Nintendo News Wrap August 30th, 2006: Sim City DS, WiFi Connection Hits 2 Million, and Wii Third Party Online Still Up in the Air

In a press release yesterday, Nintendo revealed that after only nine months 2 million unique users have logged onto their free online play service, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
Wi-Fi Connection launched in November 2005 alongside Mario Kart DS and has now served players with over 70 million free play sessions across a number of DS titles including Animal Crossing: Wild World, Tetris DS, and Metroid Prime: Hunters. To put this achievement in perspective, the paid Xbox Live service, which launched in 2002 and has been available across two separate platforms, has to date just over 3 million users. Despite a few user complaints with the Wi-Fi service, including the rather unwieldy Friend Code system, Nintendo has solidified their online presence in just under a year.

A number of rumors have popped up across numerous forums, blogs, and news sites concerning online multiplayer for third party Wii launch titles claiming that third party games will not have online functionality until 2007. These rumors followed word that both Call of Duty 3 and Ubisoft’s Red Steel would not feature online multiplayer Wii launches later this fall. After contacting Nintendo today for a comment, Associated Content received was told that there is no official word on the online capabilities of third party titles.

European magazine CVG reported good news for DS fans today. EA has announced a DS version of one of the most played games of all time, Sim City, to be released during the “winter of 2006/2007.” While there are no details outside of this vague release window, Will Wright’s classic building simulator seems an easy fit for the DS’ touchscreen interface.

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