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The Nintendo Switch won’t use friend codes, Nintendo confirms

by Eric Frederiksen | January 17, 2017

One of the biggest changes coming from Nintendo alongside the Switch is an attempt to modernize their multiplayer network. While Sony and Microsoft have been building their networks up with tens of millions of players, free games, and countless subscription-justifying features, Nintendo’s played a different game altogether. One of the most frustrating parts of the Nintendo network is going away with the Switch, though; those infernal friend codes.

“People have taken shots at us for [our online infrastructure],” said Reggie Fils-Aime in an interview with CNET. Lots of changes are coming. As part of that, Fils-Aime confirmed that friend codes are not part of the equation.

“There are no friend codes within what we’re doing,” Fils-Aime said. Simple as that.

A big step forward

The network, which will be free at first but switch to a pay format this fall, will also be getting things like multiplayer lobbies, voice chat, and a monthly game download. The multiplayer gameplay, though, is the primary feature, and taking friend codes out of the mix is a big step forward.

In the past, friend codes were an effort by Nintendo to join the online multiplayer trend while still keeping the children they like to focus on as their preferred audience safe. In that way, friend codes are admirable, but imperfect and, ultimately, frustrating for those who typically spend the most on Nintendo’s systems – core gamers.

Details about the network are still forthcoming, including what price Nintendo expects to fetch for the monthly subscription once the paywall does turn on this fall, but we expect to learn more closer to the Nintendo Switch launch on March 3.

CNET

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Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...