Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection

For those looking forward to me hitting them with a turtle shell on Rainbow Road…

On Nov. 14, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Ushers in New Era of Free Wireless Gaming

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 5, 2005 – On Nov. 14, Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection will begin a new era of easy, social gaming. For the first time, characters from the Nintendo universe will be playable online, as part of a unique wireless community, accessible inside or outside the home. Nintendo DS™ games like Mario Kart® DS, Animal Crossing®: Wild World and Metroid® Prime Hunters will require no additional charge for online play. Each is scheduled to launch in the coming months, along with the first third-party title using Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, Activision’s Tony Hawk’s American SK8Land, developed by Vicarious Visions.

From home, if the user already has a Wi-Fi network, the Nintendo DS unit will connect directly to it with minimal setup procedures. Those who have a high-speed Internet connection such as cable or DSL, but no wireless network, can use the Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector, sold separately, that will plug into a computer USB port to create a wireless access point to connect to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.

Outside of the home, players will be able to connect in a variety of ways, including at thousands of free Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection hotspots nationwide. More details about these hotspots and how to connect outside of the home will be announced shortly.

Nintendo DS is just the first Nintendo system to connect via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The same service will be incorporated into Nintendo’s next-generation home console, code-named Nintendo Revolution, set for release in 2006.

“Nintendo has taken the online video gaming model and rewritten the definition of community,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of sales & marketing. “With easy setup and no added service fees, players far and wide will log in and play with one another as easily as if they were sitting in the same room.”

Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection will create a welcome, inviting atmosphere where video game players of all kinds can log on wirelessly and begin playing. The service will be used in different ways for different games. In Mario Kart DS, four players at a time can race over Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Racers can pick opponents from their roster of friends, match up randomly against strangers of comparable skill levels or simply choose to race against anyone in the world. Mario Kart DS launches Nov. 14.

People who hang out in Animal Crossing: Wild World can travel to other players’ towns or invite up to three other players to visit their own towns, simply by opening the town gate. The four players then can interact and play together simultaneously in one town. Players must know one another and register to their respective friend rosters before they can connect. Animal Crossing: Wild World is set to launch on Dec. 5.

Activision’s Tony Hawk’s American Sk8land will let players compete head-to-head in multiplayer games in a variety of modes. Players also can create custom skateboard art and graffiti tags, and share them with other players via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The service will track global high scores and stats. Tony Hawk’s American SK8Land will launch on Nov. 14.

Games in development include Metroid Prime Hunters, slated to launch in the first quarter of 2006. Players can hook up for play with registered friends, automatch with other players based on a skill-level match or play with anyone; Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection quickly finds the best match with other players online.

The worldwide leader and innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home and portable video game systems. Each year, hundreds of all-new titles for the best-selling Game Boy® Advance SP, Nintendo DS™ and Nintendo GameCube™ systems extend Nintendo’s vast game library and continue the tradition of delivering a rich, diverse mix of quality video games for players of all ages. Since the release of its first home video game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 2 billion video games and more than 353 million hardware units globally, creating enduring industry icons such as Mario™ and Donkey Kong® and launching popular culture franchise phenomena such as Metroid®, Zelda™ and Pokémon®. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Western Hemisphere.

For more information about Nintendo, visit the company’s Web site at

The GAF thread seems to confirm two major things. It’s all free and it will have a unified friends list maintained by Nintendo for you. It’s pretty much the current version of Xbox Live but with no charge. I’ll believe that when I see it but it’s only a month and some days away.

EDIT: A comparison thread for Nintendo Wifi Connection and Xbox Live is available here.


No replies? You guys are slacking. I should’ve been called at least six different names by now and we could at least have gotten one “If I wanted to play kids games, I’d call up my nephews.” crack.


Sounds cool to me. I was worried that the DS & Rev wouldn’t be able to use existing Wi-Fi hardware and force people to buy their proprietary adapter, but that’s not the case.

Now all I want is a Game Boy Revolution with a PSP-sized screen & WiFi that plays Gamecube games directly…

This makes me want a DS even more now.

I have no idea what I’d want in a future Game Boy. I really love 2D games and specifically the styles that we’re getting on GBA and DS. The death of that would be really sad. I think it’s limiting to think all games must exist in three-dimensions. Consider the animation of Fire Emblem, which I’ve heard just isnt’ as dynamic in the Gamecube version because it’s 3D. That’s a step backwards and yet it’s supposed to be the “right” thing? I’d rather be wrong.

That’s not to say 3D is all bad. Certainly many awesome 3D games exist. I just think there’s a personality to 2D art that can be completely lost in translation to 3D characters and animation. I’m sure we’re near the end of any new 2D though…


What’s to say? It sounds cool. Also free, which is always a plus. I just hope they add voice chat for the Revolution.

