July 17th, 2006, 18:57 Posted By: wraggster
Nintendo faces a potential hurdle in deploying the Wii in the UK, as looming legislation seeks to outlaw the use of standby functionality in home electronics. The Energy Review, the latest draft of which was issued late Friday, targets all areas of electrical consumption and specifically refers to an intention to outlaw standby on TVs and set-top boxes. It's likely any games machines will be lumped together with the set-top box.
However, headlines in the games press over the weekend, many foretelling the premature death of WiiConnect24 in the UK, are likely well off the mark or at least, wholly premature. The Energy Review may well outline targeted energy cuts in fields related to home console gaming, though timelines for the implementation of any actual law-making are vague.
The UK government has simply backed a Europe-wide objective issued earlier last week entitled "The Eco-design for Energy Using Products Framework Directive", a directive lobbyists for the electronics industry immediately went to work on dismantling, pointing out progress they have made under their own volition as evidence than any further moves need not be forced by government.
However, the bottom line is that the Wii and it's interesting WiiConnect24 online gaming system will not be impacted. The device ships in a few months, well before any proposed legislation is in place. It is also likely that in the event the European directive becoming law, Nintendo will argue that Wii is not in standby mode and that it's method of downloading is preferable to one requiring full power usage.
Nintendo's only comment on the power usage of WiiConnect24 was made by company president Satoru Iwata who stated the mode would use as much power as a 'miniature lightbulb'. However, it's quite obvious that this phraseology was intentionally vague, as the power usage of lightbulbs is determined largely by the bulb technology rather than size, a small LED using far less power than a Thomas Edison classic.
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