Nintendo DS Goes Wifi - Here Come The Kiddies...

If you have a WAP with an area of coverage spilling out into public areas, you may start seeing a certain MAC using your network (if it's intentionally or unintentionally open) or attempting to use it (if it's secure).

The MAC will be: 00-09-BF-**-**-**

Registered to:

Nintendo Co.,Ltd.


With the release of "Mario Kart DS", the Nintendo DS now has one game with

802.11 capability. (For those not familiar with the DS, it is a handheld game system by Nintendo. It has a built-in radio for multiplayer game play. Up until now, the games released so far used a proprietary protocol for wireless "Local Area Network" gameplay, however the radio is also capable of 802.11. "Mario Kart DS" is the first game released that takes advantage of standard TCP/IP over 802.11 -- allowing internet multiplayer gaming.)

I first played it on my girlfriend's brother's DS, but, yeah -- I'll admit, I've since gotten one for myself as well. It is pretty fun.

Nintendo's multi-tiered approach to getting DS users online (including consideration for the youngins):

  1. Those with broadband and wireless hardware are already good to go. Simply select your SSID and enter your WEP key, if you are using one. (I found that I did have to make one settings change to one my AP's for it to work though. The DS is using first generation 2 mbps 802.11. Its not even
802.11b. Also, the DS doesn't support WPA.)

  1. Those with broadband, but no wireless hardware (or desire/need), Nintendo is offering a cheap USB device. Its basically just a small little access point, intended only for connecting DS's.

  2. Those with broadband and wireless hardware, but concerned about having to use WEP over WPA -- Nintendo is offering the USB AP. ("Continue to use WPA and just plug the USB device in when you want to play the DS online.")

  1. Those without broadband, Nintendo has partnered up with Wayport and McDonald's. At McDonald's locations that have Wayport AP's, the DS will be able to online at no cost. When a DS is recognized, it bypasses Wayport's login pages.

...and the more "interesting":

  1. Nintendo is stating that "other sites" (thats us) may or may not work with the DS. In a round-about language, they are encouraging users to "experiment" to see if they will work or not.

Not that I care about #5 (in fact, configed my captive portal to allow DS's to bypass it's login), but thought it was "interesting" how Nintendo viewed this as a potential resource.

More interesting, perhaps, is that with the DS going wifi, there is a young demographic group now part of the whole wifi "world". You may have kids younger than 10 knocking on your AP's door, while waiting for their school bus.

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It appears that Eric shook an Etch A Sketch before scribbling:

The question is whether it will operate in Infrastucture or Ad-Hoc mode. It sounds like it's going to be Infrastructure, in which case everything you said follows. If it attempts to work in Ad-Hoc, so that the individual units can connect to each other directly, it shouldn't be as much of a problem.

Reply to
TV Slug

"Local Area Network" multiplayer on it is an "Ad-Hoc" using their proprietary protocol, but internet multiplayer is infrastructure.

I have one. It connects no differently than any other computer in infrastructure mode.

I don't see it as a "problem". Its the demographics that I found more interesting, not necessarily the technical aspect of it.

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It appears that Eric shook an Etch A Sketch before scribbling:

I just meant it wouldn't be as much of a problem if they didn't try to connect in standard infrastructure mode. Since they do, I'm just hoping that it requires an active step to attempt a connection, rather than just an automatic seek and connect.

Reply to
TV Slug

Yeah, I can see where you are coming with that -- a bunch of DS's out there trying to automatically connect to every and anything could lead to a minor nuisance. (Putting a bunch of entries in logs for one.)

Hardware-wise, it is certaintly capable of doing that, if the software (games) are developed to do so.

With "Mario Kart DS", it doesn't do this. You have three "configuration settings" profiles. To set up each, one of the steps is to manually search for available AP's and select one for use. If the AP uses WEP, it then asks for the key to be entered. There are also the standard IP, Mask, DNS, ect settings if the network your connecting to doesn't use DHCP. Once config'd, the DS will connect simply by a choosing to go onto Nintendo's WFC within the game's main menu. Nintendo WFC (Wifi Connection) is Nintendo's online portal that brings players together. Same concept XBox Live, but very streamlined.

This will the standard interface for all of Nintendo's games, but third parties could certaintly have a different interface approach -- including "automatically attempt to connect to anything out there".

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