We received a tip from an EA intern with some very interesting information pertaining to the Wii U’s online system. Our source, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims that her information comes from a network engineer whom she is friends with. As with all news from anonymous sources, it’s difficult to determine its authenticity. But what we received sounds plausible and even explains Peter Moore’s relentless excitement for the Wii U.
It’s no secret that EA are helping Nintendo develop the Wii U’s online service. It will allegedly offer voice- and video-chatting support, leaderboards, and detailed friend lists that tell you who’s online and what they’re playing. The service aims to offer greater flexibility to publishers than Xbox Live, and EA .
From our source:
Many publishers are happy with Xbox Live’s features, but they aren’t happy with how strict Microsoft’s guidelines are. Nintendo went with an open flexible approach with online because when Nintendo asked developers/publishers what they wanted in an online service, that was the number one thing they asked for.
But interestingly, EA are supposedly in talks with Nintendo to try and make Origin, their digital games distribution platform, a key element of Nintendo’s online strategy, too. EA would have the chance to bring Origin to the console space and win many new users while Nintendo see it “as an opportunity to rebuild relationships with Western gamers because they feel that only a massive western company such as EA nderstands what is needed to make an online service attractive to western gamers.”
According to our source, EA isn’t the only company looking into bringing its digital distribution platform to the Wii U – Valve, too, are interested in getting Steam onto it. But EA are “aggressively persuading Nintendo to go Origin-exclusive with Wii U’s online so they can gain a competitive advantage over Steam.”#
Our informant doesn’t know how Origin on the Wii U will differ from Origin on the PC, if at all. But if these talks about making it a fundamental part of the Wii U are really happening, it’s no surprise that Peter Moore is one of the most enthused Wii U developers out there.