Nintendo's Top 5 "To Do"

Article: The features we need in 2008

To be fair, Nintendo had a pretty easy 2007. It rode the crest of an unstoppable wave, pushed on by the momentum of a mammoth marketing campaign that brought gaming to our mums and dads. 2008, however, could be a different story...

From the online modes to the battery life right through to the much-hated Friend Codes, Nintendo has a long way to go before making Wii as intuitive and accessible as its marketing campaigns suggest. For a start our parents wouldn't have a clue, but maybe that's just ours.

Because we love Wii, we'd thought we'd give Nintendo a little push in the right direction and suggest five things that need to be done in 2008.

Friend's Codes

The debate is over, Nintendo. The Friend's Codes need to go, or at least be revamped. Giving someone a twelve digit number is laborious. Giving them an email address isn't.

Nintendo's reasoning all along has been the safety of children and that's admirable. But aside from making it almost impossible to share your Friend's Code with anyone, we fail to see how it protects children more than say, assigning an email address to each console.

In addition, the restrictions on adding friends need to be lifted. It shouldn't take two people, each with each others Friend's Code, to link two Wii's together. If my friend inputs my Friend's Code, I should be able to accept or decline his friendship over WFC. I shouldn't need to add his Friend's Code in to get it all to work.

Rechargeable Wii Remotes

An official rechargeable battery for Wii Remotes needs to be in the offering in 2008. Last year, Nintendo forced us to increase our carbon footprints by adding to landfills and swipe AA batteries from friends when they weren't looking. Third-parties released alternative solutions that, unfortunately, had a tendency to heat up, forcing owners to either tempt fate with dodgy unofficial peripherals or hand over a fiver every time they entered a newsagent.

Buying disposable batteries feels a bit dirty, in the same way that still smoking after the ban does. You can almost feel the cashier eyeing you with contempt, as if you plan to infect his precious planet with your environmentally unfriendly gaming.

No wonder Greenpeace isn't happy with Nintendo. As much as we hate to veer towards territory even further left than The Guardian, it's time for Nintendo to go green, and save our wallets in the process.

DS Connectivity

Remember 2003's E3? When Sony was talking about the PSP and Microsoft was talking Halo 2 and the future was all about digital entertainment solutions? Remember Nintendo talking about connecting a GameBoy Advance to a GameCube via a cable?

Nintendo must have spent millions experimenting with connectivity, and the obsession with the subject baffled us a little. But with the coming of wireless broadband, Nintendo's intuition about its importance seemed right on the money.

But this makes it doubly frustrating that Nintendo appears to be shying away from the idea. Sure, Iwata recently talked about moving beyond gaming with the DS and experiments have taken place with Baseball matches in Seattle, but it all seems like the whimsical experimenting of the R&D department, rather than real progress.

DS connectivity and the mass-market penetration of the Wii provide Nintendo with the unique opportunity to change the way portable devices work. A Nintendo DS game card can only store up to 256MB, which is nothing in terms of a broadband download.

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