Pikmin 3 skips online multiplayer over technical issues

Shigeru Miyamoto says having numerous small creatures onscreen at once would present problems when syncing up over an Internet connection.

Nintendo's just-announced Pikmin 3 will not offer online multiplayer due to technical issues, designer Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed to IGN. He explained that having numerous Pikmin creatures onscreen at once (players will have up to 100 to control) would create complications too extreme to work over the Internet.

Too many Pikmin can be a problem, Miyamoto says.

In explaining the reasoning to not include online multiplayer for Pikmin 3, Miyamoto said that what worked in Mario Kart would not work with the new real-time strategy game.

"So in the case of Mario Kart, we did have online multiplayer, and that's something that...You have to be very careful that you don't drop frames as you're trying to sync up with other players over what could be a very great physical distance, over the Internet," he said. "But in the situation of Pikmin, for example, since you would have lots of individual, small creatures, the Pikmin, whose every movement and location is going to be really important in the game, it would be very difficult to sync up over an Internet connection."

Pikmin 3 for the Wii U was announced during Nintendo's 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo briefing last week. It is a direct sequel to 2004's GameCube title Pikmin 2 and introduces new features like a Rock Pikmin, which can be used to destroy hard objects. The game is fully playable with just the Wii U GamePad, but can also be directed with a Wii MotionPlus controller.

For more on Pikmin 3, check out GameSpot's preview from E3 2012.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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73 comments
stratfender89
stratfender89

All I can see is strings on Shigeru Miyamoto's hands and feet. He is a puppet. Too many Pikman creating an unstable internet connection is a lame excuse. Most RTS games exceed 100 units easily and do not have lag. Nintendo is using him as a way to appease Nintendo fans who'd be furious that their game doesn't have online.  Instead we should be demanding more from our games and developers.

da_chub
da_chub

well, i have been playing starcraft online for years, and you could potentionally have 1600 zerglings running around at any given time.  Not that im complaining about pikmin 3,( since i bought #2 a couple weeks ago and been playing it nonstop in my Wii since, and i enjoy it despit being single player), but what kind of excuse is that really?  I will be getting pikmin 3 day 1 with my WiiU purchase not matter if its worse graphically then ps3 just because i cant play mario, zelda, pikmin, dk, metroid on anything but a nintendo.

4quarters
4quarters

And what's with the wierd N64 type "blurry" graphics....not the best HD ever...

eastley000
eastley000

I'm disappointed yes... but that doesn't change the fact that i'm still going to be definitely picking this game up as soon as I finally cave in and buy a Wii U (which will happen eventually... I like Zelda and Mario too much to skip out on Nintendo's next console). Still, Pikmin really does seem to be more of a single-player fit experience compared to similar strategy games on the PC, and so I don't think i'm really going to miss online at all. I'm still really looking forward to this Nintendo!

jackroussel
jackroussel

It's not nintendo's fault that the internet is not fast enough to support their pikmin, but when games have an online feature, I hardly ever use it anyway. That's because I'm too busy playing single player.

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

How exactly would this function in multi-player anyway?

digi-demon
digi-demon

Don't bash Nintendo because of inadequate internet speeds - many online games can still struggle with large numbers of players - loads of Pikmin running about on screen would be too much for most systems to handle 'smoothly' online

FrogDude14
FrogDude14

A disappointment. But I really didn't expect any different from Nintendo. Odds are they're going to do this for the majority of the Wii U's games. But I don't really care in this case, since single player is what makes Pikmin so great.

Superman_legend
Superman_legend

I love Nintendo first party games as much as the next guy but defending Nintendo for every limitation or failure on there part will never make them better. Imagine if they could make simple things work like online play, use better hardware, and decent online social system with their creativity how far would they go. Wii U limitation are showing right from the start on something that's not really innovate (a tablet). 

Superman_legend
Superman_legend

Doesn't really matter to me but it does again show Wii U limitation by going with a cheaper GPU and other parts. The tablet isn't multi-touch either. Even more scary is its a 1st party game which shows they are even limiting themselves with what they envisioned. Yes making a cheaper console results in more hardware sales but not game sales overall. I feel they should make a Wii Casual and Wii Hardcore lol. 

craigprime
craigprime

Not much comment is needed. Whiners are idiots.

