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Nearly Half of Mario Kart DS Owners Try Wi-Fi

November 22, 2005, 9:17 am PST
Total comments: 49

In just the first week, Mario Kart DS has 45 percent of players linking up to Wi-Fi Connection.

NINTENDO NEWS: NEARLY HALF OF MARIO KART DS OWNERS PLAY VIA WI-FI IN FIRST WEEK

Nov. 22, 2005 - In its first week of availability, a whopping 45 percent of people who bought the new Mario Kart® DS racing game for Nintendo DS™ already have test driven its free Wi-Fi capabilities, setting a new industry standard. This remarkable play rate of Mario Kart DS demonstrates both the easy setup and access of Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection, Nintendo's new wireless gaming service, as well as the fun game play that has always characterized the Mario Kart series.

On Nov. 14, Mario Kart DS became the first game to use Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Through the end of Sunday, more than 112,000 people in the United States had purchased the game. In the same time frame, nearly 52,000 unique users had logged onto Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection to play against people from all over the country.

Video game fans have high praise for the addictive fun of Mario Kart DS and the simplicity of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Many report that they can't stop playing.

"From the user-end, this is the easiest way to get online in video games," writes popular video game blog Kotaku.com. "The Wi-Fi integration is seamless. It's as easy as clicking multiplayer on the menu and joining the game."

Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection lets users easily connect to the service at no additional charge using both home wireless networks and select Wi-Fi hotspots, without any complicated setup procedures.

Upcoming titles that use Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection include Animal Crossing®: Wild World on Dec. 5 and Metroid® Prime Hunters on March 20. The buzz for Animal Crossing: Wild World already has reached a fevered pitch. Four notoriously difficult game raters at Weekly Famitsu, Japan's leading video game magazine, scored it 37 out of a possible 40 points.

Talkback

JonLeungNovember 22, 2005

Nearly half? That is impressive. Isn't it?

I bet it'd be even higher than that if the Wi-Fi USB Connector was included with the game, or at least available in stores!

I was on the fence about buying Mario Kart DS (I enjoyed the other Mario Kart games but I suck at racing, especially competitively) but I finally did on Sunday. However, despite ordering the Wi-Fi USB Connector the first day it was available on Nintendo's web site, I still haven't received it yet. face-icon-small-sad.gif And no, I don't have a wireless router.

razorpitNovember 22, 2005

What the heck are the other 55% waiting for? :-)

--Dave

joeposhNovember 22, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: JonLeung
Nearly half? That is impressive. Isn't it?


Yup it sure is, internet enabled games rarely have such a high useage rate, especially early on.

As IGN pointed out:
"Comparatively, Microsoft reported last year that after three weeks on store shelves, just 18 percent of Halo 2 owners had played that game on Xbox Live."

Ian SaneNovember 22, 2005

"What the heck are the other 55% waiting for?"

Their USB Connectors to arrive in the mail probably. I just checked it out on Nintendo's Canadian online store and it says "The USB Connector is currently on back order and will begin shipping on November 24, 2005."

45% is still pretty damn good but I wonder how high it would be if Nintendo offered the USB Connector in stores. I'll bet if they bundled it with every game the number would be like 90%. Still 45% is easily enough to encourage Nintendo to continue making online games and that's good enough for me.

JonLeungNovember 22, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: Ian Sane
I just checked it out on Nintendo's Canadian online store and it says "The USB Connector is currently on back order and will begin shipping on November 24, 2005."


Aw, man, seriously? I'm Canadian and I was thinking it would have to be in the mail today! face-icon-small-sad.gif It's still two days until they even SHIP them. *whine whine whine* So that's why I'M not online.

More time to practice until I do, I'm sure I'd only have lots of losses if I was online right now... face-icon-small-tongue.gif

RizeDavid Trammell, Staff AlumnusNovember 22, 2005

I'll say one thing. As a non-wifi game, I had very low interest in Metroid Prime Hunters (not enough to buy immediately anyway). As a wifi game... I still didn't have *that* much interest... until I played Mario Kart. Now I can't wait for Hunters. I'll be buying it the moment it's released.

