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Wii Businesses Nintendo

Wii Games Go Online, Lose Happy Clouds 148

Ars Technica has the news of some comments made by Reggie Fils-Aime on the SpikeTV show GameHead about Wii's online multiplayer future. Essentially, there aren't any games in the near future to look forward to, online. The Japanese launch saw the inclusion of Pokemon Battle Revolution, a with a solid online mode. The first batch of online games is slated for sometime around March or April. From the article: "Many games still in development for the Wii are designed around playing with people who are physically present: a recent preview of a new anime-themed golf game for the Wii on Electric Playground revealed that the developers had not included online multiplayer modes. Fils-Aime also indicated that new multiplayer channels were on their way for the Wii's online service, but declined to give any details about what new features might be enabled on them." In somewhat related news, it seems that the Bob Ross game may not end up happening after all. The loss of happy little clouds will be felt by every Wii owner.
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Wii Games Go Online, Lose Happy Clouds

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  • by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @06:01PM (#17137474) Homepage
    You heard me say it here and now folks. If the new Smash Brothers is online-capable, and they do it right...holy shit.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Thansal ( 999464 )
      Yup, way back when they actualy said that SB:B would be out, online, onrelease. I don't mind the delay, I just want them to get it right.
      • Actually, Nintendo never said SSB:B would be availabe at launch. The earliest tentative date they ever gave was March 2007. Now it looks like it probably won't hit until early Fall, but they have guaranteed online play. In fact, aside from the few characters they've shown, online play is the only thing they've guaranteed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Just the implication of what it will mean for Nintendo, will guarantee that they won't "do it right".

      I'm hoping and wishing as much as the next guy, but the smart money is on being let down with the multiplayer aspects. I don't blame them, much. Multiplayer is damn hard to do right. Especially on a console.

      and It's damned impossible to do it for free.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Pojut ( 1027544 )
        While I agree with you on all points, think of it...a properly crafted online multiplayer SSB game...that ALONE would have made the gamecube ten times better
      • Do you even know what you're talking about? This is Smash Brothers, Smash Brothers (read: the best Multiplayer ever) we're talking about here.
      • by patio11 ( 857072 )
        It's damned impossible to do it for free.

        Yep, which is why Blizzard took a total loss when they created the national sport of Korea.
      • Nintendo has done online multiplayer before, Mario Kart 32 is one fine example of excellent online multiplayer capabilities.
    • by seebs ( 15766 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @06:27PM (#17137874) Homepage
      I can't imagine a playable online version of Smash Brothers; I don't have good enough latency to play it from anywhere to anywhere else. Way too much immediate response involved.
      • I'd be more upset that I can't see the face of the guy that I edge-cheap @ 15% damage. That's the best part of the game.
    • by Hubbell ( 850646 )
      If Ness isn't nerfed to shit like he was in SSB:M, and the online is done right, I may need a new pair of pants every time I play.
      On that note, they raped Ness in SSB:M compared to SSB for the 64. He was the most underrated character, yet one of if not the most powerful in the hands of someone who knew how to play him correctly. Psychic Bubble body slam = impossible to block, and extremely hard to dodge :)
    • I'd be seriously concerned about SSB online. Being a fairly serious player I know a lot about how much timing plays a role in a match. Even if one player was lagging a little bit then the game would be almost unplayable for both players, but it they can pull it off... as you put it holy shit.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gorbachev ( 512743 )
      Nintendo Wii won't have an online killer app unless they develop voice chatting capabilities first.

      Without that feature it'll always play second fiddle to the XBox 360 in the online multiplayer gaming arena.

      That being said, Wii Sports Bowling with voice chat and online multiplay tournaments would totally take names and kick ass.
      • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @06:59PM (#17138396)
        THe complete opposite- voice is ok when with your guild, but with random players? Totally ruins the experience. I really don't want to hear random 13 year olds whining when I kick their ass, or dragging when they kick mine. Or random chatter about their lives that I quite honestly don't give a damn about.
        • by SuperRob ( 31516 )
          Agreed. Voice Chat, while a killer feature, is what keeps me off Xbox Live unless I'm playing solely with friends.

