A leaked internal Nintendo presentation has detailed why the company opted for 12-digit friend codes to pair with friends instead of traditional usernames.
The internal Powerpoint presentation is just one of a number of documents obtained by hackers over this past weekend and published to a number of locations including 4chan. In it, a slide details why the Wii opted for the 12-digit friend code system over usernames.
“At first there were opinions that instead of 12-digit numbers, a freely chosen screen name would be better,” the slide reads.
“There is a high probability of duplicate screen names. When this happens, multiple reentries are required. (Conflicts with the ‘Simple’ principle. It’s possible to guess someone’s screen name by trying different variations of their actual name. (Conflicts with the ‘Comfortable’ principle.)”
12-digit friend codes moved from the Wii to the 3DS, and from there, to the Switch.
Ahead of this leak, Nintendo advised that the Nintendo Network ID system had been hacked; logins with those identifiers have been disabled and Nintendo advises users turn on two-factor authentication.