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Nintendo Businesses Wireless Networking Entertainment Games Hardware

Nintendo & McDonalds Providing WiFi 296

redemtionboy writes "According to IGN, "Nintendo of America on Tuesday will announce a groundbreaking partnership with Wi-Fi provider Wayport to make available free Internet access to DS owners at McDonald's restaurants across the nation." " There are so many potential jokes here that I'm gonna just leave it to you guys to make your own.
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Nintendo & McDonalds Providing WiFi

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  • If... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jamesgamble ( 917138 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @08:13AM (#13815972) Homepage's free for DS owners, how long will they limit it from people using laptops or other WiFi enabled devices?
    • Re:If... (Score:4, Funny)

      by KZigurs ( 638781 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @08:18AM (#13816012)
      probably they wont. Just filter out by MAC adress - that's the best they can do, I guess :)
    • Re:If... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by BronxBomber ( 633404 )
      I moved from South Florida a couple of months ago, and most of the local McD's all offered free WiFi already.

      You'd get a free hour to go along with your fries... although I never used it, so I am not sure what was involved in getting access to their network, or how time was regulated.

      So the McD's WiFi part isnt really new. I dont know what would have prevented any DS users then from using their service.
    • It's McTendo! McTendo, it's a cerial now! McTendo...
    • Re:If... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Toloran ( 858954 )
      Actually the DS has two different types of signals. It has the standard 801.11G and B signal. It also has their own special signal (often called Ni-Fi). The special signal only is compatable with DSs (at the moment). The Ni-Fi signal is normally used when 2 DSs are communicating with eachother. If they do deliver a free signal for DS owners only then they are probably going to use Ni-Fi instead of Wi-Fi
      • Re:If... (Score:3, Informative)

        by tempmpi ( 233132 )
        The DS always communicates using the physical protocol of 2mbit IEEE802.11b. It however doesn't always implement the full 802.11b protocol stack and IP. What you call Ni-Fi is just a subset of IEEE802.11b using a custom protocol instead of IP. It doesn't support 11mbit or 54mbit transfer modes. So while it is compatible with 11mbit and 54mbit equipment, you can really say it supports IEEE 802.11g.
  • Jokes? (Score:5, Funny)

    by dsginter ( 104154 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @08:14AM (#13815983)
    Would you like a portscan with that?
  • A Joke (Score:5, Interesting)

    by James Kilton ( 714163 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @08:15AM (#13815988)
    Hmm, I would guess that you're jealous it's not in Taco Bell restaurants. Though frankly I don't see what's so funny about this. It's a step in the right direction. McD's restaurants cover about 10% of the earth. That's a lot of wireless.
  • by zalas ( 682627 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @08:16AM (#13815992) Homepage
    I'm a bit fuzzy with the DS specs, but if Nintendo is going to provide free WiFi and the WiFi follows one of the 802.11 standards, how do they keep people without Nintendo DSes from accessing it with a laptop? Will the DS have some sort of special software-based key?
    • by BlueOtto ( 519047 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @08:22AM (#13816029)
      Shhh! Don't say anything! They might not notice...!

    • What about MAC addresss filtering with lists supplied by Nintendo?

      That's only the first thing that comes to mind.
    • by Bozzio ( 183974 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @08:31AM (#13816078)
      I thought this was mentioned on /. before, but McDonald's offers free Wifi for laptop users anyway. I don't know how widespread this is, but it's already offered in my small town.

      The funny thing is that they are supposed to give you a 30min user/pass for while you eat, but somebody screwed it up here. Right now they are giving out a single permanent user/pass combinations instead of temp ones... McDonald's, while out of my way a bit, is still a pretty convenient hotspot for me.
    • by Wwolmack ( 731212 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @08:48AM (#13816181)
      From TFA:

      "Nintendo and Wayport will offer complimentary Wi-Fi hotspots... enabling DS owners ... to play online games with or against each other."

