The online service from Nintendo has always been, well, lacking. Even on the recently-launched 3DS. Friend Codes are a problem. Both parties need to add eachother's friend codes to establish a friendship. The problem is, if one person does it, the other is not notified.
In their investor report, Nintendo's CEO Satoru Iwata talked about something that could change all of that. He acknowledged that Nintendo is lacking in "network services," which is investospeak for online. He mentions that the company is accepting outside help here.
Consultants could be just the thing Nintendo needs here. Some outside input that says "Friend Codes Suck, do this instead" would be welcome.
In the field of networks in particular, however, I admit that we cannot do business in pace with the changes in the world and the requests from consumers only within our company and with development companies we have long been in touch with. I am not sure which term suits us as collaborations for this purpose, M&A or partnership. Anyway, I feel that we would spoil the party in a negative way if "we sticked to create everything by ourselves" based on the policy [of self-sufficiency], and eventually it would make our business slow.
In slight connection with the question about Wii's concept before, honestly speaking, Wii's future could have been different if Nintendo had made better partnerships with outside companies in the field of network services at the early stages of the penetration of Wii. In other words, Nintendo might have been a little obsessed with the policy [of self-sufficiency] at that time. Although we have already put ourselves back on track, we would like to clearly differentiate what is our true strength from what we can basically do by ourselves but can be done better by more skillful outside specialists in order not to fall into that trap again. You may be aware of some features which I am implying now in relation to the future developments of Nintendo 3DS and Wii's successor system that we announced yesterday. I am sorry I cannot say anything more specific today.