22 March 2006 - 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."
Nintendo's wireless gaming service has hit an all- time gaming record of 1 million unique users, in less than four months in operation. The 1 millionth user was a player in Japan, who logged on to play Animal Crossing: Wild World.
Click onto www.nintendo-europe.com for all of the most up to date official information on Nintendo.
For more information please contact:
Sian Dobson or Bianca Lee-Chang - Nintendo Press Office
T: 0207 307 3103: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Carter, BT Retail Press Office, tel: 020 7356 4523
or via the BT Newsroom on its 24-hour number: 020 7356 5369
Notes to editors:
Wi-Fi access through BT Openzone for Nintendo DS is purely a mechanism for users in different locations to play games against each other when they are in a BT Openzone hotspot. Nintendo DS users will not be able to use the full Openzone service as a 'normal' user would i.e. for broadband speed email, internet access etc. Wireless access is therefore 'free' from a Wi-Fi gaming aspect only.
With Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, online gaming is no longer a technological minefield. No one need be confused by having to complete complicated setup and configuration procedures. Unlike current offerings, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection set up is fuss free.
The service will allow Nintendo DS gamers in the UK to link up with users across the country, and even the world, to compete against each other - Nintendo's Wi-Fi connection is a safe environment for players. Players have the option to select to play with just friends, or people of a similar skill level around the world without fear of harassment. Players do not have direct communication with each other when playing anonymously and therefore personnel details or inappropriate comments cannot be exchanged.
Users of Nintendo Wi-Fi will be able to access the service completely free* of charge. Whether connecting at home through their existing Wi-Fi broadband connection, at a retail outlet via Nintendo's bespoke download stations, or at one of over 7,500 public access Wi-Fi hotspots, users will not have to pay any additional subscription or connection charges.
*Usual broadband line rental costs apply when accessing the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection at home.
Nintendo Co., Ltd of Kyoto, Japan, is the acknowledged worldwide leader in the creation of interactive entertainment. To date, Nintendo has sold more than 2 billion video games worldwide and more than 350 million hardware units globally, creating such industry icons as Mario and Donkey Kong and launched franchises like The Legend of Zelda and Pokémon. Nintendo manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home video game systems, including the Nintendo 64, NINTENDO GAMECUBE, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and Game Boy - the world's best-selling video game system which has sold over 180 million units. As a wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of Europe, based in Grossostheim, Germany, was established in 1990 and serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in Europe.
BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in more than 160 Countries. Its principal activities include networked IT services, local, national and international telecommunications services, and higher-value broadband and internet products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.
In the year ended 31 March 2005, BT Group's revenue was £18,623 million with profit before taxation of £2,354 million.
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
For more information, visit www.bt.com/aboutbt