      The DS does not have a TCP stack and has no native support for IPv4 or IPv6 (from []):

      "The DS does not internally support a TCP stack or any IPv4/IPv6 communications at all. This is why the DS cannot be played online without the use of tunneling... Ni-Fi is a layer 3 protocol on top of 802.11."

      802.11x is a network layer, not a magical gateway to "Teh internets"

      So it goes to reason that the McDonalds hotspot for the DS won't support regular tcp/ip, as its a hotspot for DS users to play with each other. You probably won't be able to connect your laptop to it.

      • IIRC, the TCP stack will be carried by the game. So while the DS OS might not have TCP/IP, the games can.
      • All online-enabled games (like Mario Kart and Animal Crossing) will come with TCP/IP-stack on carts.

        The article you link to is about nifi - not wifi. DS can do both - nifi being the ad hoc-version that's used for normal multiplayer.
      • "Nintendo and Wayport will offer complimentary Wi-Fi hotspots... enabling DS owners ... to play online games with or against each other."

        Aah, so this is about linking happy childhood memories with a brand of products. So it's really just an extension of them having other games available at their eateries in order to entice kids there. Just like the play areas and clowns, only with higher technology.

      • You probably won't be able to connect your laptop to it.

        Now it's making sense.

        The Burger King I frequent (so long as they have $1 Whoppers) does have unsecured Wayport WiFi ... but try as I might, I can't get an Internet connection thru it. Never crossed my mind that it would be only for Nintendo use.

    • by Hogwash McFly ( 678207 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @01:46PM (#13818763)
      I've heard they have created a new character to join Ronald McDonald et al. The Packet Pincher, who wears black and white and carries a sack with 'Bandwidth' written on it, is in a homosexual relationship with the Hamburglar and will be used to teach kids the danger of using bandwidth that they are not entitled to. McDonalds executives believe that the Packet Pincher will be a hit at birthday parties, as kids will be encouraged to boo him away when a costumed employee interrupts the party carrying the characters gold-coloured Laptop of Leeching and asks the kids for the latest torrents.
  • by ChrisF79 ( 829953 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @08:16AM (#13815995) Homepage
    When I lived in DC years ago, all of our McDonalds had these little kiosks in them when the Nintendo 64 came out. There were 4 small TV's built into the thing with 4 consoles with 2 controllers each and you could try out the system there. I don't know if that was a national partnership with all McDonalds but they were in all of the ones I went in. The consoles were in there for quite a while (about 6 months if I recall correctly) and then were suddenly gone. Anyway, these two companies at least have some history of working together in the past so I'm sure that made it a little easier to get something like this set up.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @08:16AM (#13815997)
    It'll be the healthiest thing on their menu :)
    • damn, I haven't been to McDonalds in so long, I can't even remember what's on the menu besides the big mac. "I'll have a Big Mac combo. Supersized." "What would you like to drink?" "Diet coke."
      • by jskiff ( 746548 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @01:44PM (#13818750) Homepage
        I know you're intending this to be funny, but I find this a bit interesting (data is from McDonalds' website): Big Mac: 500 Calories Large Fries: 520 Calories Large Coke: 310 Calories Total: 1330 Calories Substituting a Diet Coke for the Coke lowers it to 1020 calories. Still a lot, of course (about half what you need for the day), but it does lower it by 25% or so.
    • Well, at least when they screw the order up and you have to wait 10 minutes while they do it again you'll be able to pass the time on Mario Kart.
  • Obesity (Score:5, Funny)

    by LaughingCoder ( 914424 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @08:16AM (#13816000)
    This could bring the obesity problem to a whole new level. Congratulations - you've reached level 4! You can go up to the counter and pick up your FREE icecream sundae! Level 5 wins a free value meal. Level 6 is a large softdrink.
  • Wow (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dekortage ( 697532 )

    Won't the DS get all greasy and slippery when you try to each french fries while playing? I like the "Official photo of a DS gamer enjoying online play at McDonald's" -- all he has is a drink, and he appears to be holding the DS as if he's watching a movie.