PaLaDiNNovember 22, 2005

"What the heck are the other 55% waiting for? :-)"

I see your bait but I won't bite.

Bill AurionNovember 22, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: Ian Sane
"What the heck are the other 55% waiting for?"

Their USB Connectors to arrive in the mail probably. I just checked it out on Nintendo's Canadian online store and it says "The USB Connector is currently on back order and will begin shipping on November 24, 2005."

*whimpers*

I'd have it today but I still have a bunch of work to finish up here at school... =\

vuduNovember 22, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: razorpit
What the heck are the other 55% waiting for? :-)
I'm waiting for my new router to arrive. I should have it hooked up by this weekend.

Infernal MonkeyNovember 22, 2005

I'd be playing it online if I had Mario Kart and broadband. face-icon-small-smile.gif

ArtimusNovember 22, 2005

Urgh, I want mine to ship already! I have half a mind to just go buy it in a store, but I need a dongle anyway. One more week...

31 FlavasNovember 22, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: Ian Sane
"What the heck are the other 55% waiting for?"

Their USB Connectors to arrive in the mail probably.
I don't get why everyone thinks the USB thing is so necessary. If you're going to be playing from home... where your PC is.... Just go to the store and pick up a WiFi router for $20-$30.

Quote

I just checked it out on Nintendo's Canadian online store and it says "The USB Connector is currently on back order and will begin shipping on November 24, 2005."
All the more reason to just pick up an inexpesive WiFi router. You'll probably pay more for the USB dongle then you will for a WiFi router.

Quote

45% is still pretty damn good but I wonder how high it would be if Nintendo offered the USB Connector in stores. I'll bet if they bundled it with every game the number would be like 90%. Still 45% is easily enough to encourage Nintendo to continue making online games and that's good enough for me.
I'm still sticking by the idea, that the USB dongle isn't in stores (at least until Hunters arrives, according to reggie) because they want people to know (or at least want to be able to inform those ordering the dongle) that you don't NEED the USB dongle just a local McDonalds or an inexpensive home wifi router.

BloodworthDaniel Bloodworth, Staff AlumnusNovember 22, 2005

weird, I got a USB adapter as a back up and it got here in two days

nickmitchNovember 22, 2005

I'm waiting on someone to sell me a wireless router that WORKS!!!
Best Buy and Circuit City phail.

CalibanNovember 22, 2005

Me order dongle few days ago, still wait to go DS online and play fellow canucks and pgc'ers. Go Nintendo!

Vrgin X1November 23, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: razorpit
What the heck are the other 55% waiting for? :-)

--Dave


Having problems logging in at my hot spot locationface-icon-small-sad.gif

nickmitchNovember 23, 2005

It's been testing the damn connection (step 3 in the setup) for 20 minutes. I'm getting ready to just give up.

MarioNovember 23, 2005

Nintendo Australia wins, they shipped me my Dongle less than 24 hours after I ordered it, but yeah they should have included it in the game, as well as Broadband and Windows XP.

ArtimusNovember 23, 2005

Shipping it with the game would be a COLLOSAL waste! Most people won't even need one.

ruby_onixNovember 23, 2005

Quote

Shipping it with the game would be a COLLOSAL waste! Most people won't even need one.

55%? Yeah, I guess that's technically "most" people. But if you gave them free dongles, what are the chances they'd stay in that category?

You don't give out add-ons with every game that uses them. That's just crazy. But if you want them to succeed, you should give them out for free with the first killer-app. Doing otherwise is just half-assed.

Fortunately, half-assed seems to be working for Nintendo right now.

KnowsNothingNovember 23, 2005

Microsoft and Sony are giving FULL ASS.

ruby_onixNovember 23, 2005

Xbox360 Retard Pack + sold seperately Hard Drive?

Hmmm... not quite full-assed, because they still have the "normal" units. But it is close.

(The fact that it's the console itself and not just an add-on definitely helps the case for giving it "full-assed" status though.)

