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Nintendo President Talks Wii/DS Hookup 121

Posted by Zonk
from the playing-together dept.
GameDaily has a look at comments by Nintendo's President Iwata about connectivity between the DS and the Wii. He also touches on the Virtual Console, and Nintendo's place in the marketplace. From the article: "Let's say your Wii is connected to the Internet in a mode that allows activation on a 24-hour basis. This would allow Nintendo to send monthly promotional demos for the DS, during the night, to the Wii consoles in each household. Users would wake up each morning, find the LED lamp on their Wii flashing, and know that Nintendo has sent them something ..."
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Nintendo President Talks Wii/DS Hookup

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  • by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Friday June 02, 2006 @06:44PM (#15458609)
    I wouldn't mind choosing a demo to download, but I wouldn't want it pushed to me automatically. Bandwidth isn't free, you know.
    • you actually pay per byte to download? You need a better ISP. The impression I got was that it downloaded during idle time (ie. while you are sleeping)
      • you actually pay per byte to download? You need a better ISP.

        Try a better country. The oligopoly situation in e.g. Australia and New Zealand, combined with the limited bandwidth on and off the continent, has allowed residential "broadband" providers to get away with billing per megabyte over the first 3000 in a month.

        • The oligopoly situation in e.g. Australia and New Zealand, combined with the limited bandwidth on and off the continent, has allowed residential "broadband" providers to get away with billing per megabyte over the first 3000 in a month.

          Just a question, because I honestly don't know... in countries like those you mentioned, do the ISP's measure 1MB as 1,000,000 bytes?
        • you actually pay per byte to download? You need a better ISP.

          Try a better country. The oligopoly situation in e.g. Australia and New Zealand, combined with the limited bandwidth on and off the continent, has allowed residential "broadband" providers to get away with billing per megabyte over the first 3000 in a month.


          Man, next thing you know, you'll tell us you have to pay per minute for local phone calls ...
        • "The oligopoly situation in e.g. Australia and New Zealand, combined with the limited bandwidth on and off the continent, has allowed residential "broadband" providers to get away with billing per megabyte over the first 3000 in a month."
          Don't forgot Dodo Internet what with their awesome 200mb/month plan and I was reading a magazine and saw a 50mb/plan from some random ISP. You'll end up paying tons for those plans if you get sucked into buying them. I think the 50mb/month one was $5 for each excess 100mb o
          • That sucks...I have snmp monitoring on on this PC and on a day where I do essentially nothing, background services and various other things polling the web take up 100 Megabytes a day. I see one day in January where I only used 22 Megabytes of bandwidth, but thats rather an anomaly. From May 1st to June 2nd only 5 days are under 100 Megabytes with the lowest day being 53 Megabytes on May 4th. This is of course only my usage from this PC and does not include the other 3 pc's in this household. Over the past
            • Yea I don't know why people go on those shit plans either, as I said in a diff post I get 20gb onpeak and 40gb offpeak so that's 60gb provided I don't hit the onpeak therefore voiding my offpeak. How did you go about setting up the snmp monitoring?
              • My router/switch supports snmp so it was just a matter of setting up a tool to grab the data from the router and graph it. Something such as MRTG for linux or PRTG for windows. So I'm actually monitoring the switchport this computer is plugged into, not the computer itself, although you can install SNMP software directly on both Windows and Linux workstations to do the monitoring if you're network hardware doesn't support it. Installing the SNMP agent on Windows is fairly straightforward, although I've nev
        • Try a better country. The oligopoly situation in e.g. Australia and New Zealand, combined with the limited bandwidth on and off the continent, has allowed residential "broadband" providers to get away with billing per megabyte over the first 3000 in a month.

          I don't know what the situation is in NZ, but that's definitely not the situation in Australia any more. Maybe three years ago. There's plenty of choice now, and I'm not even sure if any ISP still charges you for going over the limit.

          We still don

      • I'm with Optus at the moment. I get a 1.5mbps/256kbps connection with 20gb onpeak and 40gb offpeak for $75/month. After going over limit get capped to 64k.

