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Nintendo Switch ditches friend codes, world celebrates

One of the most disliked features in gaming history is no more. Well, at least on Switch.

Nintendo has confirmed that its upcoming console/handheld hybrid will do away with the intensely disliked friend code system for online multiplayer gaming.


Nintendo of America’s Reggie Fils-Aime told CNET that it has no plans to include the tedious 12-number ID system, which forced players to input long numbers in order to find and communicate with friends online.

“There are no friend codes in what we’re doing,” Fils-Aime said.

Strangely, CNET mentions that connecting with other players will be “case-by-case”, whatever that means, but we have to assume it’ll factor in the smartphone compatibility, with which Nintendo is making to streamline in-game communication.


The Regginator also spoke briefly about the Switch’s paid online service, which has generated somewhat of a divided response from the gaming community.

The service will launch for free alongside the console, but will eventually come at a cost once the trial period ends (and Nintendo works out all of the kinks).

“The reality is,” Fils-Aime explained, “the way that online experiences have progressed, it’s an expensive proposition. The amount of servers we need to support Smash Brothers or Mario Kart — these big multiplayer games — is not a small investment.”


The good news is that, although you’ll have to pay to play online for the first time ever on a Nintendo platform, you’ll get a free NES or SNES game each month.

However, in typical Nintendo fashion with its strange caveats, players will need to pay for the game once the month is over if they want to continue playing.

The gaming giant lifted the lid off its new console last week, before hands-on press sessions over the weekend. While I’ve had my issues with the Switch’s price, I came to like the hardware for what it is.

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