March 21st, 2005, 17:58 Posted By: wraggster
The Nintendo DS's upcoming online gaming service will be run in conjunction with GameSpy, will be free to DS owners, and will be simple for developers to exploit, according to the latest issue of Nintendo Power.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata spoke candidly about the birth of an online DS multiplayer service at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco recently, but concrete details about how the system will actually work have been thin on the ground.
However, Nintendo Power, the official Nintendo magazine in the States, has managed to shed a little more light on the issue. The GameSpy connection (you may be familiar with GameSpy's PC gaming networks) is proclaimed as being "simple to set-up" and should offer a "seamless experience for players."
DS owners all over the world will be able to connect to the service for free, so long as they are within range of a wireless internet hotspot. These are springing up in public places like cafes and stations. Wireless internet in the home should also allow you to play DS online.
Game finding and matchmaking should be included, making playing DS games online as easy as getting within range of a hotspot, logging onto the service, and kicking international ass.
Iwata-san also promised that the jump from wi-fi multiplayer to wireless online multiplayer would be easy for developers, suggesting that the technology used will be extremely similar. Online DS dev kits are expected to reach developers before E3 in May.
So we can expect to see loads of DS game enabled for online play relatively early. In terms of new online titles, Iwata-san showed off Animal Crossing DS during his GDC keynote speech. With online trading and village-visiting in the mix, AC is expected to be the service's flagship title.
Nintendo has also suggested a similar service is in the works for its upcoming next-gen machine, the Revolution. The DS service may well serve as a 'test run' for the home console's online gaming network.
A spokesperson for Nintendo declined to expand on the DS's online service. "Nintendo expects to reveal more at E3," they said.
The DS online service is expected to roll out before the end of this year.
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