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Nintendo, GameSpy Collaborate on Wii Service 64

It's with a sigh of relief that 1up is reporting on forward progress in the Wii's online service. GameSpy announced today that it is collaborating with Nintendo, using their middleware to allow players to meet up in online-enabled Wii titles. The first title to utilize the service will be Pokemon Battle Revolution, which releases on June 25th. The news is unfortunately not all good. "The technology will also be placed in the hands of third-party developers, although the announcement gives no indication how long companies have been working with the GameSpy middleware. Either way, it doesn't appear we'll be seeing online-enabled third-party releases until the fall, at the earliest." Here's hoping that this marks the beginning of moving beyond 'friend codes'.
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Nintendo, GameSpy Collaborate on Wii Service

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  • by Harin_Teb ( 1005123 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @05:05PM (#18338563)
    This isn't bad... I mean sure it'll be June before we get online multiplayer, but on the other hand... It'll be June before most of us manage to obtain a wii anyways :-)
    • I walked into a shop on Monday, left my details, they rang me on Friday and I went and picked one up. Sure, they might not be in stock, but they don't seem to be that hard to come by?

      • by Rycross ( 836649 )
        Well not as hard as they used to be, but they are still perpetually sold out everywhere I've been. Shipments disappear within 2 hours of arriving.
        • The Gamespot around the corner from my apartment told me that Nintendo is guaranteeing consistent shipments by the end of April I think. It might have been March, but that sounds awfully close.
        • Fair enough, can't comment on how well stock lasts when it does arrive - I took an early lunch and got to the counter just as they went on sale. Perhaps I'm one of the lucky ones - makes a change!
      • The shop you went into is the exception not the rule. Most (major video game retail) stores operate under the 'first come, first serve' rule. With the exception of pre-orders, most stores will never call customers to let them know when a product has come into stock.
        • Ahh, maybe I was just lucky then, although this store is a fair-sized national retail chain, and they were operating a 'first come first served' rule too. They couldn't tell me definitely when they'd be receiving a shipment, so they took my details to let me know one was in. I can't see why a store wouldn't do that - it just makes good business sense to tell customers that they can come and buy stuff from you. Maybe they'll buy other stuff when they're there, even if you've sold out.

          I still had to get there
          • it depends on the person working at the store. they're not supposed to do things like hold them, but it happens. i got my second remote by chance like that. one of my co-workers was in a target and they had 5 of them. he asked the girl in the electronics section if she would hold one for me. sure enough, she did. it was the only target in the state that had remotes at the time. i don't think she was supposed to hold it for me, because when i got there, the kid seemed surprised that there was one bein
          • I got mine at launch. We had people over shortly there after and my brother-in-law has been trying to find one since then. He finally managed to get one at K-mart this past weekend by showing 15 minutes before it opened. They're out there, but you have to work for it.
      • by Fozzyuw ( 950608 )

        Sure, they might not be in stock, but they don't seem to be that hard to come by?

        I guess that's all one's opinion of what 'hard' is. Though, you are lucky to get the opportunity to leave your info and have them call you back. Most places in the U.S. won't do that. At least, not the big box or small speciality chains. They've gotten into more trouble than it was worth. It's possible to find a new employee or one who's just very nice and not care about policy or not know about said policy.

        While the W

    • by anduz ( 1027854 )
      I went looking with a friend who wanted one a couple of weeks back, and sure enough every store told us they didn't have em until april. Then we wondered by an electronics supermarket where it would be possible for him to order one with a weeks notice, though we never got to test the truth of that as we found 6 machines sitting in the local toys are us.
  • ...a whole new multiplayer experience?

    Hmmmmm. Without voice or chat it seems like they'll be a little limited. Or will voice be part of it?

    • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @05:12PM (#18338663)
      Depends on your point of view. In my mind, unless you're playing wwith only your guild, gaming is at least 5 times better without voice chat.
      • by 26199 ( 577806 ) *

        I've never been a big fan of voice chat... but without some form of communication, it seems strategy-wise the games will be quite restrictive :)

        • I like it with the tactical games like Ghost Recon, but when it comes to Halo and the like, I hate it. I hate hearing kids whose parents aren't home cuss and swear worse than construction workers on a Monday. I still have fond memories of using Roger Wilco VoIP with Rainbox Six back in college. (I think it was Roger Wilco).
        • I doubt you'll have a great strategy need on the Wii. I'm expecting more party games and competitive style games. Either way, I'm looking forward to not hearing the ignorant masses.
      • by trdrstv ( 986999 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @05:25PM (#18338831)
        Depends on your point of view. In my mind, unless you're playing wwith only your guild, gaming is at least 5 times better without voice chat.

