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Wii Wi-Fi
Written by Phil Thompson

Wi-Fi Connection
Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
It’s no secret - Nintendo have never been fantastic when it comes to online gaming. The GameCube Broadband Adaptor was virtually useless, and the Nintendo DS’ Friend Codes are hated worldwide.

Unlike either of these consoles however, Wii takes fuller advantage of the Nintendo WiFi Connection. Many Wii Channels such as the WiiShop Channel, are already WiFi-aware, while many future Wii channels are expected to use the online service to its fullest.

After the negative response to Friend Codes, Nintendo have assigned a single code to each console, dubbed the “Wii Number”. Now, while that’s all fine and good, one thing still bothers me about Nintendo - they’re really hesitant to let users meet new people. For example, Nintendo offer no official means of exchanging your Wii Number with somebody you don’t know (Xbox Live offers a Lobby area, which allows users to meet new people), and they have even gone as far as prohibiting the sharing of Wii Numbers with other Nintendo forum users, regardless of whether you know them or not.

I can understand where they’re coming from with their attempts to keep users safe, yet I fail to see how anybody can commit GBH through a friend code. It’s a shame they’re so uptight when it comes to security - they’ve missed out on so many opportunities. In-game voice chat in every game would be fantastic, and there’s really no reason to leave it out, as they can always include the option to turn VOIP off. Also, I’m puzzled as to why every single first party DS game isn’t WiFi aware. Nintendo could easily integrate online play into all their software, even if it does raise the price a little.

Whilst there’s little to comment on as far as Wii online goes, I’m certainly not short of ideas. For a start, get every single first-party Wii game online. There is absolutely nothing stopping them - they have the resources, and they have the support, so why not? Also, it would be nice to see a lobby room similar to that of Xbox Live. This is probably one of the easiest tasks to acomplish - the room could be a Wii Channel. One last thing - VOIP. They could easily develop a wireless headset, which could run through one of the USB ports on the back of the console. The quality wouldn’t be fantastic, but is it ever?

Nintendo have the chance to create a strong, solid online service for everybody to enjoy, but they really need to lower the security a little. Perhaps the level of security could co-incide with the game age rating set for the console?

What do you think? What could Nintendo do better? What have they done right? Discuss this article on our forums.

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