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Your Questions Answered

by Steven Rodriguez - December 10, 2006, 11:40 pm PST

This jumbo-sized mailbag has a lot of questions about Virtual Console, but there's plenty of other stuff in here to satisfy your craving for the weekly mailbag.


As a lover of some of the games on the virtual boy. I often find it abit of a shame that nintendo has choosen to ignore it and all it'.s titles. Though it was kind of exciting to see it as a trophy in SSBM

With the virtual console is there any chance nintendo could make Virtual boy emulation.

Is there any hope?

Perhaps create a simply pair of cardboard 3D glasses for sale by VC points.

- Corey
Toronto

Forget it. Emulating the games wouldn't be so hard, but getting them to display in 3D is not going to happen without some gimmick. It was bad enough to be forced to gaze into the headset the first time around. I wouldn't be caught dead wearing any kind of cheap 3D glasses just to play red-and-black Game Boy games. There are too many other good games worth spending your Wii Points on. The VB had some gems, but the library was so small, it probably wouldn't be worth it in the long run.


Hey,

I have a question the downloading of Virtual Console games. When you download something off the Marketplace of the Xbox 360 like an Arcade game and you delete it off your Hardrive you can redownload it with no cost to you. It is the same with Virtual Console games? I just recently bought Super Mario 64 (best version ever by the way with the Wavebird) and It got me thinking if I accidently deleted it if I could recover it again free. The VC has a download history section but I can't redownload it but I am thinking I cannot now because it is on my console. Help?

~fin~

- TheJuggla17

Yep, you can re-download any VC game that you've purchased previously. The only drawback is that you can only do so to your own console. Unlike Xbox Live where you can play the game on any system as long as you're signed in to your own account, VC games are tied to your system and your system only. Oh well.


Fond as I am of the Wii, I have some concerns about the way its networking features are going. I personally don't care about online games, but I thought WiiConnect24 and the virtual console sounded really promising. So far, though, the only thing WiiConnect24 has been used for is an update that does nothing but disable a fun and harmless trick (the Shop Channel browser DNS redirect thing), and we know all the virtual console titles until the end of the year and very few of them are anything interesting.

I realize that this is Nintendo's first attempt at doing anything like this and it's not going to be perfect right from the start (although Japan's VC lineup is pretty sweet). What really worries me is their commitment to updating this stuff. If you look at their past attempts at adding additional content after release, they don't have a very good track record. Animal Crossing on Gamecube has stuff that we KNOW is in there thanks to the Pro Action Replay, but they just never bothered to let us know how to unlock it legitimately. Super Mario Advance 4 has a map dedicated to levels from the e-Reader cards, but they never released enough cards to fill in the map. Etc.

So my fear is that, for example, they'll keep up this virtual console Mondays business for a couple of months, then lose interest and never get around to releasing those games that Reggie claims they're saving for a slow time in their release schedule. Same deal for games that download additional content -- oh, wait, there aren't any.

Yes, it's still early, but as far as I know they haven't even announced anything that will actually use WiiConnect24 besides Animal Crossing. It's just a little frustrating because these features have so much potential that currently isn't being used at all.

So I guess my question is, am I being needlessly pessimistic? Do you guys know of anything coming up that might assuage my fears?

- gloomba
Tallahassee, FL

All your points are valid except for your reasoning why Nintendo would stop releasing new Virtual Console games. Considering how inexpensive it is to put the games on the service and how much money Nintendo is making off of them, there should be no reason for them to stop doing it. VC is easy, easy money for Nintendo, and the only reason they would stop adding games is if they run out of them. That's not going to happen for a while.

But yes, everyone is frustrated at how under-used WiiConnect24 is at the moment. With Xbox Live to compare it against, you'd wonder why Nintendo even bothered. Well, don't forget that the original Xbox didn't launch with Xbox Live either, so it's not as if there is no precedent here. Plus, the Wii hasn't been out for a month yet. If Nintendo wasn't going to have any concrete online details for us at launch, they're not going to have any a month from launch. I expect them to announce more info about their real online plans around the time when they lift the curtain on their list of releases for after March 2007 (the end of Nintendo's fiscal year). Until then, complaints about the lack of Nintendo online so early on are a little excessive. If this continues into the summer, though, then you'll have a legitimate beef.