        It's one of the better deals around at the moment as I can't afford the $150/month for unlimited data usage.
    • by kinzillah (662884) <douglas.price@ma ... u minus language> on Friday June 02, 2006 @07:01PM (#15458722)
      Except it practically is, in that you probably weren't going to use all of it, and you're not paying anything extra for the additional transfer.
      • In Australia nearly all ISPs have a limited download quota, with penalties for going above the quota. The reason is that ISPs have to pay for the data to be pulled across the undersea cables.
        • Do you have a quota on data that had to be pulled over the cable, or all data? If Nintendo hosted the demos from Australia for users there (and paid extra for their own bandwidth to move it to a local mirror), there shouldn't be a reason for the ISPs to charge for it. (Except of course that they're greedy SOBs.) But I expect there's some customizability in what it will and won't download, since there's only 512M of flash to store these demos on anyways.
          • Local mirrors can be free - but that's beside the point. If I want to keep the line clear (for gaming or VoIP or just because), then I'd rather not be forced to unplug the Wii every time because it thinks it knows better than I do.
            • I think we can safely assume that the feature will be optional.

              Nintendo's attitude towards online services has been pretty conservative which tells me they're not doing anything without thinking it through.

              I also firmly beleive Nintendo may very well consider the online abilities of the Wii second to it's main features. I would also expect to see Virtual Console collections for sell at retail simply because Nintendo knows not all of thier fans have broadband.

              This is all spectulation of course.
    • Important questions: How large will is a DS demo? How often will they be released via WiiConnect24?

      For the first question (and I haven't researched this) I would be inclined to think that the largest part of any game is the content and media (music, sprites etc.) and that the engine is fairly small, so a demo is probably also fairly small.

      For the second question, well they can only release one demo per game right? Even if they succeed in a greater variety of smaller but still entertaining games (their b
      • For question one: At their absolute largest, DS games are 1Gb (=128MB) in size. A demo is not the full game, does not have all the same assets, so will generally, at most, be about 1/4 that size (this is a guess on my part) so I'd say probably 32MB on average. For your second question: In the interview, Iwata said demos would be a monthly thing. However, game udpates and things like that (such as Animal Crossing Presents) might happen more often.
        • Animal Crossing can't be that intensive, but I suppose other games might be. I guess the important thing is that Nintendo is aware that some of their customer base might appreciate the option at this stage.
      • The demos are held in the DS's RAM, which is 4MB. The DS demos I have on my computer average around 1.5 MB.
    • by jthill (303417)
      There's a physical button right there on the box that tells it not to download things while you're not using it.
      • Nintendo have already boasted that the Wii will continue to download stuff even when you turn it off. You'd have to physically pull the plug (power or network).
        • Nintendo have already boasted that the Wii will continue to download stuff even when you turn it off. You'd have to physically pull the plug (power or network).

          And yet it says right in the summary that this feature is active only if your Wii is in a particular mode.

          Don't people even read the summary anymore?
        • I already have to do that with my 70k model PS2 so it wouldn't be a new approach.
  • by Durinthal (791855) on Friday June 02, 2006 @06:44PM (#15458616)
    Fine, I'll have to get a DS.
  • by lightyear4 (852813) on Friday June 02, 2006 @06:50PM (#15458660) Homepage

    ....isn't that incest?