          That being said, Nintendo's system enforces a friends-only online rule, so in theory, this should completely alleviate that problem. So could the port at the bottom of the Wiimote accommodate a headset? Not sure what the throughput is like on that port, but the Bluetooth implementation of the Wiimote shouldn't have a problem. Hell, theoretically you could use the Wiimote speaker like a walki
          • by AuMatar ( 183847 )
            No, it doesn't. It allows you to specify that (for parents, mainly), but you aren't restricted to friend codes unless you wish to be.
            • by tepples ( 727027 )

              you aren't restricted to friend codes unless you wish to be.

              As I understand it, Animal Crossing: Wild World for DS doesn't have any random encounter mode; it's Friend Code only.

          • by Megane ( 129182 )

            Agreed. Voice Chat, while a killer feature, is what keeps me off Xbox Live unless I'm playing solely with friends.

            Obligatory Penny Arcade reference []

        • Can't you turn the damned voice off if you don't want to listen to random people, but on when you know it's a friend?
        • That's why you don't play with random people. I haven't played matchmaking ranked or unranked games on XBL for ages.

          I belong to a large adult online gaming community. We play custom games amongst each other. There's nothing like it.

          Without voice chat, however, it'd just be like playing against a CPU with AI that actually works.
          • by AuMatar ( 183847 )
            And the problem with that is? If I want to play socially, I'll join a guild. 99% of the time I'm playing online, its only for increased challenge- an AI that works. Having it be a silent one (except for a gg or the like) is an improvement.
            • No problem at all.

              That is if your idea of playing socially is doing so in an environment where everyone is deaf and mute. That's kinda like going for drinks with your buddies and communicate by passing notes. Wicked awesome!

              If you are satisfied by communicating through text only, good for you. I'm not, and neither are the people I play online multiplayer video games with. That's why the ones who play WoW in the online gaming community I belong to use TeamSpeak.

              All this is moot anyway, because on the Nintend
      • I'm afraid I must agree. First as a person, who is tired of hearing "Motherf---ing f-ing f-er! I'm going to rape you and your f-ing mother" when I play.

        Secondly, as a father, I don't want my children interacting with people like that.

        I rather like the Friends Code system - I know who's on my Wii, and who it communicates with, and I control the level of jerkitude I have to deal with.
        • Although I despise the "voice trolls" and think that voice chat has become pretty much useless because of them, I'm really confused by people who sit their 8 year old kids in front of a screen and let them play counterstrike or other violent games and then complain about vulgar language.

          I really don't see how you can feel that it is OK to have little Timmy splatter someone's brains all over a wall with a gun but it is patently offensive if he hears (or sees in text chat) the word "goddamnit".

          Don't even get
      • I used to think that voice chat was a really cool thing, until they introduced it in counterstrike a few years back.

        People carrying on conversations totally not related to the game, morons piping dreadfully low quality music in, children yelling racial slurs and giggling and other really stupid, inane and annoying stuff was a constant problem.

        The vast majority of people are just too immature.
        After a while I stopped blocking people and just turned voice off completely.
  • by EmDot ( 653116 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @06:03PM (#17137506)
    Don't they know all the world needs is a little Prussian Blue?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @06:09PM (#17137592)
      "All right, we are going to use a fan brush here and uh why don't you take some hunter green and we are going to put a happy little bush right down over here in the corner there and that'll just be our little secret and if you tell anyone that that bush is there I will come to your house and I will cut you." -- Bob Ross on The Family Guy
      • Okay...that's just a cut and paste...but DAMN it's funny. Someone please mod that up. I had 5 points, but I decided to trade them for a little wagon wheel that lives next to the stone wall. Oh look, I think some flowers are starting to grow around it!
  • This means I'll have to paint BY HAND!? ZOMG NO!
  • Friend codes (Score:4, Informative)

    by interiot ( 50685 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @06:11PM (#17137626) Homepage
    Honestly, even if there were multiplayer games, they'd still be hampered by friend codes. I understand Nintendo's motivations for using friend codes, but still, they're a pretty big drag on online multiplayer, especially for adults want to play by some other schedule than when their handful of friends are on.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by UbuntuDupe ( 970646 ) *
      Two questions:

      1) If they trust the adult to set up the system, and thereby determine if parental controls for games will be used, why not trust that adult to determine if friend codes are necessary?