This may have been answered before, but i have searched high and low and have yet to find an answer. When are we going to see Opera on our Wii? This was one (of many) thing that had me sold on the Wii (not that the competition is, in any way, superior). I just want to know when Wii will get the Internet Channel on that so familiar Wii menu.

- Pimp Vader
Louisiana

Though I haven't heard official confirmation, it's supposedly going to be available in January, at the latest. If this date is true, it will go nicely with the Forecast and News channels, which are to be released in the weeks leading up to the end of December.


A quick one:

My Wii isn't connected to the internet, so I have no need to use the "always online" function. So, when I turn my Wii off, should I totally unplug the thing so that it isn't using any power, period? Does it hurt to keep it on all the time like that?

Thanks.

- DCI Glassmen
Cincinnati, Ohio

Keeping it plugged in is harmless, although official Nintendo documentation recommends you unplug the console if you don't plan on using it for a while. I suppose there's always a chance of an unlucky lighting strike totally frying anything that's connected to your outlets, but the same risks are shared by your televisions, your computers, your toasters and anything else that operates on AC. Just like that other stuff, the Wii is designed to be plugged into the wall all the time, so don't worry about it.


Dearest Bag,

I've been having a real problem with my Wii. Aside from little inconsistencies like the way it burns through AAs, an iffy synching system, and the occasional mis-read in WiiTennis, I can't save games to my SD card. I tried my regular SanDisk 1G card that I usually keep in my camera...I can view the photos just fine, but when I go into the Data Management menu, all I see is "Wii" (with a Wii console on the button) and "Nintendo Gamecube" (GCN memory card).

So I figured, "Okay, I just need an official card". So I bought one.

And that doesn't work either. I have the same thing happen (i.e. nothing) to me. Even if this wasn't a problem for me, how would I go about making extra save files on, say, Zelda? With so much internal memory, why can't we just create 99 files, a la Square-Enix games? I've also heard that you can't use games saved to an SD card (when that works) on another person's Wii. Supposedly this prevents VC piracy, and I can deal with that.

But, if this is true, why did Nintendo switch to SD cards? Heck, even if it's not true, why the change? Does a photo editor take precedence over convenience?

Sincerely,

Irritated in O-burg

- Gor_Coron
Pennsylvania

Ah, you fell into the "official" SD card trap. I knew this would happen to some people. Just because it's branded with the Wii, it doesn't change the fact that it's a standard SD card. The Wii doesn't know the difference. That's too bad for you, but at least you have more SD memory in case you need it in the future.

But anyways, your SD dilemma. One would assume that the SD slot is just an extension of the Wii's built in 512MB of flash memory, but they are in fact separate entities. You can actually view the SD memory area via the Wii memory area in the Data Management menu. From there you can copy save files between the two, make room on the SD card, or do anything else that involves Wii game files. It is possible to copy saves over to another person's system (or at least those from Excite Truck and Red Steel), but not Virtual Console games, obviously. The SD card slot is optional, though. You don't need an SD card to play games on the Wii. The amount of on-board memory in the Wii is more than anyone would ever need to save game files, though someone did write in stating that they needed four save files for Zelda, one more than then three the game provides.

I was expecting most games to have some sort of option to import saves from an inserted SD card, but I was surprised to see that no such option existed. It could easily be handled as having two memory cards inserted at once, and then the user is prompted to select which save file they want to use. I guess someone could make the argument that launch games are supposed to be bare-bones when it comes to memory management, but when a game like Excite Truck can read MP3s from the SD slot without any problems, why can't I write saves to or read saves from an SD card? Games in the future should provide such an option. Having a "hard drive" in the system to automatically handle saves shouldn't mean developers can neglect a secondary source to keep game files.