    • By definition, incest is fun for the whole family! Just like the Wii :)
      • <pedantic>I think you are referring to inbreeding, as incest is a very bad thing. Not that I am giving inbreeding the green light, but they refer to two very different things, and incest is by far the worse.</pedantic>
        • by lightyear4 (852813) on Saturday June 03, 2006 @11:26AM (#15461755) Homepage
          <pedantic>Actually, it would be impossible to accurately determine whether such a situation would best be considered inbreeding or incest. To do so, one would be required to know both the geneology and religion of the DS and wii. In some cultures, both are considered entirely permissible, but to examine such cases would require an anthropological discussion regarding exogamy and endogamy. Given that we're talking about two electronic devices of uncertain lineage and beliefs, perhaps we would best consider it jest and move on with our day.</pedantic>
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 02, 2006 @06:57PM (#15458696)
    "Users would wake up each morning, find the LED lamp on their Wii flashing, and know that Nintendo has banned them and fried their mod chips ... "
  • by bunions (970377) on Friday June 02, 2006 @06:59PM (#15458710)
    The Nintendo president also talked a bit about developers creating original games for the Virtual Console on Wii, much like Xbox Live Arcade. "When creating a packaged game to be priced at 5,000 yen, developers tend to feel the need to create a rich game. Yet it is possible to create a reasonably entertaining game in 2 months with a team of three. Offering such games for 500 yen over a network could lead to a reasonable number of people purchasing it. By offering an environment that allows this, we hope to encourage more developers to pursue basic yet enjoyable gameplay," he said"

    hell yeah. Hope it turns out the way he makes it sound.
    • well this is basically the philosophy behind shareware, and as a Mac user I can tell you there are a TON of decent fun but not graphically superior games out there made in 2-3 months time. and given the Dev kit is cheap (2-5 thousand) I see no reason people wouldnt pick it up to make a game.
  • Corporate Aikido (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jthill (303417) on Friday June 02, 2006 @07:01PM (#15458724)
    You'll want a simple bowl of rice and soup every now and then.
    Who knows how long ago theysaw the opportunity? But they've got a big chunk of the market all to themselves, and everything Nintendo says earns them fans. MS and Sony are hurtling off down the high-inertia major-loss-leader path while Nintendo picks up their rice bowl and has a nice lunch.
    • Who knows how long ago theysaw the opportunity? But they've got a big chunk of the market all to themselves, and everything Nintendo says earns them fans. MS and Sony are hurtling off down the high-inertia major-loss-leader path while Nintendo picks up their rice bowl and has a nice lunch.

      You realize he's talking about Xbox Live Arcade, right?

      • TFA's context for rice bowl etc. was for the games, true. That's why I spent so many words on the machines themselves: I really was taking the words out of context. I liked the imagery so much I got a little sloppy, I can see that now. <shrug> oh, well. Just a Wii little mistake.
  • Hey! (Score:3, Funny)

    by aftk2 (556992) on Friday June 02, 2006 @07:05PM (#15458755) Homepage Journal
    "Let's say your Wii is connected to the Internet in a mode that allows activation on a 24-hour basis"

    Hey, I like suicidegirls.com as much as the next person, but isn't it a bit excessive for one's wii to be "activated" by the internet for more than 24 hours?!

    Oh wait. You were talking about something else entirely. Sorry.
  • The Whole Interview (Score:5, Informative)

    by grammar fascist (239789) on Friday June 02, 2006 @07:10PM (#15458789) Homepage
    The entire interview is here:

    http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20060 525/117498/?P=1 [nikkeibp.co.jp]

    GameDaily summarized (or copied) what they found most interesting. I find this moreso:

    Q: Why does your controller have a speaker?

    Iwata: This feature was absent from the prototype a year ago - we introduced it fairly recently. We discussed what type of feedback the games should provide the user with. Households sporting 5.1 channel speakers will certainly be able to enjoy realistic sound, yet not all homes have such audio equipment. Adding a speaker to the controller will enable us, for example, to have it emit sound effects when hitting the ball in ping-pong, tennis or golf games.


    Not only that, but 5.1 can't produce a sound exactly where you are no matter where you are in the room.