      2) Why won't they allow an online mode where you can hook up with anyone, but not talk (or are confined to standardized questions/comments)?
      • Re:Friend codes (Score:5, Informative)

        by Defiant00 ( 786745 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @06:26PM (#17137858) Homepage
        Based off of the DS' implementation of friend codes, you can play with random people (and in the case of Clubhouse Games it removes the drawing/chat and instead just lets you pick standard questions/comments as well). The only thing friend codes are for is for playing with your friends, not making it so you cannot play with anyone else.

        Of course, you can select to play with only those who you are friends with, but that does not prohibit you from being randomly matched up with an opponent who you have not exchanged codes with.

        The only game that I know of that you had to have a friend code for was Animal Crossing, and that merely because the average person wouldn't want random visitors trashing their towns.

        Games that allow random play:
        Mario Kart
        Clubhouse Games
        Metroid Prime Hunters

        I'm sure I'm forgetting a few more, but those are the ones I have.
        • It's true. I was playing Mario Kart on my son's Nintento DS about 6 months ago and I discovered that I could race with other people who were looking to play at the same time. There weren't any people waiting to play in my region, but when I selected the option to look for players worldwide, I ended up racing several people with names comprised of Japanese characters.

          I lost to the Japanese players, but it sure was fun being able to play Mario Kart with some random people on the other side of the world. I h
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mjhacker ( 922395 )
          Star Fox: Command

          I don't see why everyone freaks out about Friend Codes... maybe they're just misinformed.
      • by npaufler ( 32275 )
        2) Why won't they allow an online mode where you can hook up with anyone, but not talk (or are confined to standardized questions/comments)?

        I'm assuming it will be similar to how they've done wifi DS titles. You can either choose to be matched up randomly with people, probably based on either some ranking or geographical area, or play directly with people on your friends list. It's also conceivable that, depending on the game, it might be like how Club House Games for the DS works. In that case, you can sel
      • Two questions:

        1) If they trust the adult to set up the system, and thereby determine if parental controls for games will be used, why not trust that adult to determine if friend codes are necessary?

        2) Why won't they allow an online mode where you can hook up with anyone, but not talk (or are confined to standardized questions/comments)?

        Two Answers

        1) No one ever said Nintendo can trust adults to setup the system. The Wii may be billed as an all generations system, but unless the Baby Boomers have
      • With firmware update support, it is possible for Nintendo to respond to such demand by including requested features in new patches. I just hope they don't abuse it and start adding/changing so much that it evolves into something entirely different (Valve likes to do this for some reason).

        I know next to nothing about Xbox360 and the PS3, maybe they do this too... I think it's a pretty cool feature. However, I don't like the fact that you do not have the option to deny firmware updates. Or can you (exclu
    • With any luck, the games will be able to just use the Wii system's friend code. It would make the most sense. I imagine the only reason they didn't do it like that for the DS is because NWC didn't launch until well after the DS launched.
    • Well, on Mario Kart for the DS, you aren't forced to always play online with your friends. You can select random players from your area or world-wide. The friend code system is pretty useful IMO.
    • Everyone always harps on the Friend Codes, but I love em.
      I can play with my friends that I know in person, or that I chat with online, or even entire message board communities if I post my code somewhere.

      It also means I don't have to endure being team killed by a whiny little 12 year-old who just learned the word "cock-slut."
  • Can anyone with a Wii (*snicker*) comment on how viable a Bob Ross game would be? In other words, does the Wiimote give you enough DPI (for lack of a better term) to give you precise motion for a painting program? I could zone out and relax for hours with something like that.
    • by hibiki_r ( 649814 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @06:30PM (#17137918)
      Since the wiimote doesn't try determine the size of your screen at all, just increasing the sensitivity would be enough to make a painting game as precise as they want. Almost every game menu uses the remote as a pointer anyway, so the resolution is definitely there.
      • I've said this before, and I'll say it again:

        I don't understand why Nintendo didn't make it so you can better specify to the OS where your real screen boundaries are. I certainly understand why they wouldn't force you to do it on your first startup -- it might scare off too many new users. But to not even bury that kind of calibration deep within an "advanced options" menu?

