WiiConnect24

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WiiConnect24
Wiiconnect24 logo.svg
Developer Nintendo
Type Online service
Launch date November 2006
Last updated June 28, 2013
Platform Wii
Status Defunct

WiiConnect24 was a feature of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection for the Wii console. It was first announced at E3 Mid 2006 by Nintendo.[1] It enables the user to remain connected to the Internet while the console is on standby. For example, a friend can send messages to another player's town without the other player being present in the game Animal Crossing: City Folk.

On June 28, 2013, Nintendo terminated the WiiConnect24 service features globally. Consequently, the Wii channels that required it, online data exchange via Wii Message Board, and passive online features for certain games (the latter two of which made use of 16-digit Wii Friend Codes) have all been rendered defunct.[2]

Despite the fact the Wii U, the successor of Wii, is backwards-compatible with Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, allowing most online-enabled Wii games being played on the console to be actively connected online whenever possible, the Wii U hardware itself does not support WiiConnect24, which subsequently was cause for most preloaded and downloadable Wii Channels to be unavailable on the Wii U's Wii Mode menu and Wii Shop Channel respectively, even prior to WiiConnect24's termination. Eventually, the defunct downloadable Wii channels were made unavailable on all versions of the Wii Shop Channel.

WiiConnect24 is succeeded by SpotPass, a different trademark name for similar content-pushing functions that the Nintendo Network service can perform for the newer Nintendo 3DS and Wii U consoles. The trademark name "SpotPass" is more suited for generic Nintendo console usage without exclusively tying it to the Wii brand as the former "WiiConnect24" name had done.

Service[edit]

A Wii unit in standby mode with a message received

WiiConnect24 was used to receive content such as Wii Message Board messages sent from other Wii consoles, Miis, emails, updated channel and game content, and notification of software updates. If the Standby Connect mode of WiiConnect24 is enabled, this content can also be received when the Wii is left in standby mode. While running in standby mode with Standby Connection enabled, the Wii uses about 9.6 watts, compared to 1.3 watts without WiiConnect24.[3]

WiiConnect24 can be turned on or off via the setup interface. If it is on, the user is allowed to enable or disable Standby Connect mode. While the console is in standby, the power LED indicates the current status of the standby connection, red indicating Standby Connect is off, yellow indicating Standby Connect mode is on. If the power button on the console is pressed and held down for three to four seconds, the Wii goes into standby mode with Standby Connect off. If the Wii is cut off from power and power is later restored, it goes into standby mode with Standby Connect mode off and WiiConnect24 will not operate until the console is turned on.

The Wii Optical Drive will glow a neon-blue color when data has been received through WiiConnect24 in Standby Connect mode and, with firmware 3.0 and above, it will briefly flash when the console is turned on. The brightness level of this blue color can be changed via the Setup Interface with the options of Bright, Dim or Off. When game messages are received with pictures, the player can customize them into the Photo Channel. The player can also send them to other Wii consoles that are sent when you register them. The player can also opt out of receiving messages from Nintendo.

Functionality[edit]

During an interview with the Japanese newspaper, Nikkei Business Publications, Nintendo's CEO, Satoru Iwata, revealed that the WiiConnect24 could be used for the downloading of demos for the Nintendo DS (this was later revealed to be the Nintendo Channel).[4]

According to Nintendo's European micro-site for the Wii, WiiConnect24 can be used to send SMS messages "to family members that are out and about", and exchange pictures and messages with other Wii users.[5]

Channels[edit]

The following were Wii Menu channels that used WiiConnect24:

Channel Description Release date Current Status
Mii Channel Miis created by friends can be shared November 19, 2006 (with console) Active
Wii Shop Channel Download games by using "Wii Points" November 19, 2006 (with console) Active
Forecast Channel Current local and worldwide weather conditions December 20, 2006 Discontinued
News Channel The latest news articles and headlines January 24, 2007 Discontinued
Everybody Votes Channel Polls and results February 14, 2007 Discontinued
Check Mii Out Channel/Mii Contest Channel Miis can be shared as well as judged on a global scale November 11, 2007 Discontinued
Mario Kart Wii Channel Can race ghost data, view worldwide racing times, view friend list, participate in competitions like tournaments April 10, 2008 (Japan), April 11, 2008 (Europe), April 24, 2008 (Australia), April 27, 2008 (America) Discontinued[6]
Nintendo Channel Allows Wii users to watch trailers for games and download demos for the Nintendo DS. November 27, 2007 (Japan), May 7, 2008 (America), May 30, 2008 (Europe and Australia) Discontinued
Wii Speak Channel Allows users to leave voice messages on friends' message boards. December 5, 2008 (users must have Wii Speak to download) Discontinued[7]

The Forecast and News channels require that both WiiConnect24 and Standby Connection are enabled to work; if WiiConnect24 is enabled and Standby Connection is disabled, the channels gives an error upon launch and return the user to the Wii Menu. The reason for this requirement is unclear, as the channels still operate even if the Wii is consistently shut-down fully by holding the power button for four seconds.

Problems[edit]

The initial firmware update caused some parts of the console to be inaccessible to a small portion of people who purchased the Wii at launch. Those Wii consoles received constant error codes.[8] For those users it was necessary to contact Nintendo's customer service to replace or repair the console.[9]

In some countries, trying to connect to WiiConnect24 displays a screen stating that the service "is currently not being offered". This can be circumvented by selecting a different country as a location.[10] It is currently unknown what the actual availability map of the service is.

The PAL versions of the Wii connected with RGB SCART cables continue to send a SCART switching signal when the Wii is in WiiConnect24 standby mode. This occurs with both official Nintendo RGB SCART cables, and any third party RGB SCART cables that carry the SCART switching signal. This problem can be alleviated by disabling standby mode, but leaving WiiConnect24 running.

See also[edit]

References[edit]