    Yet another instance of Nintendo anticipating their customer's needs rather than (or in addition to) listening to their gripes. What customer would have said "speaker in the controller!" rather than "more 5.1 support?"
    • Just to note on the 5.1, a number of Gamecube games have 5.1 audio. Wind Waker, Metal Gear Solid, and the two Metriod Prime games all take advantage of it (some better than others). Metal Gear Solid is especially nice with a 5.1 system.
    • Actually, I'd like them to provide any 5.1 support. Last time I looked it was Pro Logic only - and that isn't 5.1. I mean I can kind of understand them holding back on HD support, but surround sound is completely commodity these days - there's no excuse.
      • Dolby Pro Logic II [wikipedia.org] is 5.1, although it is not the same as having an optical or coaxial output on the console. I do not have a surround system, but everyone I know that has used a GameCube with a surround setup says they cannot tell the difference between Dolby Pro Logic II and Dolby Digital from a DVD. Of course, they would be busy playing the game, not listening closely to the sound.
        • Actually if you read that article carefully you'll see the difference. DPL has two modes. One ("music") attempts to generate a 5.1 signal from a stereo source. This is an entirely arbitrary process which usually sounds pretty good to my ears but it's no use at all for things like position cues, which is why you want surround sound video games in the first place. The second mode ("movie") only works with SPL encoded audio, regular stereo audio with certain cues embedded in it which the decoder uses to recons
          • Okay. Several GameCube games support the latter mode. Of course it will not be as good as a real full 5.1 signal, but it is good enough. Personally, I only know three people with surround sound set-ups. Most people just have stereo.
    • I'm just surprised there isn't a microphone in their controller since they seem big on that lately.
  • When I had cable for a while, there was a 'feature' where the cable company could send my cable box little ads in a kind of faux-email. It was just annoying. They came so fast that the damn little light was always on. I don't need more LEDs shining in my apartment, and I don't need a kind of answering machine that is guaranteed to only get crap I don't care about.

    I would have had to logged on daily to have cleaned out all the garbage. And let's face it, you don't want screenshots, demos or movies of every g
  • by AudioEfex (637163) on Friday June 02, 2006 @07:35PM (#15458957)
    This is the one thing I'm not all jazzed up about regarding the Wii. I'm a big supporter of what they are trying to do in general (see my /. history), but this 24/7 thing just makes me wince a bit.

    There is just no need. Whatever little present in Animal Crossing, or whatever little "neato" thing they are going to download is going to only take a few seconds at most; could probably be done while the thing is booting up and we wouldn't even notice.

    My Wii won't be connected 24/7, because I refuse to leave my Internet on that much. I flip the switch on the cable modem at night to cut it off, and turn it on in the AM. There is just no reason for it to run 24/7 if no one is using it, IMO, so I don't even take the chance.

    My Wii won't even use wi-fi if I can avoid it. Ninty hasn't said anything for awhile about it, but at one point did say an optional accessory would allow you to add it to a wired network. I know wireless is all the rage among certain people, but why do wireless when I already have ethernet cable available in every room? Wired is better than wireless if you have access to it (and mine is wired just like most ppl's cable is, in sockets). Wireless just opens up a whole new can of security worries. If all fails, I do have the Nintendo USB wifi connector, but I hope I don't have to use it just to use my Wii.

    AE
    • My Wii won't be connected 24/7, because I refuse to leave my Internet on that much. I flip the switch on the cable modem at night to cut it off, and turn it on in the AM. There is just no reason for it to run 24/7 if no one is using it, IMO, so I don't even take the chance.

      Damn You!!! I wondered why my late night downloads keep stopping, it's because of you SWITCHING OFF THA INTARWEBS!! Please leave it on so the rest of the world is able to keep working - kthx.

      More seriously - what do you hope to achieve by
      • No need to talk down to me, LOL. I have a firewall, thanks very much. I knew some smart alec would question me...

        I don't hope to achieve anything in particular, it's simply, why have it on if no one is going to be using it? I can bring it back up in a split second when I start my day.

        What's the point of a firewall? To lock a doorway. But if you are worried about locking it up, why not just close it off absolutely if it's possible? Often times I leave my PC on all night to crunch video or other CPU-in
        • by headkase (533448) on Friday June 02, 2006 @09:25PM (#15459541)
          ...I don't do anything I wish to hide on the internet, to do so is simply retarded. However, I do have a cable modem which is notoriously insecure anyway, and why leave it on if a) it's not in use and shouldn't be, and b) only takes the flick of one finger for it to instantly return? Why rely on a firewall when I can just make absolute certain nothing errant will happen, when it has absolutely no adverse affect at all? ...

