Nintendo Gateway System

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The Nintendo Gateway System was a version of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64, or GameCube that was installed on some Northwest, Singapore Airlines, Air China, Air Canada, Alitalia-Linee Aeree Italiane, All Nippon Airways, British Midland International, Kuwait Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways, and Virgin Atlantic passenger aircraft, as well as certain hotels with LodgeNet, NXTV, or Quadriga, from late 1993 up until the late 2000s.

It was a series of game consoles rather than a single console, specialized for airlines and hotels, featured in about 40,000 airline seats and 955,000 hotel rooms. It was one of the first in-seat airline entertainment services, provided by Matsushita Avionics, Rockwell Collins, and Thales Avionics. Its official website was discontinued in mid-2008, but units have been seen as late as 2013 for Nintendo 64 in hotels, and as late as 2012 for Game Boy and Game Boy Color on Singapore Airlines.

It was part of a much larger computer system that allowed air passengers to not only play video games but also watch movies, listen to music, talk on the phone, and even shop while in-flight, before the rise of the internet. Upon its release, there were 10 games installed in the system, which included The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, F-Zero and Super Mario World. Future plans for the system were to have it installed in hotels and cruise ships as well.

The controller, or remote, for the airline version of the Gateway System had a button set-up similar to the Super NES controller. It also doubled as a remote for the movies and music aspect of the system. Hotels had modified versions of the original console controllers. LodgeNet was the most widespread pay-per-view system for hotels that used it.

LodgeNet partnered with Nintendo to bring video games directly into guest hotel rooms through streaming over the LodgeNet server, with the special LodgeNet controller plugging directly into the TV or LodgeNet set-top box, transmitting the game over phone lines connected to a central game server. Pricing was usually $6.95 plus tax for 1 hour of video games. After 1 hour, the game would immediately stop and prompt the user to purchase more play time. Many games were modified for single-player play only.

History[edit]

In late 1993, LodgeNet launched its on-demand hospitality service, including worldwide delivery of Super NES games to hotel guests via its proprietary building-wide networks.[1] LodgeNet eventually reported the system being installed in 200,000 hotel guest rooms by April 1996, and 530,000 guest rooms by mid-1999. By April 1996, LodgeNet reported that its partnership with Nintendo to deliver Super NES games had yielded 200,000 worldwide hotel guest room installations. On June 16, 1998, Nintendo and LodgeNet entered a 10-year licensing agreement for an "aggressive" upgrade to add Nintendo 64 support to their existing 500,000 Super NES equipped guest room installations.[2] LodgeNet says that within the system's previous five years to date, the system had "caused Nintendo to become the most successful new product rollout in the history of the hotel pay-per-view industry".[3] LodgeNet reported that within the middle of 1998 alone, 35 million hotel guests encountered the Nintendo name as an integral amenity,[3] and it reported sales of more than 54 million minutes of Nintendo-based gameplay.[4]

The Nintendo 64 LodgeNet controller, which could be used to play N64 games.
One of the two versions of the Super Nintendo LodgeNet controller.
The LodgeNet GameCube controller. Hooked up to TVs in hotel rooms, it allowed patrons to pay to play Nintendo GameCube games for limited time.

On June 10, 1999, LodgeNet and Nintendo began expanding and upgrading their existing Super NES buildout to include Nintendo 64 support. In mid-1999, LodgeNet reported that its 530,000 hotel room installations were increasing at a rate of 11,000 rooms per month.[4] In September 2000, Nintendo and LodgeNet began delivering newly released Nintendo 64 games to hotel rooms at more than 1,000 hotel sites, concurrently with the games' retail releases, demonstrating "the capacity to update [LodgeNet's] interactive digital systems with fresh content virtually overnight".[5]

Games[edit]

Games are offered for six Nintendo platforms, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the Game Boy, the Game Boy Color, the Game Boy Advance, the Nintendo 64, and the GameCube, with support for the Nintendo Entertainment System planned. While GB, GBC, and GBA games are exclusive to the airlines, the N64 and GC games are exclusive to the hotels, and the SNES is available for both.

Super Nintendo Entertainment System[edit]

There were 49 Super Nintendo Entertainment System titles available to play on LodgeNet hotel televisions and on airlines equipped with Nintendo Gateway System, which LodgeNet used for their hotel service. Some titles were not playable on airlines.

Nintendo 64[edit]

There were 38 Nintendo 64 titles available to play on LodgeNet hotel televisions.

GameCube[edit]

There were 43 Nintendo GameCube titles available to play on LodgeNet hotel televisions.

Game Boy and Game Boy Color[edit]

There were 33 Game Boy/Game Boy Color titles available to play on airlines featuring Nintendo Gateway System.

  • Baseball
  • Dr. Mario
  • F-1 Race
  • Game & Watch Gallery
  • Game & Watch Gallery 2
  • Game & Watch Gallery 3
  • Golf
  • Kirby's Dream Land 2
  • Kirby's Pinball Land
  • Kirby's Star Stacker
  • Mario Golf
  • Mario Tennis
  • Metroid II
  • Picross 2
  • Pokémon Gold Version
  • Pokémon Silver Version
  • Pokémon Pinball
  • Pokémon Puzzle Challenge
  • Pokémon Red Version
  • Pokémon Blue Version
  • Pokémon Trading Card Game
  • Pokémon Yellow Version
  • Super Mario Bros. Deluxe
  • Super Mario Land
  • Super Mario Land 2
  • Tennis
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
  • Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3
  • Wario Land II
  • Wario Land 3
  • Yakuman

Game Boy Advance[edit]

There were 13 Game Boy Advance titles available to play on airlines featuring Nintendo Gateway System.

  • Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising
  • Dr. Mario & Puzzle League
  • Fire Emblem
  • Game & Watch Gallery 4
  • Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land
  • Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit
  • Mario Pinball Land
  • Pokémon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire
  • Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Wario Land 4

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Includes The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, a 20-minute playable demo of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, a retrospective of The Legend of Zelda series, and a special movie of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Some content may or may not be on this version, as this GameCube service already offers The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (with Master Quest alongside it), as well as The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hotel-based video game and communication system". Google Patents. Nintendo of America, Inc. December 3, 1996. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  2. ^ "LodgeNet, Nintendo Sign N64 Agreement" (Press release). Sioux Falls, SD: LodgeNet Entertainment Corporation. PRNewswire. June 16, 1998. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "LodgeNet, Nintendo Celebrate Guest Room Video Game Milestone" (Press release). Sioux Falls, SD: LodgeNet Entertainment Corporation. PRNewswire. September 3, 1998. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "LodgeNet Begins Installing Hotels With Nintendo 64 Game Systems; Initiative Includes New Installations, System Upgrades for Thousands of Hotel Rooms" (Press release). Sioux Falls, SD: LodgeNet Entertainment Corporation. PRNewswire. June 10, 1999. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  5. ^ "LodgeNet Brings Mario Tennis(TM) to Hotel Guests Nationwide; New N64(R) Game Will Appear in Stores, Hotel Rooms Same Week" (Press release). Sioux Falls, SD: LodgeNet Entertainment Corporation. PRNewswire. August 29, 2000. Retrieved May 23, 2019.

External links[edit]