japanese on staff

- Not being able to patch games so Smash on Wii was broken and Gamespy had to fix it all server side

- Meeting with 2 separate Nintendo teams at once and having them go off for 10 mins arguing against each other cause one side wanted one friend code per user/system and messaging and invites and such and the other didn't all in Japanese while Gamespy Tech sat there seeing it unfold
 
Jan 30, 2011
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#3


IGN NVC



Some Wow Moments:

- Not getting a copy of Monster Hunter from Capcom and having the game go live in Japan and kill server capacity while not having anyone that spoke Japanese on staff

- Not being able to patch games so Smash on Wii was broken and Gamespy had to fix it all server side

- Meeting with 2 separate Nintendo teams at once and having them go off for 10 mins arguing against each other cause one side wanted real online with names and messaging and invites and such and the other didn't all in Japanese while Gamespy Tech sat there seeing it unfold
Why did you stop fighting
 
Apr 15, 2011
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Well, now this is going to be interesting to read about, and knowing they had to fix things up server side for Smash certainly implies there's more to this than just servers running perpetuity.
Why did you stop fighting
Must have given up once they saw Google and Facebook's pushes towards using real names and went "ah hell they'll get into more serious trouble than we will beforehand anyway." Nevermind the rest of the damn internet being fine with handles, and even when numbers WERE used they would have some feedback sent to know that someone added you or to let them know you added them.
 
Jan 7, 2012
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- Meeting with 2 separate Nintendo teams at once and having them go off for 10 mins arguing against each other cause one side wanted one friend code per user/system and messaging and invites and such and the other didn't all in Japanese while Gamespy Tech sat there seeing it unfold
ffs lol.

The wrong side prevailed, anyway. No messaging or invites, and we ended up with friend codes per game. Tragic.
 

Vanillalite

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Well, now this is going to be interesting to read about, and knowing they had to fix things up server side for Smash certainly implies there's more to this than just servers running perpetuity.
Well Todd talks about how you know they couldn't patch things after the fact sooo you were kinda stuck with the only option of fixing stuff server side if possible.
 
Apr 6, 2011
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#14
it all server side

- Meeting with 2 separate Nintendo teams at once and having them go off for 10 mins arguing against each other cause one side wanted real online with names and messaging and invites and such and the other didn't all in Japanese while Gamespy Tech sat there seeing it unfold
Japanese Gaming Dev Team 1: We want to be able to see our friends online, be able to message them, and see what they are playing

Americans: We can already do that with several games.

Both sides of the table: 10 minutes of yelling in Japanese

Japanese-English Translator(to Americans): Yes, we understand.
 

Vanillalite

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When he started talking about Monster Hunter it was hella funny, They didn't know WTF to do. They imported a copy of the game, but nobody could read all of the text.

They were over capacity on the servers so they were trying to borrow anything they could from anyone willing.

Just sounds like the ultimate OOOHH SHIITTTT moment! LOL
 
Jun 6, 2012
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Japanese Gaming Dev Team 1: We want to be able to see our friends online, be able to message them, and see what they are playing

Americans: We can already do that with several games.

Both sides of the table: 10 minutes of yelling in Japanese

Japanese-English Translator(to Americans): Yes, we understand.
That cracked me up when he talked about awkwardly saying, "Umm...well...our tech can do that already. But..."
 
Aug 16, 2012
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- Meeting with 2 separate Nintendo teams at once and having them go off for 10 mins arguing against each other cause one side wanted real online with names and messaging and invites and such and the other didn't all in Japanese while Gamespy Tech sat there seeing it unfold
Fuck that team that didn't want good online features. I would love to know what their argument was for having terrible online. It's crazy because we still don't have all of that stuff. Goddamnit.
 

Vanillalite

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Smash was the most puzzling. Todd acted like they had nothing to do with other than just running servers so when it actually came out the online code Nintendo did was just fucked. Plus no patching meant Gamespy couldn't try and fix it after the fact.
 

Vanillalite

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Sounds like the gray hairs in the company need to get flushed out and let the young guys take over. Some of their ideas are so archaic its embarrassing.
Even back in the day Todd talks about the initial 1st meetings. Some younger some older Nintendo people came to meet. Said the younger engineers got it while like the head dude just stay in the corner nodding off, but he was the dude that called the shots so you sort of had to placate.
 
Apr 1, 2013
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#29
And people wonder why Nintendo is in the situation they are in today. I can only imagine some the stories third party publishers and developers have dealing with Nintendo and their online infrastructure.
 

joseotero

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Dec 20, 2013
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Smash was the most puzzling. Todd acted like they had nothing to do with other than just running servers so when it actually came out the online code Nintendo did was just fucked. Plus no patching meant Gamespy couldn't try and fix it after the fact.
Hey man, can you fix the OP. This is pretty inaccurate:

Meeting with 2 separate Nintendo teams at once and having them go off for 10 mins arguing against each other cause one side wanted real online with names and messaging and invites and such and the other didn't all in Japanese while Gamespy Tech sat there seeing it unfold

Someone requested one friend code, not real names. The rest is right. Thanks for making a post.
 

