The Nintendo Switch is a great console, just look at its sales and say it’s fundamentally bad. But there’s one glaring issue with the console, or rather, with Nintendo in general. The company doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to providing players with quality online services. Multiplayer experiences in Nintendo games are often a mixed bag, with some being just fine, and others being Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. However, that could all be changing very soon. According to a data miner, Nintendo is preparing to replace its multiplayer server system.
Nintendo’s current multiplayer server system, called NEX, has been used since the Wii U came out. However, it’s much, much older than that, with a service record stretching back 18 years. OatmealDome, the data miner, pointed out that this dated system includes a function for Splatoon 2 that checks if it’s running on Windows 98.
Nintendo is preparing a big multiplayer overhaul, probably for games in development in 2020: every task currently taken by NEX is going to be switched over to NPLN. It's currently in a preview phase, and the Monster Hunter demo was a way to test how it worked under load.— Thomas (@thomasnet_mc) February 1, 2021
The next iteration of Nintendo’s multiplayer system will be called NPLN. According to thomasnet_mc on Twitter, a developer, NPLN is “currently in a preview phase,” and was recently employed in the Monster Hunter Rise demo. In a thread, Thomas details the technical changes that will come with Nintendo’s switch from NEX to NPLN. While it’s jargon-heavy, one thing is clear — if everything goes right and Nintendo uses all the tools that will be at its disposal, this switch could be a huge improvement. NAT and latency issues in Nintendo titles could soon be a thing of the past.
For now, Nintendo’s apparent goal is to make the transition as seamless as possible. If all goes well, players won’t even notice that anything’s changed. That is, until the quality of multiplayer games improves. In the meantime, we’ll just have to wait for Nintendo to completely roll out NPLN.
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