Nintendo has signed an agreement with Wayport, a leading provider of wired and Wi-Fi high-speed Internet access in public locations, to extend Wi-Fi service to Nintendo DSTM users at nearly 6,000 McDonald's restaurants across the United States. Through the agreement with Wayport, Nintendo will offer complimentary access to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, the video game giant's new wireless gaming service that goes online Nov. 14.
"This agreement with Wayport will bring countless people together to play games in a single, simultaneous wireless community," says Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo America's executive vice president of sales & marketing. "Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection is simple to use. Beginning with free access at participating McDonald's, we have removed one of the major barriers that have kept people from going online to play games."
"By enabling Nintendo DS customers to access Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection via our Wi-Fi World network and business model at McDonald's, we are continuing to drive more customers to the restaurants we serve and increase the relevancy of Wi-Fi to a broader customer base," said Dave Vucina, CEO of Wayport. "Nintendo is a pioneer in providing a new way for their customers to play the games they want to while away from home or the office, and McDonald's is the perfect venue based on their ubiquity and accessibility."
Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection creates a welcome, inviting community where gamers of all kinds can log on wirelessly and begin playing favorite franchise games like Mario Kart DS and Activision's Tony Hawk's American SK8Land, and future titles such as Animal Crossing: Wild World and Metroid Prime Hunters. Game play will be free, and users will be able to connect easily to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection in a variety of ways.
When a user brings a Nintendo DS unit and a Wi-Fi-enabled game into a Wayport-enabled McDonald's, the user simply launches the game in Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection mode. No setup is required.
From home, if the user already has a Wi-Fi network, the Nintendo DS unit will connect directly to it with minimal setup procedures. Those who have a high-speed Internet connection such as cable or DSL, but no wireless network, can use the Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector, which will plug into the USB port of a PC running Windows XP to create a wireless access point to connect a DS to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector will be sold exclusively on Nintendo.com.
Finally, Nintendo DS owners who want to play games at Wi-Fi locations outside McDonald's or their home can use a laptop computer and the Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector to access Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector enables the Nintendo DS to share an Internet connection established by a PC, providing a conduit to play games via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
Detailed information about Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, as well as a list of participating Wayport/McDonald's hotspots, will be available soon at www.NintendoWiFi.com.
Nintendo DS is just the first Nintendo system to connect via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The same service will be incorporated into Nintendo's next-generation home video game console, code-named Revolution, which is set for release in 2006.