Online play for Wii edges nearer. Very slowly.
Reports are popping up here and there with very little fanfare of specific titles that will support online play on Wii. It’s been known for a while that the first online play would be with June’s Pok?©mon title, but it’s also come to light that Sega’s got an online game (featuring Mii characters, it’s a pachinko title) on the way, and the Kuju-developed Battalion Wars II, which is a RTS military thing, has been revealed to have online play as well. Along with Smash Bros Brawl, which was promised to be online before any work on the game had even begun, this is not a particularly stunning start.
Now, Nintendo has effectively confirmed that online play on the Wii will be no more elaborate than what we’re seeing on the DS, which is to say, pretty bare-bones, but pretty effective. This confirmation came only in the statement that GameSpy’s own middleware would be supporting Wii’s online play, which is exactly what’s happening right now with the DS.
The first party Nintendo WiFi Connection site shows 13 titles, at least one of which has not been released. This includes all games that use the service for anything at all, not specifically online play. For example, Mario vs Donkey Kong 2 lets you share custom-made levels, but you can’t play together online. You with me?
At any rate, we’re getting closer to seeing what Nintendo does with online play, and I have my doubts it will be terribly robust. The Wii is a hit, particularly with those who they wouldn’t call the “core gamer,” and these more casual players are not clamoring for Xbox Live, so a somewhat spartan online play functionality like that in Mario Kart DS or Animal Crossing: Wild World is sufficient. Don’t get me wrong, those games are a lot of fun and I love them, but you don’t have anything like in-game chat, lobbies, anything at all. And it’s all somewhat weighted down by friend codes, to say the least.
I’ll be watching and you only know I’ll be writing. And linking furiously.
Via… well, via lots of places.