So now that the Wii is out and actual finished games are in people's hands is there any option for switching dominate hands for games like Zelda or Red Steel? I'm a southpaw myself and I'm worried that as motion scripting becomes more complicated that I'm going to find myself at a disadvantage because I'll be forced to use my less dominate hand to play. I've heard all the talk about how we'll adapt as we've adapted using standard controllers, but that's not the whole truth. I will never be as capable with my right hand as I am with my left, especially when it comes to any kind of pointing.

I would just like a straight answer: Will I suck at certain games when I can't use my dominate hand?

- Someone Worried...

Shigeru Miyamoto is left-handed. His input was one of the reasons why Nintendo flipped the Wii version of Twilight Princess to make Link right handed (and make the sun rise in the west, and have everyone shake hands backwards, and...) so if you're worried that it will ruin Zelda for you, consider that.

Of course, everyone is different. Some people are more left-handed than others. Whatever that means. Simple games like Wii Sports will let you do everything left-handed if it makes you more comfortable, but for more complex games like Red Steel, it might not be as easy as checking a box in the options menu. If developers want to give lefties a fair shake, they need to make sure their games work for people that want to hold the remote in the other hand, or at least make it easier for them if they choose to keep the remote on the right side. Honestly, if devs can make a game feel intuitive for right-handed people, then there should be no problems for lefties to pick it up either.

Oh, and if you ever play Red Steel, it's the game's fault you can't do anything. Not yours.


Hello to the Nintendo World Report! Great new site and great new name guys!

My question is about the type of batteries we can use in the Wii Remote. I started out using the regular alkaline batteries included with the system. After that I went through a couple other sets of alkaline batteries I had laying around. I decided that I should invest in some rechargable batteries so I could save on the future cost of regular AAs and luckily I already had a charger I could use. After buying the batteries I looked at the Wii manual and saw a section about avoiding battery leakage. In there it says not to use nimh (nickel metal hydride) batteries and only use alkaline.

Now nimh are the standard for rechargable batteries from what I've seen. And I've never had a problem using them in other products. Should I switch back to non-rechargable alkaline, look for the less efficent alkaline rechargables, or should I be fine with the nimh rechargables I've purchased?

Thank you for your time. And once again, awesome new site guys.

Regards,

- KJ
Toronto, Canada

NiMH rechargeables will work just fine. I found myself in your situation and purchased a four-pack of them myself. I can slowly charge one set while the other is slowly draining inside of my Wii remote. It works well.

Just about any manufacturer of a battery-powered device will bombard you with warnings about using rechargeable batteries. They do so to make sure their butts are covered if one of them corrupts or leaks, potentially causing a dangerous explosion. Such an event is rare, and usually only occurs with mishandled or mistreated batteries. Older batteries, including the old NiCd rechargables, are also prone to causing problems. As long as you take care of your power sticks and don't mistreat them, you shouldn't encounter any issues.


Nice redesign on the site, I like it just fine and dandy.

Pressing on, I attend Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky and typically everyone has a PS2. Currently on my upperclassman fraternity floor there is only one Gamecube, my own. Everyone else has a collection of Xbox, Xbox 360, or PS2. No one has a PS3 and no one is talking about it. A Wii found its way onto the hall after thanksgiving break and the madness swept through the hall like wildfire, everyone is playing the system and looking for there own personal controllers to use on this single Wii. I awoke this morning to four people walking proudly down the hall with there very own Wii, they heard Wal-Mart got a shipment in and then waited nine hours for them to arrive, they only had 30 consoles and many more than 30 people were waiting in line. Two of the four guys who bought a Wii never play games, if at all but the Wii has captured their attention.

Am I sensing a revolution? Or is this an isolated case, the Wii has taken over my campus and after the Christmas half of the hall will have a Wii. Nintendo has done something right because I do not foresee the momentum slowing if Nintendo can get the right software out in March and early summer. Any thoughts?

