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Thursday, October 06, 2005
Nintendo DS Goes Wireless

Nintendo DS handheld device will let gamers play against each other online through a wireless connection.

Nintendo DS' wireless strategy detailed Wednesday that includes letting gamers play against each other online by connecting their devices wirelessly.

DS players have been waiting for the DS, which had been enabled for Wi-Fi, to go wireless for some time. Previously, they could only use the device to play alone and only use games that they had loaded onto the device.

Nintendo said company's online game service 'Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection' will launch on November 14 in the U.S. and in Japan later in November.

The wireless push is part of Nintendo's attempts to secure its lead in the $4.5-billion portable game market, as Sony gains sales with the PlayStation Portable, its own hand held game device.

Using the DS, gamers will be able to challenge each other in games like Mario Kart and Animal Crossing. Offering wireless access would enable the company's portable players to play games online at home or at Nintendo-sponsored or independent hotpots.

From a gamer's home, the DS will be able to connect to an available Wi-Fi connection with a set-up procedure. For gamers that don't have a home Wi-Fi connection but have broadband access, Nintendo will sell a USB (Universal Serial Bus) plug-in device for a home PC that will act as a wireless router for multi-player gaming.

At Nintendo stores in Japan, the company will set up wireless hotspots so that players can begin playing multiplayer online games free as soon as they purchase the DS.

Nintendo will also set up "thousands of free Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection hotpots," across the U.S., and said more details would be announced in the coming weeks. Sony saw strong sales of the PSP after it went on sale in Japan last December, and in the United States in March. Sony plans to sell 13 million PSPs by 2006.

But Nintendo hopes that wireless will give the Nintendo DS a boost.

The company said other portable devices will get wireless access in the future, as will the company's next generation console the Revolution, which is planned for release in mid-2006.

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