E3 2009: New Mario not online but does it matter?

Nintendo's game design guru Shigeru Miyamoto has been making Mario games for more than 20 years. But, as he confessed at a E3 press conference he has

Well now he has in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, a three-player take on the old school 2D version of the game. But you can't play it over the web - a decision that has provoked outrage in some quarters.

So while Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 get online multiplayer options in almost every game, Wii owners remain largely isolated from each other. And even when Nintendo offers an online option, as in Mario Kart Wii, players aren't allowed to chat freely losing much of socialising that makes online gaming fun.

But is this unwillingness to embrace online really so bad?

After all online is still second best compared to playing with friends in the same room and no Wii owner has to put up with the inane hacker speak and rudeness that often ruins online games on the Xbox and PlayStation 3.