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Nintendo reportedly updating multiplayer server backend for first time in over a decade

The existing system has been in use dating back to the days of WiiU.

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The systems that handle multiplayer traffic, matchmaking, and other data are rarely thought about, especially when things are operating smoothly. Like all computer systems, they eventually become outdated or unable to evolve with the shifting demands of software or load management. According to some eagle-eyed Twitter users, it would appear that Nintendo is in the process of implementing a new system to handle its multiplayer backend.

Known as NLPN, the new system will be replacing the previous solution that was internally known as NEX. The use of NEX dates back to the WiiU and 3DS and has served Nintendo up through the first few years of the Switch handheld’s shelf life.

The public demo for Monster Hunter Rise is reportedly the first user-facing test of the new system. The plan is to seamlessly transfer from NEX to NLPN in a way that gamers will never notice. Initially, the new service is unlikely to offer any improvements that users would notice, but give Nintendo the option to build and expand capabilities in the future.

If only the company could figure out what kind of system would be needed to ensure smooth, low-latency online play for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, then millions of Switch owners would cry out in happiness.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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