If word from an anonymous developer is to be believed, the executives running Nintendo are worryingly out of touch with what's going on in the wider world of console gaming.
As part of Eurogamer's Secret Developer's Foundry series, an unnamed dev who the site refers to as "a respected third-party creator" gives a very frank account of discussions with Nintendo about the Wii U's online infrastructure. It was damning in that it seemed to indicate obliviousness to what the leaders in the area - Microsoft and Sony - are doing.
“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 says.
“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?”
There's a lot more in the original piece. You can find it here