    Does this mean kiddies are going to get free games in their Happy Meals? Just what we need: more crappy DS games.

    And, from the article: "Beginning with free access at participating McDonald's, we have removed one of the major barriers that have kept peo

    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vrai ( 521708 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @09:21AM (#13816427)
      I can't comprehend why anyone would want to spend more time than in a McDonald's than is required to purchase some food. The restaurants are smelly, thick with grease (even the air is greasy) and decked out in the cheapest plastic available.

      I am pretty much forced to go to McDonald's once a month (it's the only place open late in London's financial district that does take-outs). The food is better than going hungry (just) but I'd rather starve than actually eat in the "restaurant". I certainly wouldn't spend long enough there to play Mario Kart without a HazMat suit on.

      • I can't comprehend why anyone would want to spend more time than in a McDonald's than is required to purchase some food. The restaurants are smelly, thick with grease (even the air is greasy) and decked out in the cheapest plastic available.

        Because they don't have wireless access at home and they are to cheap to afford the wifi adapter for the DS? This way they can play for free without even having internet access at home (as long as there is a McDonalds in their town). I could see this making some of
      • It is true that London can be a bit... dirty. It is a busy town and so when you enter a restaurant that has been open close to 20 hours at night it is going to be less then clean.

        McD is not the same all over the world and as a bit of a traveller I have had a lot of fun sampling the local McD. No, the food is never GREAT. Nor is it ever cheap. BUT there are real differences between countries, not just in taste but in how they are used and in how classy they are. Try an McD in a more rural area and you will

        • Try an McD in a more rural area and you will have wooden chairs and tables with real plants.

          I'll take your word for that. When I'm travelling the last place I want to visit is a McDonald's! I want to eat local food, stuff that's unique to the country/region. Not the same fatty, anodyne, mass-marketed junk that I can get in Liverpool Street station.

          That said I did visit McDonald's a lot when I was working in Alkmaar because, predictably enough, it was the only place to eat that was near my office! I re

  • This won't last (Score:5, Insightful)

    by troll ( 4326 ) <> on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @08:26AM (#13816049)
    It'll be good in the short run, but when the table turnaround (profit/table) drops because someone is occupying that space 'playing games' and a (new) paying customer has no place to sit, McDonald's may just decide to 're-evaluate' their position.
    • In most non urban (ie; suburban) areas (where all the little rug rats tend to inhabit), I bet the drive through is used far more regularly and the tables go mostly unoccupied. This will likely not hurt those areas as much say starbucks gets hit with the wifi.
    • I'm looking at this deal from Nintendo's point of view. Everyone is always complaining that Nintendo is a cartoonesque kids platform (which I might agree with if I wasn't a fan-boy). If being a kids console is Nintendo's biggest market penetration problem, they need to get away from the Happy Meals to be taken more seriously and reach an older audience.

      By taken more seriously, I mean by an older audience and more mature themes (maybe not their intention). Related to this recent /. article []. Staying in th
    • Re:This won't last (Score:3, Interesting)

      by flamingdog ( 16938 )
      I agree completely, but I've noticed some strange things lately about McDonalds. There have been about 3 or 4 recently built around me that I've been to, and there are some noticeable differences in modern McDonalds. They all have comfortable atmospheres. They have a giant LCD TV. They don't have the standard fast-food "eat and get the hell out as quickly as possible" kind of atmosphere inside. They also have a lot more seats than you'd think they'll ever need. Maybe this is just around me (say, for example
  • wait wait wait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) < minus poet> on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @08:27AM (#13816060) Homepage
    pushing crappy food and inactivity all at once? What a combo!

    What they need to sponsor are DDR competitions. Get enough people dancing and bopping, and bipping and hopping and they'll get in shape soon enough.

    • Re:wait wait wait (Score:2, Interesting)

      by frank378 ( 736832 )
      Agreed, they've started selling salads and healthier offerings (what isn't healthier than a mound of fried greasy stuff) but I have to think it's going to be a tough sell to their regular customer base. The people that already go to McGrease go there for...the grease. People that don't subscribe to the fast food diet wouldn't be caught dead in this place.