Bill AurionNovember 23, 2005

I want free stuff for nothing, please! If Nintendo doesn't give me free stuff they are half-assing it! >=|

Infernal MonkeyNovember 23, 2005

I got a free hat with Super Star Wars it was the greatest day of my life the end heart.gif

Bill AurionNovember 23, 2005

LucasArts > Nintendo

MarioNovember 23, 2005

I like how my F-Zero GX radio still works from 2003. Best quality freebie i've never used ever!

ruby_onixNovember 23, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: Bill Aurion
I want free stuff for nothing, please! If Nintendo doesn't give me free stuff they are half-assing it! >=|

Yeah. And 90% online penetration? Who the heck would want that? It's not like Nintendo's gonna earn any more money whether they have 90% or 45%. Nintendo's profits from online are roughly $0.00 anyways.

45% is a "good enough" start, and if Nintendo's online strategy fails again, well... it's obviously our own fault because we just don't want online.

Infernal MonkeyNovember 23, 2005

Quote

LucasArts > Nintendo


Actually, Ninty published it over here, it was a Mario hat! =D

Bill AurionNovember 23, 2005

Well I guess ruby_onix's hypothesis is heavily flawed!

MarioNovember 23, 2005

My hat! >=o

ArtimusNovember 23, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: ruby_onix
Quote

Shipping it with the game would be a COLLOSAL waste! Most people won't even need one.

55%? Yeah, I guess that's technically "most" people. But if you gave them free dongles, what are the chances they'd stay in that category?

You don't give out add-ons with every game that uses them. That's just crazy. But if you want them to succeed, you should give them out for free with the first killer-app. Doing otherwise is just half-assed.

Fortunately, half-assed seems to be working for Nintendo right now.


Ridiculous. Those 55% aren't going to go online just because they have a dongle. Nintendo would not only be losing money, they'd be losing over $20 a game! You can afford to make next to nothing on a console, but not games. 45% is three times that of the supposedly successful XBOX Live. And, this is a week in. How many of those 55% might go into a McDonalds in the next year and just try it? When you're selling it online only and still getting 45%, there's clearly no need to ruin the game's profit by pandering to a greedy few.

Going online couldn't really be easier, and in March when the dongle is in store it couldn't be easier at all. Those 55% either haven't gotten a chance yet, or don't care about online. Giving them a free dongle won't change that.

ruby_onixNovember 23, 2005

Let's see...

GameBoy Four-Player Adaptor = Free with F1-Race
Rumble Pak = Free with StarFox 64
N64 RAM Expansion Pak = $30 = Free with Donkey Kong 64
Transfer Pak = $20 = Free with Pokemon Stadium
N64 Microphone = Free with Hey You Pikachu
GBA Wireless Adaptor = $20 = Free with Pokemon FireRed/LeafGreen
GameBoy to GameCube Link Cable = $10 = Free with Four Swords Adventures
Bongo Controller = $30 = Free with Donkey Kong Jungle Beat

... and that's just off the top of my head.

If you want an add-on to have market penetration and have a chance at a future, you have to take a hit on one game, and give it away with the very first killer app. After that you've done all you could, since you can't do more without wasting your effort by giving people the same thing twice.

Nintendo WiFi Dongle, the foundation of the online strategy for both the Nintendo DS and Revolution = $35 = Free with Mario Kart DS? ... nah... not worth it.

IceColdNovember 23, 2005

That's where your point is flawed Ruby... All of those things you mentioned could only be gotten through Nintendo. They made them, they sold them. In the case of the dongle, many people have a Wi-Fi connection already through a router or their own dongle. It just wouldn't make sense to include a dongle.

ruby_onixNovember 23, 2005

I don't believe that Wi-Fi routers are exactly "common" with PCs right now. And I'd say that the non-Nintendo dongle is "extremely uncommon".

And even if you had a Wi-Fi router in your home, a free Nintendo dongle wouldn't exactly be wasted on you, since it serves another purpose (it's as portable as the DS).

I'm not saying Nintendo is doomed or anything, but they should've been doing everything in their power to put as many of these dongles into the hands of DS owners as possible, and they just neglected their biggest chance. It's not like they can try again and give these out with Animal Crossing or anything else, now that they're already out there and they've already made a bunch of people buy them (and compatible Wi-Fi routers).


