Wii U to offer a more “flexible” online system

Nintendo has never been known to employ a robust online service like Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network, but that is about to change when the company launches Wii U next year, according to Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime.

During an interview, Fils-Aime explained that the new online setup for the new system will be “a much more flexible system,” which will “allow the best approaches by independent publishers to come to bear.” In other words, Nintendo won’t be the one running the show, but rather the publishers themselves.

“Instead of a situation where a publisher has their own network and wants that to be the predominant platform, and having arguments with platform holders, we’re going to welcome that,” continued Fils-Aime. “We’re going to welcome that from the best and the brightest of the third party publishers.”

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata also had something to say about the Wii U’s new direction online: “What I have come to feel lately is that the idea of saying, ‘we are going to create this style of online structure and that we would like you, the developers, to fit into the online structure that we are creating’ is perhaps already out-of-date,” he said. A combined 80 million users of such services — Xbox Live and PSN — would probably beg to differ, so to say it’s “already out-of-date” might be pushing it a bit, but Nintendo has never been one for following standards anyway so Iwata’s point has been clearly made.

Wii U is scheduled to launch 2012, without a specific date set yet.