- hamby
Lexington, Kentucky

It's probably not a local anomaly. I've been hearing people I never expected talk about the Wii, even complete strangers. I was shopping at my local 99-Cents Only store with a Nintendo hat on, and the checkout guy asked me "have you tried the Wii?" Completely out of the blue. Bonkers.

At this point, I'm not quite sure if the amount of positive word-of-mouth can be quantified. A year from now, I will be very surprised if most people in America don't know what the Wii is. At the rate the buzz is spreading, Nintendo may keep selling systems just as fast as they can make them for a very long time.


Hey guys,

First of all, great job with the site. I really like the name and the layout. I've been thinking about this for quite sometime and I'm surprised no one has asked it. Basically, I'm wondering if the A.I. is good enough for a truly 1 to 1 game? For shooters I don't think it's a problem, but what about a sword (or lightsaber)? With traditional button control, there are certain number of set moves programmed into the game and a certain number of ways for the enemies to react. So with a 1 to 1 sword game, would the A.I. be good enough for the enemy to react in a realistic way? I don't really know much about the way games are made or how A.I. really works...so I'm asking you guys. Should this be a problem for 1 to 1 games on Wii?

- Jonathan Francis

I don't think programmers would have too hard of a time getting AI to deal with realistic swordplay. Look at the Soul Calibur series to see why. Even though there were so many variables as to where two weapons could clash, the game always knew when a Kilik's staff hit one of Talim's tonfas. The hit detection was second-to-none. There wouldn't be much of an issue with realistic physics and AI routines when it comes to something that can move around at will, because there are plenty of talented developers out there to make sure it will happen.

The only problem is how a 1:1 movement would work in practice. Even early on, the biggest question was what would happen if your on-screen weapon was stopped, but your controller kept on going. You may lose the remote/sword connection right there and then, possibly needing to wait for the controller to regain its bearings and reset its position. You know what will probably happen in that moment? Your head will get chopped off.

I really don't know how it will pan out. Right now, the holy grail in Wii controls is 1:1 sword movement, but it could be that it just doesn't work in gaming conditions. The baseball bat in Wii Sports is about as close as we can get to it right now, and even that's a little slow. It might be that the remote isn't quick enough to keep up with fast-paced real-time sword combat. If Ubisoft couldn't get slow-paced pre-programmed motion sword fighting done correctly, I shudder to think what will happen if someone goes all the way with it without getting their feet wet with something smaller.


Dear NWR,

First off, congrats on the new site. It took some getting used to, but now I like it way better than before.

Anyway, my question concerns Virtual Console pricing. Let's say the VC actually gets some good games (crazy, I know) like Mario All-Stars, or Chrono Trigger. Do you think they'll stick with the flat rate per system prices they have now? For example, why pay $15 for Mario 1, 2, & 3 for NES when you could get all 3 for the SNES for $8? In the case of Chrono Trigger (which has a going rate of about $50), it almost seems to good to be true that we'd be able to get something like that for $8. What are your thoughts?

- Pete S.
Bismarck, ND

Oh, they'll definitely up the price a bit for certain games. Nintendo is already charging more for some premium SNES games in Japan (Zelda: A Link to the Past and Fire Emblem are 900pts over there), so there's no reason to believe they won't do the same in other regions. I don't expect the prices to fluctuate anymore than 200 points higher or lower than the base price, but if Nintendo realizes that many, many people will get a certain title, they'll squeeze out the extra income from it. Besides, isn't A Link to the Past worth it for $9? (The only way Nintendo will know that is if they release the game in North America one of these days!)


Hey look at that, I'm plum out of questions for this week. The mailbag submission form really makes it easier to send questions in, doesn't it? It made it easier for me to answer this monster list of questions. It's a win-win! Keep sending them in. Oh, and just so everyone knows, any questions sent in my regular email from this point on will be ignored. You must use the mailbag form if you want to send in a question now. It's not that hard to do.

I'll be back next week, as always.

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