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Saturday January 20, 2007 9:50 pm

What’s Wii’s Online Strategy For This Coming Year?

WiiConnect 24One way in which the Wii has definitely been lagging behind its next-gen competitors is the online arena. As it currently stands, the WiiConnect-24 service doesn’t REALLY seem to be connected 24-hours a day, and your online activities are pretty much limited to 1) visiting the Mii Parade (woo hoo) 2) checking a weather “forecast” that’s often a few hours behind 3) surfing the net with the beta Opera browser and 4) paying for old games via the Virtual Console service.

Now granted, Nintendo has a lot on its plate these days. In addition to just producing enough Wii’s to meet demand, they’re also working on a few blockbuster titles (Mario Galaxy and Pokemon Battle Revolution among them) and probably spending a fair chunk of time porting old games to the VC library. But still, Nintendo, we’re going to need something to keep us interested in Wii’s online service.

Matt over at IGN points to some previous discussions he’s had with NOA’s George Harrison, to give us a glimpse at what we can expect from the big N in 2007:

I interviewed Nintendo of America’s George Harrison a couple months back and he said that the company would eventually offer a variety of content on the Wii Shopping Channel, including add-ons and demos. I think Nintendo also wants to nurture a homebrew development scene of some kind. I’d be surprised if we didn’t hear more about all of the above at the Game Developers Conference in March. In the meantime, all I can tell you is that Nintendo’s online network is in its infancy and can only improve over time. Eventually, I’m positive there will be demos for everyone to download and try.

That sounds great and all, but honestly I think it’s time for some firm announcements and some much-needed changes.

Here’s our own list of what needs to change and what needs to be improved (after the jump!)

 

Read More | Wii.ign.com

  1. Actually use Wiiconnect-24: I don’t want to come home, see my drive-bay flashing, and get a message telling me that I can update my firmware. I want to come home, see my drive-bay flashing, and be told that my firmware has been automatically updated for me! Likewise, I find it strange that the Wii has to boot up its connection to the internet every time I launch the shop channel. Let’s speed up those connect times and actually have the console connected 24/7, eh?
  2. ONLINE GAMES, with Wii Console codes required only: We all know that Pokemon is going to be the first game to show us what’s coming for Nintendo in the online arena. Unfortunately, unless something changes between now and the US launch, it looks like this game may have a game-specific friend code. NOT COOL. If we register friends through the address book, they should be registered in-game, period.
  3. Finish the News Channel already!: We saw demos of the News Channel even before the Wii launched, but each Wii system update seems to forget this promised feature. And it had better be more impressive than the out-of-date and innacurate Wii Weather Channel.
  4. Amp up the VC Mondays: My one reason to connect my Wii to the internet every week is to check out the latest retro gaming lovin’ being offered by the Virtual Console. So show us some love Nintendo, you know what we want… here’s a hint, anything with the words “Kart”, “Zelda”, or “Metroid” is much anticipated and LONG overdue. And on a personal note, if we could get The New Tetris up there, I would just about wet myself.
  5. Keep us informed!: Nintendo is notorious for playing its cards close to its chest, never revealing anything until it’s just about ready to hit the fan. Well, give us a sneak peek this time, because we’re beginning to think there’s nothing behind the curtain. Tease us with some details, and it’ll be enough to keep us excited in the coming months.

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