Nintendo has always been a bit cautious when it comes to online gaming, with the DS and Wii both using the hugely unpopular ‘Friend Code’ system. While the 3DS still uses a form of the Friend Code system, gamers can instead add friends locally via Wi-Fi.
This is due to Nintendo not wanting people to have their gaming experience ruined by those unruly gamers pent on annoying others. This may be why Nintendo has filed a patent for a new type of game, a Massively SINGLE-playing Online Game.
This new type of game aims to offer all the benefits of a massive online community but without actually dealing with the people themselves. The idea being that player’s actions will change and affect the gameplay for all players, but the players will never actually meet one another.