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Iwata Speaks About Nintendo WiiConnect24 And The Virtual Console.


Much speculation and hype has mounted around what Nintendo's plans are with its recently announced WiiConnect 24 service, and its Virtual Console download system.

As was mentioned at E3, WiiConnect 24 allows your console to stay online 24/7 whilst the console is in stand by mode. An example of this is would be; you could allow a friend to visit your town whilst you are asleep, once you wake up you could then find the player has left you a message and also an in-game present. The WiiConnect 24 service could also allow a user to receive software updates along with updated game content from Nintendo, which could include extra characters for a game, or promotional demo's.

Yesterday Nintendo President Satoru Iwata shed light on some of the plans and possibility's that Nintendo are currently considering with the Wiiconnect 24 service:

"Let's say your Wii is connected to the Internet in a mode that allows activation on a 24-hour basis," said Iwata. "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. They would then be able to download the promotional demo from their Wii's to their Nintendo DS's.

"This will, of course, be possible in gaming stores too," continued Iwata, "but I think users will enjoy being able to do this within their homes. The key merit here is having promotional material delivered to your home, instead of having to go collect it yourself."

Anyone who played the Nintendo Ds game Animal Crossing online over the Easter period, will know the genuine excitement that can occur when Nintendo deliver promotional in-game material over the Wifi connection, such as letters and presents from the developers themselves.

On the subject of Demo's, this is something us Nintendo owners have missed out on in the past, whilst grinning PlayStation and Xbox owners have had the luxury of playing upcoming games for their stated formats for quite a few years now. Though thankfully Nintendo have introduced temporary game downloads for the Ds via the in-store Ds Wifi stands. As I mentioned these are temporary and cant be saved onto the machine, so it would of course be great to finally have a hard-copy, which you can play until your hearts content.

In regards to Virtual Console, Iwata said "the problem with creating a packaged game to be priced at 5,000 yen, about $45 USD, is that developers tend to feel the need to create a rich game. "Yet it is possible to create a reasonably entertaining game in two months with a team of three. Offering such games for 500 yen [about $5 USD] 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.

Does this mean we could see a resurgence of classic titles into the mainstream gaming charts? With those kind of prices to download and play classic games such as Super Mario World and Secret Of Mana, this could certainly be a reality.

Expect Nintendo to gradually reveal more snippets and tantalizing hints about each of these interesting features, as more information is revealed about the console nearer its supposed release date of November.

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