E3 2011: Wii U abolishes friend codes in favour of unified user accounts
It seems that Nintendo has heard our cries and is revamping the friending process
If theres one thing that bugs us about the Wiis online infrastructure, it would without a doubt be the annoying friend code system. When you want to add a friend to the Wii Address Book, you have to have to enter their 16-digit Wii Number (a series of random digits), and they have to do the same with yours. And if you want to friend them in an online game, you need to swap your 12-digit friend codes, for each game. But it looks like this is going to change with the Wii U, and how!
Ubisoft producer Adrian Blunt, while demonstrating Tom Clancys Ghost Recon Online for the Wii U, was pressed about the games multiplayer details. "Rather than a machine having an account, each individual user has an account," explained Blunt, pointing out that the system is very similar to Gamertag on Xbox Live, able to "connect players in a much easier way" than friend codes.
In regards to console-wide online functionality, Blunt was unwilling to be get more specific, however the implementation of user-specific accounts and the ditching of friend codes is a positive move by Nintendo towards a more smoother and deeper online experience.
Source: MTV Multiplayer