Nintendo Wasn\’t Too Sure About Online With Wii Sports Club

Developing online play for Nintendo’s upcoming Wii Sports Club on the Wii U was no cakewalk as it was revealed in a recent Iwata Asks session.  The developers knew right away that online capability was a necessity for play on the Wii U.  The guinea pig for the online test? Tennis.  The development team noticed that the more people wanted to play online the more enthusiasm and energy was given to them to make the experience more fun.  A lot of trial and error tennis matches were played to fine tune the play between online competitors.

\”In a typical online game, the information of the button presses are sent to your opponent, and the inputs are synchronized between the players, \” said Takayuki Shimamura from Nintendo’s entertainment and analysis department.

This was no easy task as Shimamura pointed out that the task involved sending complex information straight from the gyro sensor and accelerometer of the the Wii Remote Plus Controllers along with information from the individual buttons being pushed on the controllers.  Things were a little unnerving at first and the team even ran the idea by Namco Bandai for some help and input for collaboration on the game.

An idea was finally put into place, in part, to an idea that was suggested by a communications programmer at Namco Bandai.  Then came along a name change via a suggestion from Mr. Iwata who said they should put Miiverse to \”good use\” and so Wii Sports U transformed into Wii Sports Club.  The idea at first seemed risky because of the way people may portray themselves as poor sports or sore losers writing things such as, \”Yay! I Won!\” or \”I\’m so frustrated I lost.\”

\”We were concerned that Miiverse would become a cruel place.  We also thought many people who play Wii Sports would have never played competitive games online,\” said Shimamura.

So, that’s where the idea came in to group players by regions, states, provinces, and prefectures because everyone has their own hometown or place where they hang out and play and so that hub will signify the \”club\” in their area.  With different \”clubs\” all over the world it makes it easier for these clubs to compete as a unified whole.

Wii Sports Club is set to launch on November 7 as a download title for Wii U in North America and Europe.

What do you think of the online \”club\” competition mentality? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.




Tom Stovall