|Mr Khan said:
Where's the option for "pure shi"- oh. Second from the bottom.
Would be a crowning moment of cluelessness for the 21st century thus far of they do that. Despite the fact that it hasn't really hurt them saleswise, the din generated against friend codes has been downright deafening
Conceptually, friend codes are not a bad idea and offer certain advantages over other systems but the implementation was poor; potentially because they were limited because they didn't have a centralized online service across all games. Now this might seem like a small problem, but it probably took Microsoft and Sony 5 (or more) years to implement their centralized online services; and if Nintendo waited until 2004 or 2006 to consider a service like this, it would be (nearly) impossible to implement a system like this for the Wii.
From what I understand, many of the limitations are hardwired into the hardware. The 42 mb limit on WiiWare titles, for instance, can't be done away with at all.
Of course, the funniest thing for me is that playing online games against random strangers is easier than playing those same games with your friends.
Didn't XBox Live Arcade initially have a 50mb limit? Besides that, when you're dealing with the kinds of games that WiiWare (and XBox Live Arcade) seem best suited to, you probably wouldn't need much more than 50MB of space ... With that said, I don't think limitations to online gameplay had anything to do with hardware; and they would almost certainly be software and service based limitations.
On a tangent, one thing which I would like to see a one of these console manufacturers do (but I wouldn't expect to see) is to do create a service conceptually similar to folding@home where a person could put a client on their system and allow it to be used as a dedicated server when they weren't using it. Being that most people use their system less than 5% of the time, and a single dedicated server could host up to 32 different users, only a small percentage of the userbase has to agree to load the node software on their system to provide a high quality free online service.
The only real problem is that each piece of server software would have to be (somewhat) small being that these nodes would have to download the software based on demand from users to play a particular game (or game mode).