          You probably keep a bucket of water next to your PC just in case it suddenly becomes malevolently intelligent too...
          • You probably keep a bucket of water next to your PC just in case it suddenly becomes malevolently intelligent too..

            Ah, gotta love /.

            Only here would some pithy post like that be scored "funny".

            Yes, I'm a raving lunatic because I flick my finger on a switch twice a day to turn my internet on and off. There simply is no need for it to be on, so why leave it on? I'm not so feeble that the finger stroke is going to harm me.

            Again, only here on /. would someone take think something like that is so outrag

            • Turning off your cablemodem because you're not using it? This is a first...

              What else do you do? Do you unplug your DVD player and TV at night instead of leaving them in standby?
              You crazy loon, you!
      • what do you hope to achieve by switching off your modem?

        Conserve power?
        • Yes...you'll conserve sooooo much power since the model draws a whole 20watts of power at the maximum. Your PC & Monitor draw more than that when they are off.
          • It does add up. The modern household has many devices that go into standby by default, turning them all off (use a switchable socket if you don't trust the device's off switch) can save you quite some money. It's not like you're getting any drawbacks from powering stuff down when not in use.
            • That it does indeed, but I HIGHLY doubt you go around unplugging & plugging your TV, PC and other various appliances. I for one wish there were hard switches on most devices and even go as far to put hard-switches on those devices. Something like the Wii? I'd have to let that ride since it'd be doing something.
              • As I said, switchable power socket. Flip a switch and the PC and all connected devices get power, flip another switch and your TV and the consoles get power (but TVs have easily accessible power buttons that send them into off instead of standby so that's probably unnecessary). No need to pull plugs and they can include the surge protector already. I've attached a switchable only to the PC since that's too many devices to switch off manually (including the network switch that ironically doesn't have a switc
            • It's not like you're getting any drawbacks from powering stuff down when not in use.

              Unless the devices have passive use in addition to active use, and powering it down negates the passive use. Like leaving your cable modem powered-up overnight so you can finish downloading a large file while you sleep. Or letting a laser printer go into standby after you print instead of pulling the power cord out of the wall, to allow it to cool down properly and not ruin the fuser.
    • Presumably the wi-fi only is targetted at 1) people who already have home wireless, and 2) people who have one computer connected to the internet and it's not in their living room. Plugging a USB wireless extender into your PC and having it let DSen and Wiix onto your network without having to worry about locking out your neighbours or wardrivers seems like a nice solution for the latter group, which is the mass market they're targetting with the system in the first place.
    • by cgenman (325138) on Friday June 02, 2006 @11:32PM (#15460044) Homepage
      There is just no need. Whatever little present in Animal Crossing, or whatever little "neato" thing they are going to download is going to only take a few seconds at most; could probably be done while the thing is booting up and we wouldn't even notice.

      My Wii won't be connected 24/7, because I refuse to leave my Internet on that much. I flip the switch on the cable modem at night to cut it off, and turn it on in the AM.... I know wireless is all the rage among certain people, but why do wireless when I already have ethernet cable available in every room?


      I'm not saying you're wrong. But I would guess you're in the minority. Most people leave their always-on internet connections... on. There is really no reason to turn them off. Your cable modem hasn't been a bastion of worms and security holes in a while, and the cable / DSL company knows the instant any of the firmware changes, and can change it back. Don't believe me? Try uncapping it, and see how long your hack goes unnoticed. Now try uncapping it or hacking it through the provider's network. Basically impossible.