      Anyway, to the topic at hand, video games for the kids is just an attempt at winning hearts and minds to get another generation addicted to McGrease and

    • I use RDRAM, you insensitive hamburgling clod!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is great! Kids are getting fatter and dumber, and this is the only obvious step forward Nintendo and McFat to join forces. The next handheld is going to have bigger buttons that blink when you should press them so that the morbidly obese kiddies can still make donkey kong jump up and down with the tapered fat fingers. The blinking lights will guide them by appealing to thier rampant ADD.
  • by IronChefMorimoto ( 691038 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @08:31AM (#13816079)
    ...for exercise on the playground AFTER a greasy Happy Meal. Now we're just taking out the exercise and letting the kids wallow with their WiFi and Nintendos after their Happy Meals. Nice...

    • It's bad enough taking children to McDonald's for exercise on the playground AFTER a greasy Happy Meal. Now we're just taking out the exercise and letting the kids wallow with their WiFi and Nintendos after their Happy Meals.

      This pretty much defines the big colorful Play Place sign on the front of the building.

  • by Alcimedes ( 398213 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @08:32AM (#13816089)
    This would be pretty good a providing a pool of other players in about the same age group etc. for kids to play with. The only thing that bothers me is that rather than going to eat shitty food then running around in the play area, these little tubs of soon to be lard will be eating shit then sitting on their asses playing video games.

    Knowing the average parent today, as long as little Timmy shuts up, that will work just fine.
  • by jkind ( 922585 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @08:34AM (#13816105) Homepage
    Before: Take children to Mcdonalds and put them in the bouncy ball room for 10 mins, before giving children Big Mac combo.
    Now: Take children to Mcdonalds and give them Big Mac combo, then let them surf..
    The world is slowly getting so fat it's going to spin out of orbit..
    • The world is slowly getting so fat it's going to spin out of orbit..

      No, not the world; just one particular landmass in the Northern Hemisphere.

      That won't spin us out of orbit, but the imbalance of mass with so much blubber concentrated on one continent might well lead the axis to wobble all over the place. Keep an eye on Sirius, it's your new North Star...

  • Or is this sufficient to allow you to download extra content from + partners with all other domains being offlimits?
  • First off - McWIFI was the first "joke" that poped into my head. It'll prolly be under the chicken nuggets on the menu.

    Seriously though - I see why people are worried. It'll drive people to Rauchin Ronney's in droves for free wifi. And they are bound to stay there for a few hours and eat nothing but greesey food.

    But I think for the most part, people who eat there don't really need a reason to go. They'll just go naturally.
    Problem is going to be getting people to leave - there will be no room for new custome
  • by DingerX ( 847589 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @08:49AM (#13816194) Journal
    and think about the practical ones:

    A) Hack your Nintendogs to introduce new behavior in online play, viz., your NintendRhodesianRidgeback runs down and eats NintendChihuahuas and McToyPoodles.
    Packet Injection attacks to replace Mario with something, uh, a little less "Kid-friendly" (play fair now)

    Evil messages: "Billy, this is the happy leprachaun. Put your bigmac in mommy's purse".
    The possibilities are endless!
  • by Vodak ( 119225 )
    eh. This will be used as an example to desribe eveything that is wrong with large corprate entitites.

    "Nintendo is helping to make American's Fat"
  • by knopf ( 894888 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @08:50AM (#13816202)
    It's quite simple to make money out of this: In Spains tourist lots, the restroom is looked by a numer key lock. The access code is changing on a regular basis (e.g., hourly). If you want to use the restroom, you have to buy something, because the code is automatically printed on the receipt.

    They will do the same for the wireless access. They print the current access code (user & pass) on the receipt and reset the system every 30 mins. Btw. if you think, you just buy something small, that's exactly where McD has huge margins. So a Coke or ice cream every 30 mins for surfing generates enough money for maintaining the WiFi net.

