A Nintendo leak has finally revealed why the Japanese company decides to use their clunky friend code system instead of bespoke user names.
Instead of using usernames like literally every single one of their contemporary competitors, Nintendo systems use 12-digit codes to add your friends. They’re not memorable, they’re awful and we’ve been complaining about them since 2006.
Nevertheless, Nintendo has used the friend code system on every one of their consoles since the Wii. We wish they would just stop, but a leaked Nintendo presentation has revealed that they are very stuck in their ways. The leaked presentation tells us that Nintendo believes their 12-digit friend codes are used because normal display names are more confusing.
“At first there were opinions that instead of 12-digit numbers, a freely chosen screen name would be better,” says the leaked presentation slide.
“There is a high probability of duplicate screen names,” the presentation continues. “When this happens, multiple reentries are required. (Conflicts with the “Simple” principle. It’s possible to guess someone’s screen name by trying different variations of their actual name. (Conflicts with the “Comfortable” principle.)”
As part of that Nintendo leak, an internal powerpoint was found that spells out the reasons they went for friend codes. Apparently they thought signing up for screen names would be too confusing for the audience, and they would be frustrated if they didn't get the ones they want. pic.twitter.com/LWzM0BRhIb
— Imran Khan (@imranzomg) May 4, 2020
It doesn’t make sense, but this is also another example of Nintendo just being Nintendo. Thankfully, friend codes are only on Nintendo systems.