Rennar
Rennar

Seriously peopel? You're complaining about the lack of online multiplayer in a Pikmin game? It's an amazing game by itself, and multiplayer in it makes about as much sense as having multiplayer in Bioshock 2.

Mayleene
Mayleene

Heck, it's busy enough as it is with the 100 pikim as it is.  Also, how would you tell which Pikmin are yours?

 

Some of y'all need a Whaaaaaaaambulance.

Minamo
Minamo

Looks like I'll be skipping the Wii U over technical issues.

Flint247
Flint247

I can understand technical issues, but I do know there could have been another way around this. However, I will not be mad because Pikmin will do fine on its own in offline play. Maybe they could substitute the online with downloadable levels and characters.

omegaslash14
omegaslash14

Holy crap the amount of stupidity is staggering.  

 

people are really crying about some crappy ass tacked on mode not being in the game? really? Pikmin was always about the SP experience, ninteno not delaying the game to throw in some s***** mode is a good move.

xcollector
xcollector

I would believe Miyamoto if he admitted that he doesn't like online. This is just Nintendo taking short cuts again. Remember Mario Bros. Wii and how the 4th player character is a copy of the 3rd instead of creating a new character? PC RTSs had online multiplayer before Pikmin even existed. I'm more disappointed about the limit of 100 Pikmin on the field. 

NettoSaito
NettoSaito

Every PC RTS released in the past 20 years says hi.

-The-G-Man-
-The-G-Man-

while this should probably be read more as "it'll take too long" rather than "it can't be done", i'm alright giving up the multiplayer mode in this to have the game at launch. after all, it's Pikmin. Star Fox 64 3D had no excuse

4quarters
4quarters

WiiU = FAIL

 

While Pikmin looks fun, the Pikmin look "pasted" on the screen, the graphics are weird HD similar to N64 blur, only ZombieU impressed me and that could easily be done on PS3/360, not exactly next gen......wow all launch games 720p.......um how many are 1080p and 3D like my PS3 and some on 360? Just saying....

ToTs_00
ToTs_00

Who know maybe there won't be any sort of multiplayer in the game at all.

SolidTy
SolidTy

I not only believe that Pikmin 3 can be done, I think this is a matter of having this game at launch that's holding it up. Afterall, 1998's Starcraft had 400 enemies or more in any given game (that's just two players). There were even more if you were playing a 4 player match (800), etc.

 

Nintendo's not really well known to handle online, and of course, this is a launch window title needed for Wii U, so somethings have to give.

 

I also read all Nintendo titles at launch will be 720p.

krazken
krazken

I would say this probably has less to do with the hardware limitations and more to do with the fact that Japanese developers don't really care much about online features.

pszone
pszone

Well people saying that nindendo Will U powerful than xbox360 and ps3 well thats not true look they cant even get online working. No price no online working well done nindendo. If i was in charge ill make sure this gets online because i think it will work. No online no sale.

thom_maytees
thom_maytees

It is nice to hear reasons why certain things are included or excluded in a game, and I appreciate developers who are wise to remove features if they affect gameplay or cause technical issues. Perhaps when technology advances to where technical issues would be a non-issue will Nintendo reconsider online multiplayer in a Pikmin game.

Rovelius
Rovelius

They haven't denied local multiplayer yet, though.

GalvatronType_R
GalvatronType_R

This has less to do with number of Pikmin on screen and more to do with Nintendo still hasn't fully formed their online strategy... a few months from WiiU release.  Think about that.

R2BDSi
R2BDSi

Mag would like to say "Hello"

Try a better excuse Mr Miyamoto ;)

daabulls23
daabulls23

Total War games have no problems with thousands of units.

supermoogle
supermoogle

Age of Empires had the same problem in 2001 and they solved it with a minimum required connection of 28.8.  Not being able to do it today is just poor design and programming.

maximumbarmage
maximumbarmage

His excuses are transparent.  Likely it's because Nintendo are still trying to work out how to put together the "Nintendo Network" so it can function as people have a right to expect it to when online multiplayer is very much a standard feature of games on other consoles, as it's going to have to be on the Wii U if Nintendo want to be taken seriously.