    However, it will be fun to see all gamers run for an ice cream at the same time every 30 mins :-)
  • Cleaning? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BenjyD ( 316700 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @09:01AM (#13816271)
    Can you imagine what a DS is going to look like after 30 minutes playing in the hands of a kid eating a Big Mac, fries and ketchup? Maybe McDonalds is planning to make a profit on with a DS cleaning service?

    Personally, I wish McDs would just go out of business so I wouldn't have to put up with that horrendous smell of grease permeating every shopping centre.
  • Now I can get my Donkey Kong and my Donkey Burger at the same place! Thanks, McTendo!
  • by syntap ( 242090 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @09:07AM (#13816324)
    do be sitting in a McDonald's with my Nintendo DS, playing an applet-ed or emulated version of BurgerTime that I downloaded using my McDonald's WIFI connection.

    Will they offer both regular and diet WIFI?
  • Think of all of the MP3's and movies that I can download without the RIAA or the MPAA catching me. Thanks guys!
  • here are so many potential jokes here that I'm gonna just leave it to you guys to make your own.

    Translation: I am so lame that I can't even come up with a joke, but there has got to be at least one.

  • It makes sense (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gameboyhippo ( 827141 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @09:17AM (#13816398) Journal
    At the McDonalds here in my town, we have a couple gamecubes hooked up. It would make sense that they would continue to partner with Nintendo. I can see a lot more McDonalds crowded. I've seen some comments that claim that this will allow people to download their kiddy porn and crap like that at Micky D's. I don't think this will be the case. I think the DS will have a standard port to play games on. So all they have to enable is that one port.
    • Sorry for replying to your sig...

      Want a cheap XBox 360? Click here []

      Want a 360? BUY ONE. Christ almighty a "free" 360 and I say "free" because you're basically ratting out people to spammers in order to maybe, perhaps, in the future, slight chance, get something you were promissed. I mean have you signed a contract? Are you bound to refer people and them to provide renumeration? I don't think so.

      That and if you can't afford a 360 how the fuck can you afford the 60$ video games that go
  • The End (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mr.Dippy ( 613292 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @09:25AM (#13816454)
    The Japanese, realizing that they could never beat physically fit Americans in war, have covertly set out for the past 30 years to make Americans fat. The current generation of American children will get to harpoonable size by the end of the decade. This is the final phase of their fiendish plot before they initiate their Pear Harbor Invasion Part Deux plan. I'm estimating sometime in 2011 Hawaii and part of the West Coast will be under the Rising Sun flag. Dead, bloated children and teenagers will litter the ground clutching onto their DS's and Big Macs. This is how liberty dies...with thunderous fatness.
    • Re:The End (Score:3, Funny)

      by vorpal22 ( 114901 )
      This is how liberty dies...with thunderous fatness.

      And, if my digestive system is par for the course when faced with a large McDonald's meal, with thunderous flatulence.
    • Re:The End (Score:2, Interesting)

      The current generation of American children will get to harpoonable size by the end of the decade.

      You've never been to the south, have you? my father's entire family was harpoonable size (with the exception of myself). They're big enough, now. I blame it on home-cooked fried foods more than fast-food joints.

  • Seems shortsighted to me to go to all that trouble and expense of installing tens of thousands of 802.11 hotsponts, so DS owners can play a few games.

    Why wouldn't they also enable the hotspots for regular internet browsing? They could give a token for a half hour of access with the purchase of an extra value meal or something. It would be trivial to impliment, and would encourage lots of new traffic.

  • I can already feel the "Redundant" moderation, but I'll post this anyway... some McDonaldses already offer free wifi. And not DS-only wifi, either, I'm talking 802.11b (I don't know if there's a difference, but last I seemed to recall hearing something about the DS' wireless protocol being different than 802.11 - although I'm fairly sure that it's also compatible with 802.11, so perhaps that's just for ad-hoc? I really know nothing about the DS, so nevermind.)

    Anyway, not all of them have it, but a few
  • by UnixRevolution ( 597440 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @09:46AM (#13816628) Homepage Journal
    Can be put into 4 categories.

