All signs are pointing toward Nintendo doing the inconceivable and rolling out an online strategy for the Wii that is identical to the one they had for the DS. Blogger “Falafelkid” posted the results of a series of e-mails between himself and a PR representative from Edelman speaking on behalf of GameSpy:
Falafelkid: Just one last question to make absolutely sure I have got this right, please. If I have a friend roster in one game, that roster will not be available to me in any other game. I have to build up an entirely new list for each title, right?
GameSpy: The answer to your question is yes, for the Wii friend lists are game specific.
This is already the case with Japan’s PokÃ©mon Battle Revolution, and it looks like more of the same is on the way. Assuming everything above pans out as detailed, Nintendo stands to alienate and disillusion a huge percentage of their fanbase (especially the recently-indoctrinated) with their inefficiency at providing a service around which the Wii itself is largely based – WiiConnect24, “Always on, always online,” et al.
For Nintendo to doggedly approach online gaming in this manner is inexcusable for a next-gen console manufacturer. Let’s hope the backlash from the official announcement of this issue will help to convince them of that.