(And yes, I know that Nintendo skipped the boat with the Link Cable and FF:CC, and still managed to hop back on with the Link Cable and FSA, but Connectivity required multiple cables, so the potential overlap wasn't a problem, and I don't think anyone would say that not including a Link Cable with FF:CC didn't hurt Connectivity's potential.)

PlugabugzNovember 24, 2005

"It's not like they can try again and give these out with Animal Crossing or anything else, now that they're already out there and they've already made a bunch of people buy them (and compatible Wi-Fi routers)."

I personaly disagree here. Buying Wireless Routers is a future proofed guarantee that nearly all wireless devices will work rather than the USB dongle which only guarantees the DS and Revolution to work. Personally, £30 is too expensive to pay for a USB adapter that will only work with DS/Rev when £15 can get me one that works with everything.
The biggest failing currently is that the DS doesn't work with WPA encryption which limits nearly all routers to older standards and poorer encryption techniques.

Nintendo, IMO, should have released Mario Kart individually and then a bundle pak for say £/$5 more which includes the dongle.

ArtimusNovember 24, 2005

One other thing, Ruby, all of those accessories are Nintendo made. When you produce something yourself it can be significantly cheaper. And do you really think the rumble pack cost $30 to make? Not likely. Buffalo, however, sells almost the exact same dongle for ten bucks more than Nintendo is. Stop being greedy.

Ian SaneNovember 24, 2005

I think that Mario Kart DS should have come with the dongle. Or at the very least something like a coupon that gives you 5 or 10 bucks off. They also should have them in stores.

But the DS can be played in hot spots so it is possible for someone to at least try playing online without the dongle or a wireless router. The Rev, being a console and thus isn't going to be brought with you to McDonald's, doesn't have this advantage so I think that for it including the dongle with a game is MUCH more important. Logically it makes no f*cking sense for the Rev to be wireless only anyway so in that case Nintendo should at least include a coupon.

If Nintendo doesn't make it easier to get the dongle for the Rev SSB Online is not going to have 45% of buyers trying it. No way in hell.

ArtimusNovember 24, 2005

Ian...the dongle is being sold in stores starting when MP: Hunters comes out. Duh? Though this is probably just you ignoring anything that might make your criticisms invalid.

Why do you people hold Nintendo to such ridiculous standards? They offer free online and yet that isn't enough! They offer a comprehensive site with a moron's guide to connection and yet that isn't enough! They offer several options for connection and yet that isn't enough! Stop living in a world where everything is free and it's just a matter of want. Nintendo isn't rich like Microsoft, they can't afford to lose two billion dollars on a free online system. If a person doesn't know how to get online that is their own fault, because Nintendo has done everything but send a person to their house to hook them up.

Nintendo is first place in the handheld market. They've just launched their first online game ever and the only problems were six hours where it took a long time to get connected. The online service is free. In one week 45% of people to buy Mario Kart have tried it. One week! That's amazing. Nintendo clearly made the right decision. They're making a profit off of the game, not blowing it on wasted dongles, and they're hugely successful. You people are basically expecting Nintendo to pay you to pay their games. It's easy! It's free! It's a success! It's popular! Why on earth would a company want to abandon money off a product that successful? Free dongles are a waste of millions of dollars for people who don't need them. 50,000 people went online and likely less than half, considerably less, needed a dongle.

Welcome to the real world.

Ian SaneNovember 24, 2005

"Ian...the dongle is being sold in stores starting when MP: Hunters comes out."

Really? When did this come out? Seriously this is the first I've heard of it. I thought they were making it online only.

ArbokNovember 24, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: Ian Sane
Really? When did this come out? Seriously this is the first I've heard of it. I thought they were making it online only.


"Currently the wireless adapter will only be available for purchase from the Nintendo.com website, but when Metroid Prime Hunters is ready to go Nintendo will reportedly back that launch up by releasing the USB adapter to retail."
http://ds.ign.com/articles/665/665128p1.html

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorNovember 24, 2005

Just for fun, not really relevant to the topic...

