Although no official announcement has been made, British consumer website Computer & Video Games
is claiming advanced knowledge of a separate Ethernet kit for the Wii, to allow users without a wireless connection to use the console online.
In a reverse of the Xbox 360's hardware the standard Wii configuration includes a wireless adapter, but no means to attach an Ethernet broadband cable for those without a Wi-Fi home connection. The story makes no mention of price or availability, with the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connector for the Nintendo DS being notoriously difficult to obtain at retail.
If true, and certainly some form of Ethernet adapter has long been assumed by most observers, it again reinforces Nintendo's commitment to online functionality, despite the company still refusing to reveal any concrete details about the console's online features, particularly as regards game.
The first online title in Japan is reputed to be Pokemon Battle Revolution
(the next generation equivalent of the Pokemon Stadium
series), available shortly after launch. It is unclear what the first online game would be in the West, since the Nintendo DS games Pokemon Diamond/Pearl
to which Battle Revolution
relates are not expected to be released outside of Japan until at least summer 2007.
Sony has been similar circumspect about the online features of the PlayStation 3, although the company has kept an Ethernet cable connection as the default, with a Wi-Fi adapter only being built into the more expensive 60GB hard drive version of the console.