Morikazu Sano of Buffalo Technology discusses the Nintendo-branded Wi-Fi access point.
Planet GameCube: Firstly, thank you for agreeing to answer some of our questions! Would you please introduce yourself and your role at Buffalo to our readers?
Morikazu Sano: My name is Morikazu Sano, and I'm a Senior VP of Global Marketing.
PGC: What is Buffalo's role in the deployment of Nintendo hotspots worldwide?
MS: We actually don't have the details yet for worldwide hotspots. Right now, it is only for Japanese hotspots -- at more than 1,000 Nintendo hotspots. Buffalo is going to support Nintendo for developing the Nintendo Wi-Fi Station together.
PGC: Is Buffalo involved in the network management for Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection? If so, how are you working in conjunction with GameSpy?
PGC: What is the process of connecting to the Nintendo Wi-Fi network with a Nintendo DS and the USB Connector?
MS: First, you need to install the software that comes with the USB Connector in your computer. That will allow it to work as a software access point with your computer. Then, you need to access your wireless network connection feature in your Nintendo DS. On the Nintendo DS the AOSS button will appear. Press the AOSS button on the screen. That will automatically search for the AOSS enabled software AP. You then to go to the access point software and find the AOSS button and click your mouse. Once they see each other, it establishes the wireless connection automatically.
PGC: Will Buffalo support operating systems other than Windows XP?
MS: Yes, if you use Buffalo wireless routers/access points with AOSS feature to use with Nintendo DS. We support from Windows 98 to XP.
PGC: Does the USB connector automatically find drivers when plugged in? (Do you have to carry a CD if you take it to a friend's house?)
MS: In order to use the USB Connector, you have to have a PC. Therefore, if you install it on your laptop, you don't need to carry the CD, but you need to bring your laptop with you to your friend's house with the USB Connector. However, if your friend has a Buffalo AOSS enabled router/access point, you don't need to bring your USB Connector or laptop.
PGC: What is the job of the custom Access Point software included with the USB Connector?
MS: To make the USB Connector work with a Nintendo DS and so users can use AOSS as a software AP.
PGC: How will the USB Connector (and Nintendo DS) work under WEP and/or WPA security? What about on a PC connected to a wired router?
MS: I believe they both work under WEP, but please ask Nintendo about this to double check. This is their decision not ours.
PGC: Can the USB Connector work with other 802.11b/g devices?
MS: Please remember that the USB Connector is under Nintendo brand. Therefore, I can't really make a comment on their branded product. Please ask Nintendo this question as well to make sure.
PGC: Is the range of the USB connector comparable to normal wireless routers?
MS: Yes, it is.
Planet GameCube would like to again thank Mr. Sano for his time.