>GameBoy Four-Player Adaptor = Free with F1-Race
There's like, what, three games that work with this? Who can name more than a handful without looking 'em up? Useless (unless I ever manage to get my 16 player Faceball 2000 tournament going)

>Rumble Pak = Free with StarFox 64
This one went over pretty well... Not Useless

>N64 RAM Expansion Pak = $30 = Free with Donkey Kong 64
As did this one... Not Useless

>Transfer Pak = $20 = Free with Pokemon Stadium
Well, this pretty much did work with three games (well, four that I can think of)... Useless

>N64 Microphone = Free with Hey You Pikachu
heh. Useless

>GBA Wireless Adaptor = $20 = Free with Pokemon FireRed/LeafGreen
About a dozen or so games work with this and the majority of them, most people don't even know they do work with it (Some of the NES Classic series). Useless

>GameBoy to GameCube Link Cable = $10 = Free with Four Swords Adventures
Well, while I *loved* FSA and Pac-Man Vs., I'd say for the majority of people... Useless
(It's important to note that pre-orders and initial copies of FF:CC also had the Link Cable!)

>Bongo Controller = $30 = Free with Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
err, um... The Bongos didn't come free with DK:JB. DK:JB was sold by itself for $40 and the bongos were included for $55.... Anywhoo, with three games that use 'em... as much as I liked DK:JB - Useless...


And thus, packing an accessory in with a game doesn't mean crap. face-icon-small-wink.gif

ArtimusNovember 24, 2005

I had to buy a rumble pack, and Four Swords Adventures is hardly a good deal because you need at least two cables to really play it...

MarioNovember 24, 2005

Heh, I never bought DK64 or Starfox 64, never knew they came with a rumble pack / expansion pack either til after I bought them seperately.

Also, maybe Nintendo can't produce enough Dongles to have enough to be sitting on the shelves in retailers yet.

Quote

>Bongo Controller = $30 = Free with Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
err, um... The Bongos didn't come free with DK:JB. DK:JB was sold by itself for $40 and the bongos were included for $55.... Anywhoo, with three games that use 'em... as much as I liked DK:JB - Useless...

The bongos were free with Donkey Konga.

ArtimusNovember 24, 2005

There's one other difference between the dongle and those things, as well. Except for the rumble pack (and 4-way GBA thingy) the respective games required those accessories. Mario Kart DS doesn't require the dongle for online, it's the most expensive way of doing it in fact. It's simply an OPTION for people who need one for specific reasons like portability, or people too dumb to figure things out.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorNovember 24, 2005

Quote

The bongos were free with Donkey Konga.


Well, considering that DK2 sold for $35 without bongos and $50 with them, I'm sure DK1 would have likely done the same thing if the bongos had been out before then. Plus DK1 is a much better game than DK2 and therefore more worth the $35. face-icon-small-wink.gif

MarioNovember 24, 2005

Isn't $50 the price of a regular game there?

Infernal MonkeyNovember 24, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: UncleBob

>GameBoy Four-Player Adaptor = Free with F1-Race
There's like, what, three games that work with this? Who can name more than a handful without looking 'em up? Useless (unless I ever manage to get my 16 player Faceball 2000 tournament going)




Oh holy crap, I loved that game. Finishing a race to see Samus or Link standing around FOR NO REASON. But yeah, that four player adaptor was virtually useless. Four copies of F1 and four link cables needed, yeah that's gonna work.

KDR_11kNovember 25, 2005

Both Donkey Konga and Jungle Beat had versions with the bongos. I think only JB had a no-bongos version.

With previous bundles we have to consider the prices of the games. Sure, N64 games came with goodies but the games already cost 60-70$. Mario Kart DS sells for half that.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorNovember 25, 2005

Quote

Both Donkey Konga and Jungle Beat had versions with the bongos. I think only JB had a no-bongos version.


Donkey Konga did not have a bongo-less version, but Donkey Konga 2 did (along with DKJB).

Quote

Isn't $50 the price of a regular game there?


New games range from $30-$50.

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