        It certainly seems possible to me that a developer could have their own in-game calibration, and then it could regularly convert the O
        • by Kredal ( 566494 )
          I don't remember if it was in Zelda or in the main Wii menu, but somewhere during setup, I told the console how wide the sensor bar was on my TV (plus and minus buttons until the orange bar was just as wide as the sensor bar)... that would tell the console how big my TV is, and give it a more accurate spatial representation to work with.

          I guess that would have had to be in Zelda.
          • That must have been in Zelda. On my startup (and within the Wii options), all I could say was whether the bar is above or below. It allows you to adjust the graphical output's position relative to the screen, but this is just a standard monitor calibration feature.

            Well, it's reassuring that at least Zelda does that, but it's really something that should be done in the OS, since it's used across many games. If a game wants to use a different method, it's still free to do that. I mean, Trauma Center relie
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Can anyone with a Wii (*snicker*) comment on how viable a Bob Ross game would be? In other words, does the Wiimote give you enough DPI (for lack of a better term) to give you precise motion for a painting program? I could zone out and relax for hours with something like that.

      I don't have a Wii (haha, *snicker*), but I do think the REAL Wii killer online multiplayer app would be Bob Ross. You could call it, like, Bob Ross and the Joy of Trashing Someone Else's Painting.

      The probabilities are truly boundless.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Total_Wimp ( 564548 )
      I got a chance to play with a friend's Wii. I was very impressed with the smoothness of the Wiimote, finding it much more precise and easy to use than my Gyrations mouse.

      That said, my guess would be that ergonomics would be an issue. The way you hold a Wiimote doesn't seem very similar to me to the way you'd hold a paint brush. Even the size of the thing would be an issue. It's not huge, but it's certainly no paint brush.

      Maybe I'm missing something here, but I'd be suprised if Wii painting ever caught o
    • Can anyone with a Wii (*snicker*) comment on how viable a Bob Ross game would be?

      It was in development. [] Unfortunately (I guess) it was later cancelled.
  • by kinglink ( 195330 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @06:17PM (#17137712)
    A couple games has some Wiiconnect24 support coming. Elebits will next week, and a couple other have plans for it.

    I'm tentative about claiming the Wii has any good online. Online is good and all but with out a solid online platform having to share friends codes is more than a little annoying. Especially if we are forced to both be on at the same time.

    I'm very hopeful for some good support, don't know how pokemon battle revolution does it but I know that won't be the breakaway hit for online..
    • by Phisbut ( 761268 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @06:48PM (#17138224)
      Online is good and all but with out a solid online platform having to share friends codes is more than a little annoying. Especially if we are forced to both be on at the same time.

      How do you expect to play online with your friends if you are not all online at the same time? Does Xbox Live somehow manage to let you play online with people that are offline?!?

      • I was more refering to the Elebits Wiiconnect24. Animal crossing, and other stuff that is online connectivity but could work with a central server rather then being online at the same time.
  • Online pokemon is going to be serious business.
    • This has been the most obvious choice for Nintendo to launch into online with anyways. They already had some experience with Pokemon Crystal back on the GBC using a cell phone connector to communicate with other players for battles. It just makes a whole lot of sense. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if there's a Pokemon MMO in the works for the future. Aside from the fact that Pokemon is almost a psuedo alternate reality game anyways (the only thing an MMO could provide is not needing to seek out your
      • I'm also wondering if MP3: Corruption is going to get any sort of online capabilities.

        It already does. Agencies hired by RIAA labels have been injecting fake data into online peer-to-peer downloads of MPEG audio files ;-)

  • Mii Parade (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ark42 ( 522144 ) <slashdot@mo[ ]eu ... t ['rph' in gap]> on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @06:27PM (#17137880) Homepage