Eh… I guess I’m just surprised at the lack of sniping. Maybe everyone went to bed early? :wink:


Nintendo fans are the ones that need to go to bed early. I thought everyone knew that.

BOOYAH! He’s playing here all week, folks! :D


As long as we’re talking about services that are shipping this fall, they should change “downloadable demos” to “yes” for XBL. That’s coming with Xbox 360.

None of the descriptions of the friends list are as detailed as I would like. If I’m playing Mario Kart, can I see just my friends playing Mario Kart? Am I going to get my friends list and see if they’re “online” or not only in that game? Or will it show me that my friend is online and playing Animal Crossing? And can I then send him an invite to come play me in Mario Kart? The only such detail that seems somewhat confirmed is that there won’t be “online awareness” in offline games.

I think it’s great what Nintendo’s doing here. I really want to try it out, though. With online services, there are a lot of little details and about a million things that could go wrong. Free is great, I just want it to be smooth and reliable.

Shame about no voice support. It would be neat with the DS’s built in mic, though I can see how that could get troublesome with picking up the speakers or outside noises. I’d really want a headset for some of the Revolution games, I’m sure (the Rev will use this service too, they say).

That sounds awesome, and exactly how it should be done. As with the Revolution’s controller though, the devil will be in the details.

If I truly can simply connect it to my wireless and have it just work, so I don’t have to fuck with and pay for something like Xbox Live… Well, damn that would be incredible. If so, and it’s got a decent selection of games (unlike say, the GameCube), I’ll pass over the Xbox and PS offerings no sweat.

There’s a saying in silicon valley about the speed at which business changes: the bad news is that you are three years behind your competition; the good news is that it will take you three weeks to catch up. Now that Nintendo has sputtered through this console generation with wrongheaded strategies like gba-gamecube “connectivity,” they can finally realize that maybe online is not as irrelevant as they thought. Trying it out on the DS is a wise first step because it lets them encounter the problems of a server-centric model, without all the scaling issues that come with trying to put, say, Mario Kart NGC online. Of course, to compare this safe first step of putting a handheld online to the Xbox Live service is laughable, and the idea that this has “rewritten” anything is the sort of thing Fils-Aime, the francophone’s J Allard, is paid to say.

But if Nintendo finally gets a clue about online, perfects an interesting new controller, has a graphics chip that is competitive with the 360, can launch at or before the PS3, and can undercut its competition by at least $100, then I think Nintendo has a chance to be much, much more competitive in the next five years.

Thumbs down for Sony. They should’ve had something like this for a long time. Hopefully when the PS3 release approaches there will be a combined PS3/PSP Wifi infrastructure to compare to the other guys.

I’m not sure what all the anti-Nintendo sentiment is about. I always figured a gamer is a gamer, and we can never have too many fun titles to play. I picked up a DS partly based on the recommendation of folks on this board whose good judgement I respect. And I’ve been rewarded; it’s a terrific little machine.

The so-called ‘kiddie graphics’ are actually a bonus for me. I feel like PC gaming has become so grim and bloody, for the sake of being ‘edgy’ - did you see what they did to the Prince between Sands of Time and Warrior Within? - that I’m finding it very refreshing to play a game like Advance Wars: DS, a game that has some deep and solid strategy chops but is wrapped in a candy-coloured clown suit.

Anyway, this is an exciting announcement :)

What anti-Nintendo sentiment? I see a thread full of people saying that this sounds great. The devil will be in the details, of course; we’ll have to wait and see if it’s as slick as Xbox Live, but even if it isn’t, I think people will be willing to cut Nintendo a bit of slack because it’s free.

In general, though, I like anything that involves a dongle. Mostly because I just like saying the word. Dongle.


Yeah, i like ‘dongle’ too. What’s that old joke? How do you spell ‘onomatopoeia’?

Just the way it sounds :p

I guess I overshot. I was sort of writing more generally about an anti-Nintendo bent I’ve noticed - on a variety of message boards - since I picked up a DS, and started paying attention to Nintendos image.

All you’re seeing is people trolling the true-believer Nintendo fans. You know, the ones that were parroting the line that multiplayer was irrelevant when Xbox Live launched because that’s what Nintendo was saying.

Qt3 is pretty even tempered towards Nintendo in general. There is a lot of negative Nintendo vibe on some forum/sites though, EvilAvatar anyone?

anyone know if the nintendo dongle will work with a PSP? (yes have a ds, but no wifi network yet, so easy to use Nintendo hw as a single solution sounds ace)