Nintendo Against Online Gaming

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Sega ushered in the era of online consoles in 1999 with the Dreamcast, which had a modem in every system. Within a few years, Sony and Microsoft had added online gaming to the PS2 and Xbox, because they knew the industry was going online and there would be no going back.

Nintendo, on the other hand, was unconvinced. It shipped broadband and dial-up modem attachments for the GameCube, but the only games that used them for online play here were poor Sega's Phantasy Star Online titles.

Background

In 2004, when asked about the company's clear indifference to online gaming, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata explained that "customers do not want online games." In a series of impressively short-sighted statements, Iwata said customers wouldn't be willing to pay for Internet service, getting online was too difficult, online games didn't crack the charts, and enthusiasm for online gaming was fading.

While there wasn't one definitive moment of pride-swallowing where Iwata recanted his insular statements and pledged fealty to the online gods, every 3DS or Wii U that connects to the Internet, every Monster Hunter release to pad the bottom line, every social feature on the Wii U, and every system update is an admission of how stunningly wrong the company was.

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