Friend codes. Nintendo's self-imposed restriction on online gaming has been a burden to many who want to play with their friends without having to share a different 12-digit friend code for every game. When the Wii was revealed to have a console-specific friend code, we thought Nintendo had somewhat listened to the community's grumblings. When Pokemon Battle Revolution, the first online Wii title, launched in Japan with friend codes, we realized the folly of our optimism.
Square Enix's Senior Vice President Hiromichi Tanaka empathizes, highlighting the friend code system as the primary reason they haven't brought an online game like Final Fantasy XI onto the console. In an interview with Cubed's Adam Riley, Tanaka reveals that the RPG powerhouse is now in negotiations with Nintendo about "resolving this point of contention." A publisher of Square Enix's magnitude does not necessarily guarantee Nintendo will listen, but perhaps Nintendo will ease off or at least allow exceptions for some titles.
Then again, Final Fantasy XI on the Wii would surely be profitable even if gamers were required to enter over 300,000 12-digit codes to fully experience the world. That's how much, we suspect, Wii owners our clamoring for Nintendo to join the rest its brethren in this generation.
[Update 1: As White Rose Duelist and others have pointed out, Pokemon Battle Revolution's extra friend code might be an exception and not a rule, and Elebits is a cited example where one can exchange in-game pictures with Wii friends. However, as we do not have any other details from impending online games, and Nintendo has not readily clarified, we're just not sure.]