Author Topic: Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?  (Read 3258 times)

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Offline Kairon

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Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« on: December 23, 2005, 01:51:28 PM »
This needs to be put out in the open because without it, we'd just be willfully ignoring an aspect of Nintendo's plans that could prove problematic.

We've all heaped praise upon Animal Crossing and Mario Kart, but both of these games have powerful flaws in their implementation of online stability.

The developers of Mario Kart felt that certain courses could not be played online because they couldn't insure that with all the activity on the course, the connection would remain stable. In Animal Crossing, disconnections are not uncommon at all! (The loss of progress for everyone involved is actually a game design issue, and only very slightly related to connectivity stability.

In addition, the 30 foot distance on the WiFi dongle is fine if you're computer is in the living room, but 30 feet turns out to be exhausted by my walking right down the hall! But perhaps stronger WiFi routers are capable of better performance...

Anyways, if these problems persist onto the Revolutions online ability, then this would put a HUGE damper on the Revolution's claim on excellent AND free online capabilities.

But then again, there may not be too much cause to worry. The DS is not too strong a piece of hardware, and thus it may not be able to use techniques to enable online play via slower guaranteed throughput.

Blizzard, for example, offers a free online matching service, the highly popular B.Net. This is free and connects players, much like the Nintendo WiFi Strategy. And Blizzard's RTS games are very readily playable on 56K to boot! But this is done because a lot of what Blizzard has done is shunt the weiight onto the computer's cpu, 56K is fine as long as you have a strong enough computer to handle the less, but probably more complex data being sent over the net. Basically put, B.Net makes it such that you can play on %^K because the cpu uses programming tricks to make up for it.

Perhaps the Revolution will be better capable of this than the DS.

...Also of worth noting is that B.Net has no central server, when players play a Blizzard game one of their computers acts as the host. This seems highly like the way Mario Kart : DS AND Animal Crossing works, the service is free because Nintendo maintains few servers of their own and shunts the responsibility of hosting to the DS, and the Revolution.

This last paragraph lends thought to the idea that traditional MMORPGs and massively multiplayer online games like WoW or FFXI will be more difficult to pull off on the Revolution as compared to simple 4-player hookups like a Mario Kart Match, a Streetfighter match, Resident Evil Outbreak, SOCOM match-ups or a Gauntlet type cooperative game.

Finally, there's the question of how ready Nintendos coders are for network programming. At the very least, we'll see how ready NST is come March and the release of Metroid Prime: Hunters.

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Offline ThePerm

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RE:Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2005, 02:17:54 PM »
any shortcomings to nintendo wifi right now are its on ds, when it comes to revolution it will be pretty solid
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Offline Shecky

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RE:Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2005, 02:54:06 PM »
"The developers of Mario Kart felt that certain courses could not be played online because they couldn't insure that with all the activity on the course, the connection would remain stable. In Animal Crossing, disconnections are not uncommon at all! (The loss of progress for everyone involved is actually a game design issue, and only very slightly related to connectivity stability."

MKDS, The problem lies with synchronization ... not that the connection wouldn't remain stable (or maybe that's what you meant but I wouldn't use those words).  Plain and simple, faster paced games... like racers and fps, are sensitive to "lag."  They (being the programming world, not Nintendo) have developed quite a few techniques though over time to try and minimize it's perceived effects.

Resetting after disconnecting in ACWW is 99.99% guaranteed to be a way of getting out of all the nasty things you could do (like item duplication).  

---

"In addition, the 30 foot distance on the WiFi dongle is fine if you're computer is in the living room, but 30 feet turns out to be exhausted by my walking right down the hall! But perhaps stronger WiFi routers are capable of better performance..."

What kind of antenna you got on that dongle?  

---

"Anyways, if these problems persist onto the Revolutions online ability, then this would put a HUGE damper on the Revolution's claim on excellent AND free online capabilities.

But then again, there may not be too much cause to worry. The DS is not too strong a piece of hardware, and thus it may not be able to use techniques to enable online play via slower guaranteed throughput."

Power.  The revolution will be plugged into a wall, and can afford to put out more power.  That's a huge difference.  Also has more storage (flash) which would help in trying to bring a "Live!" type environment to the console.

---

"Perhaps the Revolution will be better capable of this than the DS."

Games don't really require that big of a pipe.  Well unless your "hosting" in which case it usually goes up with the number of clients that connect to you.  Even then it's really not that much for most games.  Sure, cpu takes a hit when compressing data, performing encryption...  However the bulk of the processing goes into what the game has to do with the information it receives and what information it needs to send.

