The Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection was developed to be easy to connect to, safe for everyone to use, and free. Games designed to take advantage of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection offer Internet play integrated into the game. The Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection can support up to eight players on the Nintendo DS and thirty-two players on Wii. Basic features of the Wi-Fi Connection include worldwide matchmaking, leaderboards, tournaments, and downloadable content. Additional features are available between two friends who have exchanged Friend Codes.
Each game that uses the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection generates a unique twelve digit friend code that can be exchanged with friends and be used to maintain individual friend lists in each game. Friend codes are generated from an identifier unique to a copy of a game and the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection ID of a DS or Wii system. Using a different copy of a game or loading the same copy in a different system, generates a new Friend Code. In order for users to become "Friends", they must mutually add Friend codes and will be authenticated as Friends once both have gone online. These measures are said by Nintendo to be conscious steps to preserve users' privacy. If a DS or Wii game is sold, but not the system, there is no risk of the purchaser impersonating the seller. If a user needs to replace his or her DS system, then the old system's Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection ID can be transferred wirelessly, to maintain the user's original Friend codes on the new machine.
Many games have additional features that are enabled between two registered friends. These may include customized matchmaking options, cooperative play, friend lists, text chat, and voice chat.
Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection: Pay & PlayEdit
In 2008 Nintendo announced a new feature for the Wi-Fi Connection called Pay & Play. Games that use the Pay & Play feature may have additional downloadable content or services that require extra fees. These fees will be paid for using Nintendo Points. A special red Wi-Fi Connection logo with the words "Pay & Play" is used to distinguish these games from the regular free Wi-Fi games.
The first games to feature Pay & Play were released in Japan as part of WiiWare on the March 25, 2008. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King, Kotoba no Puzzle Mojipittan Wii and Lonpos each had downloadable content available for 100 to 800 Wii Points. The first retail Wii title to feature Pay & Play functionality is Samba De Amigo.
WiiConnect24 is a feature of Wii that allows the system to be connected to the Internet even when the console is in standby mode. Games and channels that utilize WiiConnect24 can send and receive data even while the game is not being played. Players who wish to send data to friends only need to register each other's Wii System Code and not individual friend codes. Players can also send friends messages using WiiConnect24 from the Wii Message Board. When a message is received, the Wii's slot light will glow blue.
Nintendo Wi-Fi USB ConnectorEdit
The Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector can be used for the Nintendo DS and the Wii if a compatible wireless network is not available. Broadband Internet access is not required to make use of this connectivity, though it is recommended to reduce network latency. It was priced at $34.99 at the Nintendo Online Store, however it has since been discontinued. Many third party products provide similar functionality.
Nintendo Wii LAN AdapterEdit
The Nintendo Wii LAN Adapter is required to connect the Wii console to a wired access point, such as a broadband modem or wired router. On one end of the adapter there is a usb connection, which connects to the back of the Wii. On the other end, there is a port to connect an ethernet cable to a modem, wireless router, etc. Many third party LAN adapters for the Wii offer the same functionality.
A wireless router is a network device that performs the functions of a router but also includes the functions of a wireless access point. Wireless routers can be used to connect the Wii and the Nintendo DS to the internet.