Reggie Says: No VC for DSi, Friend Codes Here to Stay

In a recent Interview with Wired, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime admitted there are no current plans to make classic Gameboy, GB Color, or GBA games available through the DSiWare download service:

…we don’t want to see is a game that is available on a number of other platforms, either mobile or home, nor do we want to see games that don’t take advantage of the unique capabilities of the DS. So bringing back classic Game Boy games, for example, would not be something you’d want to see.

Fils-Aime: The concept of Virtual Console on DSi is not something that we’ve talked about, nothing that we’ve commented on. I know it’s something many of your readers would like to see, but it’s not something that we’ve talked about.

Interviews with Reggie always leave me unsure.  He uses back-to-back phrases that cause one to down their meanings – does “not something we’ve talked about” mean internally, or like the followup “nothing we’ve commented on” phrase reclassify it as something they may have considered, but simply haven’t announced yet?

Fils-Aime also commented on Friend Codes, and why Nintendo wants to keep them around…

Fils-Aime: Friend codes are about making sure, in a connected experience, that a consumer has a great experience. What we mean by that is that when you’re playing with a friend, you are provided full functionality with the WiiSpeak microphone, you can talk to your friend, or in a game like Animal Crossing you can invite friends into your town ’ but there’s a recognition that for players that you don’t know, what we don’t want is a situation where either consumer is having a negative experience. The trash-talking that happens now online is a prime example. For us, friend codes are about making sure that the consumer has a great, positive, connected experience.

User-generated content, in my view, is something very different, where we have always been about allowing the consumer to create some content and post it for the world to see. The “Check Mii Out” channel is a prime example of that. So I really view friend codes and what we’re trying to do with user-generated content as being very different, and going against very different objectives.

Once again, maintaining a “positive experience” wins in the battle between safe but limited online interactions and “risky” but potentially unlimited online community building.  Thoughts on friend codes vary greatly – and Nintendo is right – forcing prior recognition does ensure a safe and positive environment with no unexpected surprises – but as many have complained it also limits how much online interaction is possible and eliminates the possibility of fun, unexpected surprises.  Additionally, painting “Check Mii Out” as the Wii’s champion of user generated content paints bleak future for fan-made fun on the Wii.

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