Nintendo: Friend Codes Are Necessary For Certain Games

Nintendo: Friend Codes Are Necessary For Certain Games

Nintendo: Friend Codes Are Necessary For Certain GamesThe single friend code for the 3DS is a grand step forward for Nintendo – but for some it’s not far enough. Why not have unified friends lists like Xbox LIVE or the iPhone with Game Center? Well, according to Reggie Fils-Aime, the President of Nintendo of America, there are some very good reasons why Nintendo are persisting with this much maligned feature.

Apparently friend codes exist in order to control the amount of impact your friends can have on a game to game basis.

“The thing that we’ve learned,” claims Reggie, “is that there are some games that you want to battle head to head, but you don’t want to necessarily want that other player to have full access to the space. Probably the best example is something like ‘Animal Crossing.’

“We may want to trade items in ‘Animal Crossing,’ but do I really want the potential for you to come into my town and maybe disrupt it in some way? That’s what Friend Codes are all about. There are certain games where Friend Codes are important. There are other games where, because of the head to head nature of the gameplay, it really isn’t necessary.”

We understand this, to an extent – but surely Nintendo can come up with a more elegant solution? We don’t expect Nintendo to create a system like Minecraft where idiots can sneak up and set the dream shack you built with your bare hands on fire, then run away cackling demonically – but I’ve never had any such problems with a unified system like Xbox LIVE?

What do you guys think – are Nintendo being too conservative? Could they be doing more to foster online gaming on the 3DS?

Reggie Fils-Aime On Why Friend Codes Still Exist, What Happens If You Lose Your 3DS [MTV Multiplayer]


  • Methinks putting in all these complications just to get online to work with others at all isn’t the best way to deal with griefers. *shudder* I’m having flashbacks to the trouble I had to go to just to get friend tokens to work in Metroid Prime 3…. hoh boy that sucked…

  • I am not super computer type but what is the point of a DNS. As i understadn it a DNS server is a ‘thing’ that allows complicated IP addresses to be translated into names that we all know and love. Why can’t this just happen in the background if they are so attached to the system. I am far from a nintendo fanboy so i don’t even really understand the current problems but this excuse (lets face it it is an excuse) just seems valid about 20 years ago but not now??

    My issues with nintendo are exactly that, they released a few series 20 years ago (Mario, Zelda, DK, 007) and then just keep re-releasing the same stuff. I don’t mean to offend anyone who has grown up with this stuff and love it, just my view. It just seems like this is another example or having revolutionary tech (wii, 3DS) but just reheating old ideas from a gaming/software perspective.

    If PS3 and xbox have been doing this for years, there is just no excuse is there?

    PS. If this comment makes it feel like i have no idea what i am talking about, that is true. I was talking to a mate about it uyesterday so needed to vent that and this seemed like the place.

    You know i love you all (even Nintendo fanboys!)

    • I think when Ninty do it right they have managed to reinvent the classics.
      I think Mario Kart 64 was better than Super Mario Kart and I think Mario Kart DS is the best.

      Mario 64 was the first 3D platformer I actually liked. Ninty did a great job with that one.

      And then of course we can’t forget what they did with Ocarina of Time (even though I prefer Majora’s).

      Metroid Prime was a fantastic conversion of a 2D game into 3D, started to lose it’s appeal by Corruption. I haven’t even bothered with team ninja’s travesty.

      My point being for an outsider it must look really derivative. But when they did it well they did amazing.

      Funny this article is about freind codes.

  • I still don’t understand that, can’t they just y’know.. design the games so that other users can only have the desired impact on another users experience? Like everyone else does…???

  • I’ve thought of an elegant solution to the Animal Crossing problem, which still allows you to have an Xbox Live / Steam / etc-style friends list.

    I believe the issue is that with Xbox Live, if a mate of mine wants to join me then he/she simply has to hit the “Join Game” button when they’ve selected my name. This is an asymmetrical process, completely initiated and controlled by the foreign entity. But the solution is very very simple.

    Prompt: “Fenixius would like to visit your town! Would you like to let him in? (Y / N).”

    Solved. Problem completely fixed. The only issue is then teaching people basic internet safety; don’t accept random requests, don’t give out your details, etc. It’s all pretty simple stuff, so I don’t know why Nintendo didn’t want to deal with it.

  • I honestly think that this new solution Nintendo have could only be improved now by one way. When you add someone, they get notified of it . That’s about it.

    Nintendo now has 1 friend code, the persons code becomes a name when you add them so you don’t need to remember the code anymore, you can now see when your friends are online, what they’re playing and join them, no matter what game your in. This is a huge huge step over what the Wii and DS currently have. You don’t need to swap codes either when your in person, if you have Street Pass on you automatically swap codes.

    This is as good as a solution that you will ever get out of the Nintendo.

    The real problems that exist with the DSi and Wii still exist and are a greater problems that the systems have with online, purchases are still locked to the console and not to an account. You lose your 3DS, that’s it you’ve lost possibly 1000’s of dollars of DLC and/or games. There will be a way to transfer DSi games to the 3DS, but what about after that? Can you do it again? Can you swap it to another 3DS if you get a new colour or a 3DS Lite comes out?

    Least with the 3DS we don’t have to play over WEP anymore…

  • I’m just happy there’s one friend code – an ‘apply to all’ type option would be nice, but then again I don’t really use portable consoles for multiplayer gaming…


    “We don’t expect Nintendo to create a system like Minecraft where idiots can sneak up and set the dream shack you built with your bare hands on fire, then run away cackling demonically”

    This is my favourite part of Minecraft… DON’T YOU JUDGE ME!!

  • XBox and PS3 Friends Systems = Facebook. Easy, choose who gets what with a single menu, takes minimum effort.

    DS Friends Systems = Satan Reincarnate. Hard, choose who gets what with 50 menu’s (per game), takes half an hour to set up.

  • but who is it actually benefitting? All you need to do is implement invitation based requests. As seen in black ops, just allow the player to choose to make it impossible to join, open to invites or open to joining and invites. Its simple and saves a lot of hassle for the consumer

  • The only game I can think of that you could “disrupt” someones game is in Animal Crossing, anyway.

    Plus, I only add people I actually know, like my friends or cousins. If they disrupt my town, I’ll just disrupt them the next time I see them.


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