June 8th, 2005, 20:00 Posted By: wraggster
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has wafted away a little smoke surrounding the next-gen Revolution, killing off rumours surrounding the next-gen console's featured retro download functionality while speaking at a business strategy conference yesterday.
Revealing that the Revolution's system to download back catalogue Nintendo console games is called Virtual Console, Iwata-san confirmed that first-party games from Nintendo's previous consoles released for download onto Revolution will not be made available for free, saying "...we have no plans to distribute [the games] without charge."
However, for users to gain access to the downloads it might not simply be a case of paying up on a per title basis. Iwata-san stated that Nintendo believes "there's a number of ways that we can use the system, such as to offer a bonus download with the purchase of a new game, or allow some games to be downloaded during a limited time during a campaign period."
Although much of the focus on Virtual Console in past weeks has been directed toward first-party titles to be made available, Iwata-san said that Nintendo hopes to create a format that can additionally be used by third-parties "to make a profit by using the resources from our past."
He also let slip that we'll be able to download demos to our DS at home, although didn't elaborate on this feature. Nor was any mention made of DS-to-Revolution connectivity, which surely must be on the cards, but Iwata-san did touch on Revolution's internal 512Mb flash memory briefly - it will be used for downloading games through Virtual Console, for saving game data and for expansion of the Revolution's capabilities, whatever that means.
Satoru Iwata spent time talking about Nintendo's online service, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, during the business conference too, saying that it hopes that 90-plus percent of punters will use the service to play online games.
In Japan at least, Nintendo is to establish 1,000 wireless hotspots in key areas and shops selling Nintendo products, and users won't be charged to play games published by Nintendo online. It could be a different story with third-party published titles though, third-parties potentially charging for online play.
It was also revealed that Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection users will be able to shut themselves away from the general pubic and choose to play online in 'closed', private sessions just with friends if desired.
And if you're concerned over a lack of wireless internet connection in your home, the good news is that, according to Famitsu, Nintendo plans to release a USB network adaptor that you can plug into your PC that'll act as a point of connection for Revolution and DS.
To date, Mario Kart DS and Animal Crossing DS are Nintendo titles confirmed to feature Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection functionality, although it won't be too long before the two are accompanied by similarly geared-up friends. Iwata-san said during the conference that 25 third-party publishers are currently working on games that'll support Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
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