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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 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 Dorceon ( 928997 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @08:29PM (#18341285)
    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 talk to strange people on the phone." Of course the child isn't going to volunteer their address at first, but isn't the whole trick with online predators that they gradually build trust?
  • by Nataku564 ( 668188 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2007 @08:47PM (#18341445)
    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.
  • 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.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford