As the rollout of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection goes underway in both the U.S. and Europe, consumer site Eurogamer has spoken to Nintendo of Europe VP of Marketing Jim Merrick at the Nintendo Europe Summit on the company's plans for the service, as well as the next-gen Revolution system.
"We talked about the promise of Wi-Fi when we first introduced DS and now we can show you, with Mario Kart and with Tony Hawk, what Nintendo's vision of online gaming is," said Merrick, in reference to the company's long-in-coming online plans. The company produced its own online adapter for the GameCube, in both dial-up and broadband variants, but adapter was released in limited quantities and only ever supported by Phantasy Star Online and its sequel.
The Wi-Fi Connection will also be supported by the Revolution, though Merrick cautioned that it "has a lot of different requirements and capabilities." In addition to the already announced retro gaming applications -- the system will be able to download games from Nintendo's entire back catalog at still-unspecified prices -- the company was looking at using the online features to offer video and audio clips. "When I talk about music and movies, I mean you might download a trailer for a game, or in-game music," said Merrick. "But our business is interactive entertainment - we're not looking to be the home multimedia broadband portal, they can fight over that."
Other features of the Revolution, which Merrick confirmed is still just a codename and not the actual name of the system, are its ability to handle both normal-sized Revolution discs as well as the small GameCube media without an adapter, and its expandable 512MB of flash memory.
Speaking on software development for the system, Merrick said that no MMORPGs were currently in the works from Nintendo due to different design styles, but that third-party companies, possibly including Konami's Kojima Productions, were at work on Revolution games. Though Merrick would not confirm any individual titles, he reiterated that there would be playable games at next year's Electronics Entertainment Expo: "I would be very disappointed if I went to E3 and didn't play Revolution games, wouldn't you?"
The last thing Merrick mentioned was potential release dates for the Revolution, which may be sooner rather than later in terms of a European release. Acknowledging that Europe is traditionally the last territory to get new consoles, Merrick pointed out that the gap between Japanese and European launch was only 14 weeks, and Nintendo is aiming to shorten it for the Revolution launch. "We're very serious about trying to be a more global company and not follow the stereotypical formula of Japan first, then the US, then Europe some time later." Thanks once again to Eurogamer for the quoted material.