Nintendo Roll Out Nintendo Wi-Fi To UK And Ireland

Nintendo UK and BT Openzone have today announced the roll out of over 600 BT Openzone / Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection hotspots to retailers across the UK and Ireland. The hotspots will provide retailers and their customers with simple, safe and free access to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service.

In addition and to coincide with the release of Animal Crossing: Wild World on Nintendo DS, over 500 of the Wi-Fi enabled stores will also offer anyone the chance to download playable demos of current and upcoming Nintendo DS titles via Nintendo DS ‘Download Stations’ attached to their Nintendo DS interactive units – again absolutely free. The roll out commences from today and all 607 stores will go live by summer 2006.

BT Openzone / Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection hotspots and Nintendo DS ‘Download Stations’ will be located in GAME, Gamestation, HMV, Toys R US, Smyths Toys and other selected independent retailers across the UK and Ireland. The installation of these hotspots will add to the 7,500 hotspots which gamers already have access to across the UK, thanks to Nintendo’s partnership with Wi-Fi providers such as BT Openzone.

Games initially available to download include one level demos of Polarium, Meteos and the chance to meet Shigeru Miyamoto’s nintendog ‘Pic’. Upcoming downloads in April and May include playable demos of Pokemon Link, Trauma Centre: Under the Knife and Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain? Other Nintendo goodies downloadable to your DS will include special items for Animal Crossing: Wild World and a very special Metroid Prime: Hunters movie. New content will be added and refreshed by Nintendo on a monthly basis so there’s always something new to experience.

To access the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service at a retail location all you need to do is walk into a store with your Nintendo DS console and any Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection compatible game, turn on your console and choose the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection option from the game’s main menu.

To download demos via ‘Download Stations’ it’s just as easy – turn on your Nintendo DS console and on the system menu tap the ‘DS Download Play’ button. The download will remain available and playable on your Nintendo DS console until the power is turned off.

Commenting on the rollout David Yarnton, General Manager, Nintendo UK, said: “Nintendo are once again leading the way in bringing a significant, groundbreaking service to UK retailers and their customers. Nintendo has revolutionised Wi-Fi video gaming, removing all of the negative aspects whilst retaining the fun and diversity it offers and now anyone can join in with the one million other people across the globe currently enjoying our service. The Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service truly offers the mass market a great opportunity to fully embrace Wi-Fi.

Chris Bruce, General Manager of BT Wireless Broadband, added: “The Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service is already proving extremely popular with users across the world. From our point-of-view, it’s a strong proof-point that Wi-Fi is becoming mainstream. We’ll really see Wi-Fi coming of age this year and this agreement is taking BT Openzone even further into the high street and retail parks by giving gamers access to Wi-Fi in an easy and accessible format at the point-of-purchase.”