    1. Arrr, MacDownaldz is teh suck and ewww! Who'd go there just for wifi?

    2. How will they keep laptops from connecting?

    3. They're gonna make people fat!!!

    4. Kids will get fat playing DS and eating Bigmacs

    Let me adress these.

    1. McDonalds, although i know a lot of people don't like it, is wildly successful and profitable, and there are a ton of people who go there anyway.

    2. From what i read, DS's don't have TCP/IP, so there won't be any TCP/IP for laptops to connect to the internet with. they'll have to translate back and forth between ni-fi and TCP.

    3. People make THEMSELVES fat. People think for themselves and make their own decisions. You can choose to have the Big Mac, you can also choose to have the McSalad.

    4. Parents are responsible for the eating and play habits of their children, not Nintendo and not McDonalds.

    That is all.
    • 2. From what i read, DS's don't have TCP/IP, so there won't be any TCP/IP for laptops to connect to the internet with. they'll have to translate back and forth between ni-fi and TCP.

      The DS, as shipped, doesn't provide a full TCP/IP stack. It does provide the bottom layers for 802.11 wireless. It's up to the games to implement the rest of the stack for proper connection over the internet. And, according to some recent screenshots [] that's precisely what Nintendo's doing.

  • At least down here in Atlanta, Krystal [] has had free wi-fi for a while. I typically consider Krystal to be "road food", since the small square burgers are easy to eat with one hand while driving with the other. But the free wi-fi almost makes it worth while to go in. Almost.
  • The majority of comments are based upon the fact that this is combining video games with fast food... kids will go and sit and get fat and play their DS while eating a happy meal.

    I have two points to make.
    1 - This is smart for Nintendo. If they could pick one place that there are already lots of kids, and is widespread across the entire country, it would be McDonalds.
    2 - Since when is it up to Nintendo to keep your kids trim? I'm sick and tired of people blaming anyone other than a kids' parents for child
  • by callipygian-showsyst ( 631222 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @10:38AM (#13817106) Homepage
    There are so many potential jokes here that I'm gonna just leave it to you guys to make your own.

    Help! My PC is 0wn3d by the Hamburgler!


    Mayor McCheese just busted me for stealing music!

  • Those who are bashing McDonald's for causing fatness in people need to step back and think for a minute. It's the people who are causing the fatness, not McDonald's, by choosing what to eat at McDonald's.

    For the past year or so, I've eaten 2-3 times a week from or at McDonald's, be it breakfast or lunch/dinner. I hardly excersize, and *gasp* I've actually been losing weight over this past year. Not a huge amount, and McDonald's isn't the reason I'm losing weight, but it does show that eating at McDonald's d
  • No Ni-Fi! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Phantasmo ( 586700 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2005 @11:38AM (#13817644)
    I doubt that this will be modded up, but there are plenty of trolls having a big laugh about "Ni-Fi" on Slashdot today. So let me set the record straight:
    Ni-Fi is what's used for local games. If you are at the mall with some friends and want to connect for Nintendogs or Bomberman, the DS will be using Ni-Fi. It is proprietary. It is not used for playing on the Internet.
    If you buy Mario Kart DS and you're at the mall with some friends, it will use Ni-Fi. If you stumble upon an unsecured wireless node at the mall and want to play on the Internet, the Mario Kart cartridge will fire up its own TCP/IP stack. This is how online play is going to work on the DS.
    So, Ni-Fi = LAN, Wifi + TCP/IP = Internet.

    Frankly this whole McDonald's thing is not surprising. There are lots of McDonaldses in my area with "free" (with purchase) wireless Internet access. On top of that, every McDonald's in Scarborough has at least four Gamecubes in the kids area.

    What does it mean in the end? Another reason to go to McDonald's. Damn you, with your McFlurries and your Big Macs and your Mario Kart and free drink refills...
    Aha! Free DS online play + unlimited pop for $1.50...

I owe the public nothing. -- J.P. Morgan