So here's the rub. Nintendo introduced a rigid numbered Friend Code system sometime ago with the Nintendo DS, that was later refined on the Wii. Long story short, many gamers don't like the system, and are increasingly frustrated with Nintendo's unwillingness to embrace current console's online practices (which allow users to log into their account from any location with a simple username). As of last week, much to the excitement of Nintendo fans, it was initially reported that Friend Codes will no longer be a part of Nintendo's online strategy -- but hold the phone!
Reggie has now revealed that the Wii U will contain friend codes after all, but they are "better" than the current system. Our favorite meat-man goes on to say, "you will be able to identify people as friends and have a certain level of interaction vs. a different level of interaction for the more general population. The method by which you identify someone as a friend is a lot simpler than what's happening today with Friend Codes." Reggie promises that core Nintendo fans will be happier with the new system.
There's a few other awesome tidbits in the interview, namely the fact that simple messages will not be overly-moderated by Nintendo employees, and will generally send instantly (as long as there's no foul language). Also, while separate games may have their own achievement program, the possibility of Nintendo including a universally required console-wide system is "not our philosophy," according to Reggie. Aw nuts.
Reggie: Friend Codes Return on Wii U, But They're Better [Nintendo Life via Kotaku]