Friday, March 23, 2007

Nintendo DS update - VoIP and Wi-Fi Internet Capabilities

Nintendo Fans... VoIP and Wi-Fi Has Arrived!

Okay, I have to admit that I’ve talked about VoIP for a while, and every one of my blogs have been about VoIP, aside from my very first, but I have to talk about the VoIP news over from Nintendo. They’re releasing Pokémon Diamond Version and Pokémon Pearl Version for the Nintendo DS. The games themselves are not the most exciting news, but the games having wireless capabilities are! The games will allow up to 8 players to connect, play, and talk trash live via VoIP technology. Yes, the Nintendo DS is integrated with Wi-Fi Internet to allow players to log onto a server to find other plays for competitive play. You can play with anyone around the world now.

Now because the company is Nintendo, kids are still the main target audience, which would explain why the technology coincides with a Pokémon game, so Nintendo won’t let the user connect to just any stranger, and possible pedophile, online. Otherwise, we might see a new edition of How to Catch a Predator. The only way you can connect to another player is to be around a Wi-Fi connection and enter your Friend Codes into the handheld gaming system. With VoIP technology on the Nintendo DS, players will be able to use a built-in microphone to talk to friends before, during, and after games. It’s pretty much like a VoIP cell phone for kids, because you can “call” any of your friends by dialing their Friend Code and viola! As long as both parties are around a Wi-Fi connection, The Nintendo DS headset (sold separately) is an accessory you can buy to make conversations easier.

"The amazing wireless and voice chat features of Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl offer gamers something completely new," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "We make games for everybody, and these Pokémon titles are sure to be a hit with new and returning players."

About 9 months ago, Vonage announced their release of a portable VoIP phone that can be connected to a USB port of any computer connected to broadband Internet, and make VoIP calls instantly. Looks like Nintendo is literally making child’s play of VoIP telephony by going wireless. Of course, you can’t make actual phone calls with the Nintendo DS, but who knows, the basics are there already.

Just goes to show you how fast VoIP technology is spreading to other aspects of our lives. VoIP technology is now in handheld games! To think, just 10 years ago, I had to use a standard telephone to talk to friends while gaming. I’m amazed. What’s next? With companies like Apple releasing its iPhone with rumored VoIP technology, others are sure to follow. I’m sure VoIP will eventually establish itself as a feature on many, if not most phones in the future.