        Fortunately, in some games (Gears of War in particular) you can mute specific people, but still hear the rest. I'll take that system any time.

        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by Dorceon ( 928997 )
          That's because you're not at risk of being the victim of a sexual predator, or at risk of being sued by the parent of a child who was the victim of a sexual predator.
          • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

            by Nataku564 ( 668188 )
            I know, I know ... don't feed the trolls ... but I kind of have to.

            Seriously, dude - no one can be a victim of a sexual predator by voice chat. They have to take active steps to place themselves in danger, like "Hey, my name is Sue, and I am all alone right now, so why not come by and rape me at address XXXXX scary man?". The child can also do this without online voice chat, by simply going outside and talking to people.

            Also, the parent could shoulder some responsibility and simply lock the system dow
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Dorceon ( 928997 )
              My point (especially with the latter case) was that as a company, Nintendo needs to avoid the appearance of making children vulnerable to online predators, or for that matter any content a parent might find objectionable. If your kid hears his friend swear online, that's the friend's fault, but if the kid hears a stranger swear online, that's Nintendo's fault. Also, creating games where it's expected that you talk to strangers defeats the otherwise good advice, "Don't talk to strangers," and also, "Don't ta
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Nataku564 ( 668188 )
                And one of my points is that its already being done by companies. Sony and Microsoft being two notable ones. Considering the marketshare both of them have, I don't really see a need for any such image preservation tactics. Besides - the parental controls could default to not allowing voice chat, thus maintaining the illusion that Nintendo actually cares.
                • by LKM ( 227954 )
                  Actually, there seems to be some stupid scare mongering piece in TV every other week, telling viewers about how dangerous online games are, or how predators can get to kids using the DS's chat application. Nintendo is trying to make sure that gamers can only talk to people they found outside of Nintendo's online service, thus making sure that if something happens, they are not the ones that take the blame.
            • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
              That's how it'd work in a sane system but we're talking about the legal system of the United States of America.
    • Not sure voice is needed, or even desired. Being a user of teamspeak, I can tell you how much more I appreciate silent text over screaming 13 year old...

      On another note, will we now have to buy the "multi-player" version of Wii Sports? I mean, lets face it, everyone I know who has a Wii, loves Wii sports. In fact, almost half the people I know who own a Wii have almost no interest in any other game (since they are not "hard core" gamers and just use Wii for a work out... for now). I would imagine that N
      • by Dorceon ( 928997 )
        I doubt they'd get away with Wii Sports Online if it was just the same 5 sports. Now, if it had 5 new sports (Curling!), plus online-enabled versions of the original 5, that wouldn't upset people too much.
        • doubt they'd get away with Wii Sports Online if it was just the same 5 sports. Now, if it had 5 new sports (Curling!), plus online-enabled versions of the original 5, that wouldn't upset people too much.

          Well, I'm torn between Curling and Rugby, myself. Depends on how virtual the field mud is for Rugby, and how the brooms look when you toss rocks.
        • by Deaney ( 1014409 )
          Cricket is the one I'm hanging out for.
          I can already imagine bowling and putting spin on the ball (like bowling), and cracking massive pull shots for six (like baseball).

          If they bring out a good cricket game (EA need not apply), I may die from happiness.
          • by Dorceon ( 928997 )
            As long as it doesn't last as long as a real test match. Three days isn't what I call 'pick up and play gaming'.
      • by Runefox ( 905204 )
        screaming 13 year old

        I want some motherf*ckin' chocolate milk! []
      • Being a user of teamspeak, I can tell you how much more I appreciate silent text over screaming 13 year old...
        Agreed. Whenever I consider online voice chat I think about this guy now: []
        Warning: Will cause your ears to bleed and sides to split at the same time. WoW experience a bonus, but any online game experience will do.
  • by Dorceon ( 928997 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @05:09PM (#18338625)
    GameSpy provides the network for the DS online games, which have friend codes a-plenty. I don't mind having one system-wide friend code, since if I want to play with someone I probably have a way of contacting them outside of the Wii. It's per-game friend codes that are a nuisance.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The DS has to have per-game Friends Codes because they didn't have any of the network backend in place when the system came out. The Wii should only need the system Friend Code to sign up for the service, which is not a thing of evil. (You'd have to enter in your credit card number to sign up for Xbox Live, so it's not like the alternate involves no punching-in of numbers)

      Hopefully, since there's an actual UI in place on the Wii, they'll make adding people to your addressbook more streamlined, without

      • by Dorceon ( 928997 )
        I don't see how there's a way to add someone to your friends list without some kind of unique identifier. There can only be one bob, at which point every other bob ever is disappointed by being stuck with a name like bob19942. I say keep the friend code as the unique ID and call your friends by the name you want to use, which is the way it currently works.
        • I took the GP's post to be more in the manner that when you type in Bob, it checks your address book. If you have Bob in there, it automatically calls up Wii# XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX. Basically an alias.
          • by Dorceon ( 928997 )
            That's silly--if you already have Bob in your system's address book, why would you have to enter him in a specific game?
      • by grumbel ( 592662 )
        ### Hopefully, since there's an actual UI in place on the Wii, they'll make adding people to your addressbook more streamlined, without requiring you to manually enter in codes.