---

"Finally, there's the question of how ready Nintendos coders are for network programming. At the very least, we'll see how ready NST is come March and the release of Metroid Prime: Hunters."

Well, I say not enough... They should higher some talent there.  Microsoft has a huge networking branch (including research teams).  However I don't expect them to be at that level ... well ever.

Offline stevey

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RE: Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2005, 03:28:32 PM »
They needed to weaken the ds wifi because the wifi suck lots of power from the batterys and not because the cpu underpower and the rev dosen't need to worry about how much power is used.  
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Offline darknight06

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RE:Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2005, 04:57:37 PM »
Didn't Mario Kart's online development come together late into development?  Keep in mind Mario Kart was originally gonna be the ultimate DS LAN game(which by the way it sure is).  On the subject at hand, I'm not worrying about the Nintendo WFC.  There's no doubt that in my mind that NST will do a much better job than Mario Kart, afterall it was delayed so that they could put online functionality in.  That and there was rumblings about them doing this before the delay.  

As for the Revolution, there's no question that it's gonna have speedier Wi-Fi.  It'll be powered by a wall which will knock out the only real reason the DS only operates at 2mbps.  By that time, they'd probably have enough online DS titles to know what will work and what won't.  As far as connection range is concerned, a router can go all over the house and still keep a 3 bar connection.  I don't have the dongle, so I can't speak on behalf of that, but routers are not gonna have a problem.

Offline Artimus

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RE: Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2005, 07:56:42 PM »
There is this thing called a 'difference'. A difference is like...between handheld and console.

Offline mantidor

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RE: Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2005, 04:26:14 AM »
I thought you were going to talk about how current wifi (802.11) will probably be replaced with Wimax (802.16). Im not sure about the details of both and how is their current and future situation though.
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Offline Flames_of_chaos

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RE:Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2005, 06:30:13 AM »
And you have to remember that the DS uses 802.11b, Revolution will probably use the 802.11g standard. And people on mario kart disconnect because they are losing so it isn't Nintendo's fault its really the fault of the users. I'm not sure about the online of animal crossing because its all sold out here so I will probably have to venture up to Nintendo World to snag a copy.
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Offline Ian Sane

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RE: Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2005, 07:26:51 AM »
"They needed to weaken the ds wifi because the wifi suck lots of power from the batterys and not because the cpu underpower and the rev dosen't need to worry about how much power is used."

Nintendo has made a big deal about how the Rev doesn't use much power.  Apparently in Japan this is some sort of issue.  They SHOULDN'T care but they might still otherwise.

I can deal with DS online shortcomings because it's a portable and thus pretty much has to use wireless and it's really Nintendo's first serious go with online gaming.  Wireless isn't necessary on a console.  It's a nice option to have but it is by no means a requirement.  So if any comprimises are made with the Rev online connection just so they can have a wi-fi standard I'm going to be pretty peeved.  Hopefully there won't be.

I figure any problems with Rev online will be due to Nintendo's inexperience with online game design and not hardware.  The matchmaking for Mario Kart DS is pretty primitive but that's because of the game design.

Offline kirby_killer_dedede

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RE: Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2005, 09:59:35 AM »
I've only read the first post, but I have no doubt that Nintendo will fix any problems having to do with the actual connection.   However, it's the service that needs to be stronger - the mainstream is failing to recognize that Mario Kart online is the best it's going to get, simply because it's free.  They expect some great XBox Live-like service.  It's time Nintendo realizes that marketshare/mindshare is just as important as making a profit.  GameCube was a success too them because they made a good amount of money.  It was a complete failure to mostly everyone else.  So here's an idea: fund your own servers, allow others to make their own serveres, just like any other online game.  I don't care how much money you're losing.  You'll gain marketshare, and with marketshare comes mindshare, and with mindshare comes sales/profits (this is a bit different than other situations since Nintendo wouldn't be losing money per person who goes online or anything, so it's possible for Nintendo to make a decent profit and still provide a free service as extensive as Live).

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Offline Ceric

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RE: Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2005, 12:02:33 PM »
I personally like how Nintendos online outings let you just sort of jump into the game.  None of this talking stuff.  That should be done outside of the game.  In a way I sort of hope they keep that expect.  I hate going to play a game and get ready to go, have a group, and then they talk for 30+ minutes.... Blah... -Ceric
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Offline Pale

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RE:Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2005, 12:30:29 PM »
Apparently, when there isn't any news, we have to blame Nintendo for shortcomings of a technology that aren't even that much of an issue to begin with...

Maybe the programmers of Mario Kart should have personally invented and installed throughout the world a network connection capable of the speeds and bandwidth required to run all of the courses in the game...