      Most people also don't have ethernet in every room, and the prevalance of ethernet seems on the wane. There is a reason every laptop ships with wireless as a standard feature. Now explain to someone that they need to run 50' of cat 5 from a compatible router (not switch or hub) inserted between their modem and PC, out to their living room, and you'll see why WiFi is catching on. Security settings will need to be finessed from a software side, but even then it shouldn't be too bad. And wireless security these days is great, with WPA. Even WEP wasn't bad, as a good WEP key takes about 20 hours of sniffing around high-traffic areas to crack. A home WEP network with moderate traffic takes weeks or months. And on a modern router cracking into the wireless portion gets you... internet surfing, posing little risk to the internal network if you have anything but the default administrator password. And even if you get that, you still need to get by that computer's firewalls and virus scanners.

      A DS Demo size is capped at 4MB (the primary RAM), so you'll probably see 2MB demos in practice... Maybe a minute if the connection is dirty. But it would also probably not be the sort of thing you'd want to sit around for. It just makes sense to do it when the player isn't doing anything else. And maybe they want to upload a free play of Sonic 3 that evening. Yeah, you don't need it, but if you want to try it's already downloaded, saving you time, or it's automatically deleted, costing you nothing. As long as they're not abnoxious about it, this would be a nice little bonus. The only bad thing about Xbox Live Arcade is the actual tedious download of demos, and this seems to alleviate that.

      And if you can figure out a way to make it download games while still booting the OS, by all means go right ahead. I'd love to see that code.
    • Y'know, Wii/DS inter-connectivity was one of the things I was really waiting for, but never got at E3. However, this announcement hardly excites me at all. I would rather see this used for games that operate across the two platforms rather than mere content delivery. At least we know that the games are possible. //Really loved Zelda Four Swords
    • I personally always have my bittorrent uploading (and occasionally downloading) random stuff, so I always have my computer connected to the net. It's a laptop, and I like to take from room to room, so it's always using wifi. I'm used to this, so if I ever get a Wii, I probably won't mind keeping it on, since it'll just use a small fraction of the download bandwidth that I don't use (plus my ISP has no transfer caps).

      One thing I can't really understand is: wha will they use all that connetedness for when i

    • Well, for me, WiFi is much more practical, since I do have a wireless hub (802.11g), on a DSL line, where the only internet in the house is 2 rooms away from the tele. I dunno how people these days make a "wired house", but isn't that a pain in the ass to do, with wires running everywhere? It took me a couple of hours just to figure out how to run an eithernet cable from the office (where the DSL line is) to my bedroom, and that includes a messy, external eithernet cable that runs up around door frames and
      • I dunno how people these days make a "wired house", but isn't that a pain in the ass to do, with wires running everywhere?

        Not if you run the wires in the wall, as the parent poster seems to have done. On modern, new-built houses it can be more of a pain, since most walls have horizontal "firewall" joists between the verticals in the walls - which means a lot of fishing and drilling, possibly some drywall work, too.

        In my house, built in the early 1970's (block construction, too), the interior walls are simpl

    • You do wireless if you haven't wired your entire house with ethernet.
  • by Trevin (570491) on Friday June 02, 2006 @11:26PM (#15460030) Homepage
    Wii spam.

    At first it may just be Nintendo spam. But they may open it up to let 3rd party game publishers send spam of their own. And how long do you think it will be before someone figures ot how to upload data to the Wii from anywhere?
  • I think letting us download demos for the DS is a great idea... Bring on the flashing led, I'll try anything over my morning cup of coffee.
  • Monthly (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Gabesword (964485)
    TFA says that these are monthly promotional demos. We aren't talking about daily spam here. It's similar to a gaming magazine except you don't have to pay for it. Game mag you pay $7, Wii monthly promotion you use some bandwidth. Game mag says upcoming high profile game is editors choice, Wii says try this demo and see what you think. I'm looking forward to this feature.
  • Ever played Animal Crossing? Nintendo sends you little presents now and then, but only if you actually turn that option on (go to your room and use the telephone to "call" Nintendo and they'll ask you whether you want stuff like that).

    Do you seriously think that this is not going to be an optional feature in the Wii?

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