The Nintendo DS is a well received little games device, it doesn’t try to compete head on with the all conquering Sony PSP and its dual screen layout brings something different to the mix. Yet one thing it has been missing is a decent Wi-Fi service… not anymore.
Available from 25 November, the ‘Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection’ does exactly what is says on the tin: it brings a much needed wireless service to an already Wi-Fi enabled portable console. Extensive licensing agreements with the likes of BT Openzone and The Cloud also mean it will launch en mass in the UK with McDonald’s, Coffee Republic, Hilton hotels, Road Chef, Welcome Break, First Great Western Railway and more carrying the service from day one.
Nintendo has also setup a new website called Nintendo Wi-Fi.com which will direct users to their nearest hotspots, offer national and global score leader boards and provide tech support. In addition, the company is also selling a Wi-Fi USB connector dongle which will help out those without a wireless home network get their DS online. It plugs directly into a USB port creating a wireless access point, but the price is steep at £30 so you'd probably be better off just flogging your old router on eBay and putting the proceeds along with the £30 towards a new wireless model...
Now being Nintendo it couldn't have a major announcement without releasing a red hot game or two and this time is no exception. The hotly anticipated and Wi-Fi compatible DS games: Mario Kart DS and Tony Hawk’s American Sk8land will appear on the 25 and 18 November respectively. Interestingly, Nintendo Wi-Fi.com will also work with the company’s upcoming Revolution next gen games console.
In the face of recent heavy criticism Nintendo has once again returned to its famous line about how it is only the games that matter. Well, perhaps we can add services to the list now too, since announcements like this finally suggest the bruised firm is starting to turn the corner.