 

Releasing a console with gimped online functions nowadays is a surefire way to fail... as if the Wii U wasn't already working against some serious deal breaking drawbacks.

TCMOREIRA
TCMOREIRA

People.... Do not underestimate Nintendo... They know that they're doing....

LastRambo341
LastRambo341

Who was planning to play this online anyways? :?

VampireLord123
VampireLord123

What he is trying to say that multiplayer is not neccesary in this games becuase is going to be freaking awesome.

deathblow3
deathblow3

bull sht i got one word for you overlord. this game did it twice and i never had a problem with its online. i guess this means your a crappy programer that has good ideas because this is do-able. what a let down.

catsimboy
catsimboy

So then limit the online multiplayer to smaller amounts of Pikmin. Like elite squads of 25 Pikmin who are tougher than regular Pikmin. I'm sure they could've easily found a way to make that kind of thing fun.

bobbo888
bobbo888

I don't understand, since when is having over 100 units to control a big deal? PLENTY of games have easily surpassed that amount with flying colors on console and PC. This is a big fail for Nintendo... not that they've ever been big on online multi-player anyways. It's a shame, some of their games are so good; the addition of online multi-player would add so much replay value. I can only assume that this is going to be the case for most of the games they come out with this up coming generation. Still waiting for the open world pokemon mmo. The fact that that game still hasn't even been announced is enough cause for concern about my future purchases with Nintendo.

4quarters
4quarters

 @jackroussel

 lol, MAG on PS3 handled 256 individuals online in a shooter, that's thousands of bullets moving over 256 connections at the same time....prettty sure they could handle a few hundred Pikmin at once....don't defend Nintendo's weaknesses....online

eastley000
eastley000

 @4quarters Just so you know... On your PS3/Xbox 360 most games render at a max resolution of 720p or in many cases even lower (there is a very small selection of games, most indie PSN/XBLA titles or HD remakes, that actually render at 1080p). They then upscale to output a 1080p image and will often smooth it up with Anti-Aliasing. This is exactly what the Wii U will be doing as well. And when your Xbox/PS3 games play in 3D, they take a 60fps game and cut it down to 30fps (half the pictures per second speed) in order to render 2 separate images to create the 3D effect, with some games even dropping the render resolution slightly to compensate. I don't expect the Wii U to be super powerful, but more of a generation 8.5 compared to the next Xbox and PS. But still, from what I've seen, it looks like it will in fact be more powerful than the 360 and PS3 (not by a ton obviously, but still a good amount of extra oomph).

Just a few examples to show you my point with 360 and PS3 rendering though: (remember 1080p is 1920x1080 and 720p is 1280x720).

Battlefield 3 renders at 1280x704 30fps

Modern Warfare 3 renders at 1024x600 60fps

Batman Arkham City renders at 1280x720 30fps

Sgthombre
Sgthombre

 @4quarters So because one game doesn't match you graphical expectations, the entire console is a fail? 

mario-nin-freak
mario-nin-freak

 @daabulls23 Not all at the same time though. You may not realize it, but many games will trick you into thinking they're doing more than they actually are.

Whitescarver
Whitescarver

 @bobbo888 I'm curious what games have done this? To have a game keep track of hundreds of non player specific items is an incredible challenge. Games like LittleBigPlanet are built from the ground up for this sort of thing and they're laggy and sometimes not precise. 

4quarters
4quarters

 @eastley000

 And you know this by released WiiU specs........oh, that's right there are no WiiU specs because Nintendo will make this the cheapest HD experience possible, i.e no dvd or blu-ray playback, no hard drive/or saving mecanism info yet....no release date, no price on any component,barely a blip of how online will work and only a handful of games shown...kudos to them for trying new ideas, shame on them for skating by with no info just 4-5 months before release. Sorry, 1st day buyers should be very wary....

eastley000
eastley000

 @4quartersI agree, I wish they gave us a lot more information. I get what they are trying to do by showing off the "experience" vs specs, but hardcore gamers want their specs too. But I have seen games in action. Gamespot & other sites has said games like rayman look slightly better on the WiiU. Also there has been a Crytek play-tester who has shared they adapted Crysis 2 to play on WiiU rendering in 720p with no pop-up. Other devs have hinted at stuff, as well as a NatGeo 'leak' by a dev saying the WiiU did outperform the 360 and PS3, but not by a lot. So yes, im not basing it on cold hard facts, but rather on developer leaks and what I've seen in action. I was just trying to make my point here that the WiiU looks like it might outperform the 360 and PS3, and the whole 1080p vs 720p argument earlier doesn't have anything to do with power but hardware scaling.

