Did Nintendo just trump Xbox Live?

225_friend-code-1.jpgThe Mii-specific Friend Code news from today has, expectedly, brought the panic prone and rumor mongering hordes of the Interwebs to a tizzy. I realize I’ve posted on it already today, but new information has surfaced that required I revisit the topic with some topical freshness.

Basically, a commenter named Ken over at Joystiq said this:

Basically when you get on Strikers, lets so you choose the Mii named: Kevin. The name Kevin will show up, and has a friend code directly linked to that Mii. It never changes, unless you delete that Mii. Now if you load up Super Smash Bros, and you select the Kevin Mii; It will have the same friend code linked to it, and will have the stats from your Strikers game linked to it as well. But if you log into Strikers with a Mii named: Sarah; The friend code is different from Kevin and will have a fresh profile.

Pretty similar to what Live has. (Except you can’t have two different Live accounts, without paying for it).

Suddenly the reason for the obscene number of digits in Wii Friend Codes becomes clear. With each console capable of housing 100 Mii’s, each with their own code, there needed to be several trillion possibilities for the system to work properly. In effect, each Wii console is now sitting on 100 different gamertags that can be deleted and created at will. You and your friends and family now have access to a plethora of “gamertags”on one system, each cataloging and logging your stats and achievements independently of the other Mii’s on the system. In theory anyway.

In one fell swoop, Nintendo has played at least part of its hand with the Mii Channel, showing it to be much more than just the quirky character creator the “gaming press” — and many others — all too eagerly made it out to be in the weeks following the Wii launch. It’s more than just a Wenis-creater — it’s a gamertag system on steroids. For free. And for everyone in the household. Or neighborhood. Or whatever.

Sure, Xbox Live still has an extremely easy to use system, but does anyone honestly see it being adopted on a massive scale? Currently 6 million people subscribe to Live. Does that number constitute a large amount of people? It is a large amount of Xbox 360 owners, for sure, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not many at all — especially when an entire country, Japan, buys only a handful of 360’s a week. Nintendo’s system, while burdened with these supposedly tedious Friend Codes, has much more potential with a mass audience. More people means more money, which means more attention, which means more developers which means more games. Simple.

But, you’ll still have to enter those damn codes to play your friends. Nothing’s perfect 😉 <Rant>Then again, anyone here ever dial a phone number and then save it into a cell phone? Do you complain about it? No? Then shut the hell up about Friend Codes. </rant>