Online Multiplayer: Why Nintendo Gets It Right

Every platform has their own way of doing online, but how does Nintendo stand out?

Contributed by Allen Rivera

While online multiplayer has existed in different ways over the past 20 years or so, it’s only more recently really taken hold of the console market. Basically, if there’s a way to include online options in a game, the developer is going to take advantage of that fact. This can lead to things as small as sharing photos and high scores from Super Mario 3D World to something more grand like taking on opponents the world over in Mario Kart 8. And it’s in really digging into the latter’s online multiplayer that led me to thinking about something: Nintendo has really gotten it right in this field.

To be blunt, a big reason for my patting Nintendo on its back has to do with not being forced to pay any money to play online. Their competitors, as you may know, ask you to pay a monthly fee to take advantage of their online networks. And to be fair to both Sony and Microsoft, subscribing to their networks has some sweet perks, such as free game downloads. Also, they do have more titles (read: first-person shooters like Destiny) that make sense when it comes to playing online against or with other players.

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Aside from the online options being free, Nintendo also seems to know what it’s doing by cutting out the nonsense that can come with playing against strangers on the Internet. That nonsense, of course, typically comes in the manner of name-calling, harassment, and overall awful behavior. This is not always the case, as gamers apparently have started self-regulating themselves when it comes to bigotry, according to The Daily Mail. Still, there’s another way to cut that out of games, at least in a vocal sense, and it’s simply eliminating the need/use of voice chat. This obviously cannot be done across the board, because some titles require you to speak with others to take on the mission at hand. However, you can minimize its use by simply removing it from certain titles.

In doing this, it’s understandable that some would think that the online community would suffer. This doesn’t need to be the case, though, and it’s been proven elsewhere that communities can prosper through simpler means. All you need, really, is a good moderating staff to ensure that those who cross the line will be dealt with in a reasonable fashion. And if the staff is friendly, that can result in creating a more welcoming atmosphere for the players involved. This is evident in the community-centric approach of online platform betfair bingo, where players are encouraged to interact with the game’s host/moderator and other players. Considering you can find thousands of people playing on the site at any given time—several thousand as of this writing—you have to imagine they’re doing something right.

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The lack of voice chat on the Wii U may soon change, though. As noted by Nintendo Life, the superb Super Smash Bros. for Wii U could have options for actually talking to other players in the near future. Whether this will come about as an update or through downloadable content remains to be seen.

What do you think about Nintendo’s approach to online multiplayer? Do you feel they’re doing the right thing by keeping it simple or should they begin implementing voice chat in their games?

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David Oxford

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you're interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.