Le sigh. For years now, Nintendo's online efforts have quite clearly lagged behind those of Sony and Microsoft, both of which have placed a priority on nailing online multiplayer and making it part of the draw for prospective buyers. Xbox LIVE is a entire universe of online goodies, and it's the exception rather than the rule to see a major title launch on the 360 sans online play; in many ways, Sony sings a similar tune. Nintendo, meanwhile, seems to keep online play on the back burner, occasionally throwing it in where it's easy enough to add but never really going out of its way to make sure the latest AAA title will allow Bobby and Jacky to play from across the street. During an investors meeting last week at E3, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata confessed that he's "not currently satisfied with the online efforts that we have made so far," and that the Big N is "working at ways to improve those." In an episode of corporate double-speak to end all corporate double-speak, he followed up with this gem: "On the other hand, I do not think that online functionality is something that we should be devoting resources to for every single product." Seriously, Iwata? You can't think of a single reason why the next installment of Balls of Fury could benefit from online support? For shame.

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