        The whole point of the friend code system is that there is no way to obtain them from withing the Wii system itself, this forces you to contact the other players outside of the Wii system, so that the Wii system itself can stay completly clean of any kind of player to player contact (aka chat, forums, lobbies, etc.). The only thing t
  • Friend Codes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by loki_ninboy ( 992401 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @05:10PM (#18338641) Homepage

    God those things are awful. I could understand using them for the DS, especially for games like Animal Crossing, because you don't want some random guy coming in and messing up your town, but on Wii it's just horrible.

    Your actual code is buried in a menu in the address book portion. I've added 3 friend whos have Wii's into my address book, and they say they have added me too, but no confirmation or it working has appeared yet. I've tried to send WiiMail to them but they never get it.

    The same people on my 360 gamertag list, they get the messages I send, even the ones with voice almost instantanously.

    If this helps alleviate the usage of friend codes, i'm all for it.

    • Ummm, have you used a Wii yet? or if you have, do you know how to use it? If no confirmation has happened yet, the button to even SEND any kind of message or Miis is grayed out.

      I'm in complete agreement though that the FCs are complete crap for a normal console. Nintendo has shown that they can do a unique naming system with numbers, now lets use some letters, and hey while were at it, let people create that unique name!
      • by Dorceon ( 928997 )
        The problem with that is that Zipf's law applies to nicknames--in other words, the majority of people will want names that are taken.
      • Yup, I just can't wait to be known as "SSJ5Goku3245".
      • I think you are mistaken. I have sent messages to my friends' Wiis since launch.
        • It does take some indeterminate amount of time for the friend connection to be made, however. I've never had one of the names become ungrayed without a night with the power off intervening, but then again, I don't have as much time for Wii-ing as I'd like.
          • by remmelt ( 837671 )
            I've talked a friend through finding his own fc and inputting mine (not trivial, with the mingle, migrate connect 24 functions and fc exchange) and it took about 15 minutes. I would guess that it requests a list of befriended Wiis every once in a while from some main connecting server. Perhaps every 30 minutes?
    • Try enabling the mingle function on your Miis and have your friends do the same. If their Wii codes are in properly you'll start seeing their Miis show up in the Mii channel and they will see yours.
  • About Friend Codes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LKM ( 227954 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @04:39AM (#18344519) Homepage
    The idea with friend codes is simple: It only allows you to talk to people you already know outside of the game. It does not prevent you from playing against people whose friend code you don't have, you simply won't be able to talk to them.

    Let me repeat that: You can ignore friend codes and still play online games. You don't get the more sophisticated matchmaking stuff, but you can play online very easily.

    The reason for friend codes is simple: If some pedophile is looking for kids, he won't be able to find them using Nintendo's online service. It's not a useful strategy against pedophiles, but it is an useful strategy for Nintendo: They can avoid the blame if something happens. Let's not forget that there were mainstream media reports about how pedophiles can get to children using the DS's chat application. And then there was this guy who actually kidnapped children and had an Xbox gamertag. Nintendo has a lot to lose here with regards to public opinion.

    Personally, I don't mind friend codes per se. I usually don't want to talk to the people I play with, I just want to race them in Mario Kart or destroy them in Tetris. And I can easily fill in friend codes for the people I actually want to talk to. The only real problem with friend codes is that you have to enter them anew for each game on the DS. Hopefully, Nintendo has fixed that problem with the Wii.
  • I loath, hate and despise gamespy. However, the reasons I hate them hopefully only apply to pc games, and that is first their crappy app some games force you to use, and secondly, having to log into their service, and downloading tons of patches to make the damn thing work right.

    Someone else here wrote the DS network already uses Gamespy, but I haven't tried it yet. I am hoping Nintendo is stopping them for letting their slacker attitude come through. I still hate the idea that they will have a hand in t

  • I wouldn't expect too much from Gamespy's online matchmaking here. Qualities of DS online play: - Lengthy connection times - No lobby system - No ability to choose the number of players in your match (it tends to favor 1 on 1 matchups) - No ability to choose which of your "friends" you play with - Few if any customizable options for each match - Did I mention lengthy connection times? Whether it was Gamespy's fault, or whether it was Nintendo's, something severely stunted the implementation of DS online p

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