Nintendo's Friend Codes will continue to be a thing when the Wii U console launches later in 2012, but Nintendo of America bossman Reggie Fils-Aime insists that users will find the new system much easier to work with. While he wouldn't lay out any specific details for the new framework in his E3 2012 chat with Kotaku, he did confirm that the Wii U won't use "the existing friend code system."
"You will be able to identify people as friends and have a certain level of interaction vs. a different level of interaction for the more general population," he said. "The method by which you identify someone as a friend is a lot simpler than what's happening today with Friend Codes."
Fils-Aime also touched on a number of other topics during the chat. He re-confirmed what we already knew about the Wii U's lack of built-in hard drive, pointing to the on-board USB input ports for those who wish to add more storage. He also offered some explanation as to why the Wii U GamePad's touch screen won't support multitouch.
"When we went through the building of this and, given some of the functionality, we thought that single-touch was a more appropriate option, especially when you've got other button configurations," he explained. "Certainly there's a cost to it. Again, we envision this as a controller that you're putting in your hands and you're doing a two-screen experience. The concept of putting it in your lap to do multi-touch for us just feels unwieldy."
Having more features for developers to work with never hurts, but you can see the sense in what Fils-Aime is saying here. Multitouch is technically possible, sure, but is it really worth adding to the cost of what is already likely to be an expensive (and somewhat necessary) peripheral?