 

bobbo888
bobbo888

 @SSL_Syn You said it all, xbox and ps3 have way more value compared to the wii. Better graphics, online capability, I think when I switched from nintendo to xbox 360 after the gamecube, I made the right decision. Yes, Nintendo is big on innovation, but their games are seriously lacking. I would never spend 50 dollars on a brand new wii game that I could probably beat in a day or two. They're lacking in every department.

Whitescarver
Whitescarver

 @bobbo888 Okay, Xbox 360 and PS3 were built from the ground up to be an online gaming machine, the Wii was built with online capability but focused on offline party style games. Xbox 360 and PS3 have a dedicated online service that runs independently from the games you're playing. Wii has online capability that is ran through the games you play.The WiiU being built from the ground up to be a next gen Social hub where the games you play are also a community experience. You'll always be connected with the world through the games you play, that's a huge step up from Online Capability.

bobbo888
bobbo888

 @SSL_Syn If they're having trouble putting Mario Kart online, they're doing it wrong. You failed to counter my point that all xbox and ps3 games have better graphics and most have online support.

Whitescarver
Whitescarver

 @bobbo888 They also had more power with a better online structure. You can't group games in the same boat if their not on par with each other in terms of ability and power.

Whitescarver
Whitescarver

 @deathblow3 I'm just trying to break down the games for you, knowing how a game is build and seeing how it's played are completely different things. A game like Overlord where your "minions" can't effect the world around you without triggering a scripted event that plays out over all players in game is easy, that's giving the players the illusion they're changing the world they play in. A game like Pikmin where your "minions" effect in game objects, creatures, and world structures with the freewill of the player controlling "minions" freewill to transport or destroy objects, or even creatures is a different story.

Whitescarver
Whitescarver

 @bobbo888 Zoom in close to the model in Starcraft 2, the game has an amazing art style too it that almost hides the fact that the models are low poly, Art does not equal good graphics. Also, a games classification does not define it, it's an adventure game with micro managing.

 

As far as them refusing to do anything about their online department, why would they invest so much in building a social hub that influences every aspect of the games you play if they're not willing to build on their Online Department?

bobbo888
bobbo888

 @SSL_Syn It's actually kind of pathetic, he says in the article "So in the case of Mario Kart, we did have online multiplayer, and that's something that…You have to be very careful that you don't drop frames as you're trying to sync up with other players over what could be a very great physical distance, over the Internet." Are you kidding me? Mario kart was a problem to put on the internet? Pretty much every xbox or ps3 game has multiplayer, and they ALL have better graphics. 

deathblow3
deathblow3

 @SSL_Syn i dont really see your point and i dont think they where that different and we cant compare multiplayer since this game dont have it

bobbo888
bobbo888

 @SSL_Syn please tell me what you consider this game... I believe it says "strategy" up there right? Starcraft has amazing graphics... Definitely better than any Nintendo game to date, and probably better than what the Wii U is going to be. Either way, your entire argument is irrelevant to my point, and that is that Nintendo lacks in the online department and refuses to do anything about it. 

Whitescarver
Whitescarver

 @deathblow3 You do realize how shallow Overlords gameplay was right? The game is heavily scripted with zero world altering events. Overlord was as close to a 3D RTS as it gets code wise. Compared to a game like Pikmin design they only share the minion type gameplay.

supermoogle
supermoogle

 @SSL_Syn Saying a game has "cheap graphics" has nothing to do with network code.  Games don't send art assets over the network in real-time, if that was true you'd be essentially downloading the entire game in real-time while playing it.

Whitescarver
Whitescarver

 @bobbo888 RTS aren't even in the same ballpark. RTS  have cheap graphics overlays, zero ingame physics, and again, cheap rendering. When the game is 99% code it's a different story, they have next to nothing in resource management to deal with.