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Nintendo Launches Wi-Fi Connection in North America

by Rainier on Nov. 15, 2005 @ 1:47 a.m. PST

That sound you hear is the thunder of video gamers worldwide revving their engines for the launch of Mario Kart DS and Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The online gaming service for Nintendo DS lets users connect wirelessly to race. From the very start, users can log on easily to shoot shells and burn rubber against opponents from all around the world.

"Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection removes the barriers that have prevented many mainstream players from going online," says Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales & marketing. "We have made the service incredibly simple to use and free at select hotspot locations – but this is just the beginning."

The Mario Kart franchise has sold more than 11.1 million games in the United States alone. Mario Kart DS offers racers more than 30 courses, including classic tracks from Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Mario Kart: Double Dash!! . Favorite Nintendo characters cruise in dozens of classic and custom karts as they use weapons like bananas, bombs, lightning and squid ink to gain a competitive advantage.

When racing using a wireless local area connection, up to eight players can play, even if only one of them has a Mario Kart DS game card. When using Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, up to four players across the world can join a race. Friends share their DS Friend Code to find one another online using their friend roster.

Whether users are at home or out and about, they have a variety of uncomplicated ways to connect to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection:

  • If the user already has a Wi-Fi home network, the Nintendo DS unit will connect directly with minimal setup procedures.
  • Those who have a home high-speed Internet connection such as cable or DSL, but no Wi-Fi home network, can either purchase a compatible wireless router or the Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector, which plugs 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 at an MSRP of $34.99.
  • Outside the home, when a user brings a Nintendo DS unit and a Wi-Fi-enabled game into a Wayport-enabled McDonald's restaurant locations, the user simply launches the game in Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection mode. No setup is required.
  • Nintendo DS owners who want to play games at Wi-Fi locations outside McDonald's restaurant locations or their homes 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. Regular Internet access fees may apply from these locations.
  • Nintendo DS owners may also connect at a number of other free hotspot locations with no additional hardware and minimal setup. A complete list of these locations, along with the list of participating McDonald's restaurant locations, can be found on

Mario Kart DS is the first title to use Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, along with multiple upcoming titles like Animal Crossing: Wild World on Dec. 5 and Metroid Prime Hunters on March 20.

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