Vanillalite

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Apr 14, 2008
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#34
Hey man, can you fix the OP. This is pretty inaccurate:

Meeting with 2 separate Nintendo teams at once and having them go off for 10 mins arguing against each other cause one side wanted real online with names and messaging and invites and such and the other didn't all in Japanese while Gamespy Tech sat there seeing it unfold

Someone requested one friend code, not real names. The rest is right. Thanks for making a post.
Fixed. Jose!

So, is Nintendo completely out of their minds or what?
No. Definitely feels like old guard new guard issues. So that wouldn't be Nintendo as a whole.
 
Aug 16, 2012
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#37
Iwata himself effectively said during the Gamecube era that online gaming was a fad and a waste of money.
Yeah, but when they finally decided to have online with the Wii and DS why would they purposefully leave out features that were already available to them? Even if they thought that it was a fad (which they clearly didn't at this point), I just don't understand why they would purposefully butcher their online experience.
 
Aug 9, 2013
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#38
Japanese Gaming Dev Team 1: We want to be able to see our friends online, be able to message them, and see what they are playing

Americans: We can already do that with several games.

Both sides of the table: 10 minutes of yelling in Japanese

Japanese-English Translator(to Americans): Yes, we understand.
Lol. This is how I picture it too.
 
Apr 15, 2011
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#39
Iwata himself effectively said during the Gamecube era that online gaming was a fad and a waste of money.
I do wonder if he was right in a sense though. Not so much that online gaming period was a fad, but that everything would gravitate around a few tentpole games and everything else would just dissipate and be irrelevant, there have been quite a few games with unnecessary online tacked on and quickly abandoned afterall.

Though a huge part of that problem is Nintendo by all rights has some of those tentpole games, so it's not something they should have been blowing off at all. games like Mario Kart and Smash Bros can undoubtedly have great long term playing with the right support, and it did sound like you could find games for most of the WFC's lifetime.
 
Oct 28, 2013
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#41
Yeah, but when they finally decided to have online with the Wii and DS why would they purposefully leave out features that were already available to them? Even if they thought that it was a fad (which they clearly didn't at this point), I just don't understand why they would purposefully butcher their online experience.
Why stop with the Wii and DS? The Wii U and 3DS still lack the systems and infrastructure which became standard on consoles 8 years ago.

Iwata said:
I think that what we see in terms of online gaming networks on existing dedicated gaming platforms is not particularly well suited to the approach Nintendo has taken.
http://nintendoeverything.com/iwata...h-miiverse-is-one-new-direction-for-nintendo/
 
Jul 7, 2010
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#43
No. Definitely feels like old guard new guard issues. So that wouldn't be Nintendo as a whole.
I don't know about that. Todd's story about the awkward meeting with all the yelling made mentioned that it was the game development teams yelling at the internal WiFi Connection team. So it's more like game developers vs. hardware/infrastructure developers, which, I don't know, seems like a more serious problem.
 
Dec 2, 2012
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#44
@Eli: Because dinosaurs rule.
At least the 3ds (even though it's convoluted) and the Wii U can accept patches for individual games now. So were aren't stuck with borked online and no possible way to fix things.
On the 3DS developers can even set up an ingame patch system, as shown by Mario Golf: World Tour, so players don't have to go to the eShop to download the patch. It's very convenient.
 
Feb 18, 2013
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#45
Would it be so hard for Nintendo to embrace Western culture a bit more, embrace online like Steam, Live, PSN etc, actually work together with people from the outside looking in rather than what seems to be a bubble.

Nothing in gaming would please me more to see them give the others big competition in terms of online and hardware but they won't. Frustrating.
 
Jun 30, 2013
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#48
To me, Nintendo is one of the masters of the japanese ish "less is more" design philosophy. I think they were trying to carve a certain experience by limiting features. The old guys probably don't realize that the new guys got all that ying yang shit down man and we wanna catch up to the 21st century. Oh well, I think Nintendo is going to integrate nicely when they finally get their people straight
 
Nov 13, 2011
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#50
Iwata himself effectively said during the Gamecube era that online gaming was a fad and a waste of money.
This is actually not at all what he said. He is always misquoted. Here's an example of what he actually said:

"The profitable part of the online business is very likely several years away. Entering the business because it's the hot topic of the day doesn't make a profitable business nor satisfied customers, ... That's why it will be a part of Nintendo's strategy, not the mainstay, as other companies are attempting to do. There still are too many barriers for any company to greatly depend on it."
Mind you, this quote and others came from 2002 and 2003, and it's always about Iwata personally not feeling online is guaranteed to be the future of console gaming, but if it is, they'd be there when enough people are gaming online on consoles for them to see it as a viable means to do business. Essentially, they felt the market wasn't ready in 2002 and 2003 for a serious effort. You may disagree with this, but he certainly never referred to it as a fad or a waste of time / money.