    I'm really sad that my Mii Parade is always empty. None of my friends can afford a Wii, so I never get to interact with others online. Why the heck isn't there an option to do something like enter your zip code and obtain Mii's from people within a certain radius from you or something?
    • that's not a bad idea... they should take a clue from, say, facebook, or some other social networking sites.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by $1uck ( 710826 )
      It couldn't be that hard to set up a website to do just that could it? Share friend codes? make lists based on geographical regions. I don't own a wii so I don't know whats involved in the friend codes. But I should think you could trade them online.
      • by Cyno01 ( 573917 )
        Its still an extra step. I only have one friend with a wii, basically you have to go through a couple of menus to find your friend code, send it to them via some other means, and they have to send you theirs back, you have to know eachothers before you can communicate via the wii. Kind of a PITA, but its not too bad. Wish more of my friends had wiis though, theres only ever a few in my mii parade from the one guy...
        • by $1uck ( 710826 )
          Give it some time... I'm not a huge console gamer, but I plan on getting a wii once its feasible with out much effort (the price will probably drop by that time too ). I have a feeling this system will appeal a lot more to the casual gamers, and the casual gamers aren't going to be fighting with people over the 4 in stock. I really hate the limited supply bs, and I think its just a ploy to build hype.
      • 1. Use Ruby on Rails to create a P2P friend code sharing site in 30 minutes.
        2. Add copious abouts of AJAX and call it Miir or something.
        3. ???
        4. Profit!
    • Why you don't want Random people's Miis is because you'll have a parade full of 'HoBag', 'Slutty', 'RottenCrotch', and whatever other nasty names I ... um I mean random people will think up of ...
      • by Ark42 ( 522144 )
        I don't want random people's Miis, I want a way to meet random other people with Wiis, say, a chatroom where you can find other people with Wii's nearby your zipcode, and exchange friend codes if you want. Of course, chatting with a wiimote and nunchuk is a whole separate challenge.
        I'd like to see a Wii Store download perhaps, which requires a bluetooth keyboard, and lets you chat with people. It would go along with the web browser feature they're supposed to have for download sometime in the future.
  • It would be nice to see the Wii support video chat and USB web cams. If done right, taking advantage of the 'always on' capability, it could become the best way for the video-phone to submarine itself into homes.
  • by HeavenlyBankAcct ( 1024233 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @08:46PM (#17139834)
    The Wii seems to me like it's designed to be a social device, the type of system you play with your family and friends. Online gaming is only 'social' at its lowest common denominator. I, for one, don't give much of a shit whether the Wii EVER "gets online right." In my mind, they've already gotten multi-player right by focusing on solid, fun, and communal play when two people are in the same room.

    I play MMO's and I dig the pervasive online nature of the beast, but more than that, I love playing the Wii with my real life friends -- I, for one, have no desire to play Wii Tennis with STABZUFACE24 from Wisconsin. Am I alone here? I'm sure there's got to be more gamers than me out there who really don't care about online multi-player whatsoever, when half the fun of it is you and your buddies laughing at each other making asses out of yourselves.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by WCLPeter ( 202497 )
      It's nice to think that when you want to play a game, you can always turn to your friends to play.

      But what happens when, like me, none of your friends are into video games? It happens, there is no rule stating your friends have to have all of the *exact* same interests you do. Since none of my friends are into gaming, it's important to me the game has some decent multi-player. It's fun to play with someone after I've finished the single player campaign.

      While it's true I'm able to con my non-gaming friend
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by stastuffis ( 632932 )

        I'm sure there are a host of gamers who don't require online multiplayer in order to enjoy games. I'd prefer my real friends as well, but many of them have jobs and other responsibilities that don't always coincide with my schedule. Who cares if it's at the bottom of the social ladder? Unfortunately, it's not really about making friends for many people; it's about having a better experience.

        Plus, if the Xbox Live service is any indicator of general interest, I'd say that Nintendo has a lot to gain in te

    • I bought the Wii for the same reason, I enjoy gaming with friends in the same room. It brought me back to console gaming, and probably spending more money and time than I intended on gaming.
    • by BenjyD ( 316700 )
      While playing games socially is always more fun, there are times when I just want to play a competitive game and no one else is around.

      Playing against even an anonymous human opponent is very different from playing against an AI. Take Mario Power Tennis, for example - against the computer all the human factors of reaction time, bluff and strategy are missing. Online multiplayer in the Mario Kart DS style provides the game with the equivalent of very good AI.
    • by brkello ( 642429 )
      You do realize that people have "real life" friends that aren't in the same geograpic reason, right? I know families that play WoW together so that they can keep in touch and enjoy a game together. Sure, it's great to have friends over for a gaming session. But when they live hundreds or even thousands of miles away, you can't beat online multiplayer. Does the Wii need online? No. But Xbox Live proves that a lot of people want it and enjoy it. Just because you don't care, doesn't mean they should ign

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie