March 13th, 2006, 17:41 Posted By: wraggster
Nintendo UK has just this morning announced some great news for all European DS gamers. Samus, gaming’s toughest heroine, is back in Metroid Prime Hunters which will launch across Europe on May 5, 2006, including free wireless voicechat technology to enable you to talk to friends anywhere in the world.
Yes, that’s right, you will be able to actually speak with up to three of your mates who you play online before and after battles, using your Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and microphone. This will effectively be like having a four-way mobile phone conversation with friends anywhere in the world for free. Awesome!.
Speaking to a Nintendo UK rep earlier today, we were told a few more details about this highly anticipated game and this groundbreaking new DS service.
Metroid Prime Hunters, if you don’t already know, was one of the most interesting and talked-about game demo that shipped with the original DS, and Nintendo fans have been waiting for the full, final game in all its glory since from the first day they realised the possibilities the game presented for touch-screen controls on a handheld fps.
Plus, as well as the much-vaunted touch-screen controls, Metroid Prime Hunters also features Wi-Fi game play (with up to seven others), a fully-fledged single player 3D first-person shooter mode as well as an extensive online multiplayer first person shooter mode (with up to three other mates), and the aforementioned VOIP features, of which we will come to shortly.
If you want more details on the game you can check out SPOnG’s recent coverage right here. Suffice to say it’s Metroid Prime and it’s the first online multiplayer first-person shooter to grace a handheld system. It is, in other words, an essential purchase. With this and New Super Mario Bros. both out in time for E3, it's already a good bet as to what handheld games are going to be the real talk of the show this year.
Players can compete locally with friends using the Nintendo DS wireless link, with the option of Single-Card Play – which means that you can enter battle in a selection of arenas with three friends, using only one cartridge. Or if all players have copies of the game, they can engage in one of the game’s seven multiplayer modes in Multi-Card Play with a selection of seven characters and 10 arenas to choose from.
Players can also battle friends, rivals and other people across the globe thanks to the unparalleled success which is the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service, using their home broadband connection or one of Nintendo’s public Wi-Fi hotspots. Players can select Find Game to play against opponents from across the globe, chosen by their skill level or battle friends from the list saved on their Nintendo DS in Friends and Rivals mode.
And, as mentioned before, you can now for the first time ever talk to up to three of your friends who you are playing the game online with. For free. Wherever they are in the world.
Now, before we get too excited and carried away by this idea, lets just add in a few caveats, as the marketing people like to say. You can only talk to people whose friend codes you know, which means you cannot use the service to meet new friends and talk to them as if you were in a portable Internet chatroom. This is is a good and safe thing all around, so please, any tabloid news hacks looking to stir up a controversial story about kids being groomed by potential paedophiles or any other such nonsense, just understand that this is NOT a possibility!
You can also only talk to your friends online using the voice-chat feature in the set up area of Metroid Prime Hunters and in the final scores area of the game. There is also - crucially - a time limit set on the voice-chat feature, so you will not be able to use your DS as a free mobile phone to contact your mates all over the world. No! Denied!
Seriously, this makes sense, otherwise, as one commentator mentioned earlier, it would detract from the Nintendo DS being viewed as a game console, and instead people would start to use it as a voice communication device, which is not what Nintendo want. Nor, importantly, does SPOnG think it is what Nokia, T-Mobile, O2 or any of the other major mobile phone network operators and manufacturers want!
We will have a more detailed update on exactly how long the voice-chat time limit is from Nintendo very shortly. We will also have more technical details on how the feature works. What, for example, happens if more than one person speaks at once? This and other questions will be answered by our Nintendo guys ‘after the jump’ as they say. Whatever the hell that actually means.
For those who don’t want to use the voice-chat feature in the game, there is also a text-chat feature. So if, for example, you are sitting on a bus or are in a public space and you don’t like shouting loudly into your DS (i.e. if you have respect for your fellow human beings); if you are in bed with your girlfriend enjoying a post-coital game of Metroid Prime Hunters with your mates as she snores contentedly beside you (which, actually, would be a bit weird if you think about it); or if you are hiding at work playing Metroid Prime Hunters on the toilet and you don’t want your colleagues to hear you, then never fear, the text-chat feature means you can play in hushed silence with your headphones on should you so wish.
More Metroid Prime Hunters and DS as 'free global mobile phone news' as soon as we get it.
For more information and downloads, click here!
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