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Offline Kairon

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RE:Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2005, 12:45:32 PM »
/cry

I'm just trying to be impartial! Why must you be so mean? WHY?!?!

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Offline animecyberrat

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RE:Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2005, 03:10:48 PM »
I would almost garuntee Nintendo WIFI Connect gets better by the time Revolution comes around, but I am having doubts how often I will even use it. I bought Mario Krt DS Launch day and rarely connect online, mostly because i never get matched up with people and get disconnected a lot by my own routers shrotcomings and peopel thik I am quiting cuz I am losingURG Its frustrationg. I have a good router and all but I also have a lot of other stuff intefereing with the connection so I get disconnected easily. I hope with REV its quicker to get connected and more people are playing it online so I dont have to wait forever to get matched up and that teh connection is stronger.  
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Offline Mario

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RE: Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2005, 12:56:31 AM »
What I want Nintendo to do is secretly expose the weakness of some of their internet tech guys. Get people within the company to call Nintendo asking for WiFi help and when they get someone who doesn't know what they're talking abuot, get his name, then have him mysteriously fired.

Offline Avinash_Tyagi

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RE:Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2005, 07:32:00 AM »
Kirby, if mindshare/marketshare equaled profits than how come Nintendo makes more profits than either Sony or MS's gaming divisions?   Also if the DS's online is so bad how come its been so successful since its release?  

Nintendo doesn't need a live style system to have people use it, if you don't like it tough, don't use it, but realize you are in the minority, overall it been having more sucess than live had in the same amount of time.

Quote

They expect some great XBox Live-like service


Funny but Mario Kart has been more poular in getting people online than Halo 2 (live's most popular online game) was.

Not to mention many people like the lack of smack talk on WFC.

The fact that WFC isn't as comprehensive as live hasn't stopped people from using it.

Quote

mainstream is failing to recognize that Mario Kart online is the best it's going to get, simply because it's free.


Says who?  MKDS's online component was added as an afterthought, later games which use the online service will be more robust in terms of synchroniztion, win/loss records, punishments for dropping out, etc.

No you aren't going to get a Live-style system and you probably won't have the same chat/matchmaking capabilities as live, but so what, the fact that its free, easy to use and fun greatly outweighs the weaknesses of the network.

Offline darknight06

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RE:Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2005, 04:57:54 AM »
To anyone judging the WFC by MKDS, guys Tony Hawk American Sk8land is arguably more robust already. On top of the multiplayer there's dowloadable challenges and replays, not to mention an official site apart from the WFC one where you can upload your own skateboard art and form skate crews.  WFC isn't crippled by any means.  Just because MKDS is doesn't mean any other game on it will follow suit.

Offline WindyMan

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RE:Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2005, 05:46:10 PM »
Quote

Originally posted by: darknight06
To anyone judging the WFC by MKDS, guys Tony Hawk American Sk8land is arguably more robust already. On top of the multiplayer there's dowloadable challenges and replays, not to mention an official site apart from the WFC one where you can upload your own skateboard art and form skate crews.  WFC isn't crippled by any means.  Just because MKDS is doesn't mean any other game on it will follow suit.


I would blame Nintendo's lackluster online features on their relative inexperience with programming online games.  Wireless local games are one thing, but when you need to compensate for larger inconsistencies during gameplay, the programming is different.

Tony Hawk proves that the features are possible.  Activision has more experience with handling online games so Sk8Land is a lot more polished online.

The big test for Nintendo is how well Metroid Hunters is put together.  If getting an online match going is a random crapshoot like Mario Kart was, it'll be bad.  Hopefully they'll have a lobby system or something similar with some of extra online features.

Revolution is obviously going to have a better network in place, or at least I would presume so.  Purchasing virtual console games and such.
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Offline darknight06

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RE: Is Nintendo WiFi an underpowered Online connection?
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2005, 06:23:51 PM »
Tony Hawk's online probably started earlier and I doubt that game would have the same latency issues that a game like Mario Kart would.

Here's the thing, EAD won't be making Metroid Prime Hunters, NST is.  The delay for that game is probably so that there won't be major cuts like there was in MKDS.  I'm not gonna call inexperience on EAD for MK either, if they had delayed that game, you'd probably get all tracks and battle mode as well. However, because they started so late with it, they probably had to fight the stages a heck of a lot to get what they even did because they were made originally for offline multiplayer. That, and they may not have had the time to work with them all.  Like I said before, I'm not worrying about it.  I can guarantee you that their future projects, if online, will have this stuff worked out on the drawing board instead of after the fact.