And now, a moment of silence for the Nintendo’s Wii and DS online services.
Earlier today, Nintendo announced they would be taking down their online services on both the Wii and the DS/DSi consoles on May 20th. The news actually came by way of a Nintendo of Australia press release, but the company then confirmed that the disconnection would be global.
So, what exactly does taking down online services mean? For starters, it means that any Wii, DS, or DSi game that requires a Wi-Fi connection for some component, multiplayer or otherwise, will lose that functionality. A game that is billed as single and multiplayer, for example, can still support both those experiences, but only at the local level.
Nintendo was quick to point out, however, that the Wii and DS eShops will still be accessible through Wi-Fi, meaning gamers can still purchase new downloadable titles till their heart’s content. Obviously, if it’s something that makes Nintendo money not costs them money, then they are likely to keep that going.
Also still going are several online entertainment channels for the Wii, including the Wii’s Delivery Channel, Hulu, the Internet Channel, YouTube, and Netflix. We don’t know how many Wii owners out there still use their console for Internet browsing or media streaming, but those that do will not lose that functionality.
All told, there will be some 20 Wii games and 40 DS games affected by the discontinuation of services. Something could be said about the fact that, during its 6-year life cycle, Nintendo only published 20 games with only functionality, but a few of the titles are big names. Games like Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart Wii, for example, are now couch co-op experiences only. The same thing for DS games like Dragon Quest 9, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, and Pokémon Platinum Version. For a full list of the titles affected head here.
While pulling the plug on online services is nothing new, it’s always surprising to see how many people were actually enjoying a game when a publisher eventually decids to drop their servers. We suspect, given the longevity of many of Nintendo’s franchises, that there will be plenty of gamers disappointed by this news. Whether there will be a solution in the near future, either through the Wii U or the 3DS is unclear, but for now gamers have until May 20th to get in their last few Smash Bros. Brawl matches.
Does this news of Wii and DS online services coming down impact you? Has Nintendo improved their status with regards to online games in your opinion?