Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
09 February 2006
My Revolution Speculation: The Revolution Network
Speculative pieces on the Nintendo Revolution are a dime a dozen, but maybe you've some spare change in your pocket for this one. Think huge, open network access for everyone. Everyone with a Nintendo device, that is.

The Nintendo Revolution will not only be able to connect to your existing broadband network, but will itself act as a Nintendo-device-specific wireless access point for anyone with a Nintendo device. So if you own a Nintendo DS and happen to be near someone else's Revolution, whether you know them or not, that Revolution will act as a gateway for you to access the internet. That is, your DS would see the other person's internet-connected Revolution, negotiate a free connection for you, and from there you could get out to the larger network.

The effect would be to blanket the country with Nintendo access points for anyone with a Nintendo device. Sure, using McDonald's for access points was a good idea, but when there are a couple of open access points on your street, that's a whole different ballgame.

And I'm not just talking about a network that anyone can use: it's open only to Nintendo devices. Even then it can be used only for Nintendo services, not just web browsing to Curmudgeon Gamer. Imagine a Nintendo portal with demos, movies, email, instant messaging, and voice chat services. It would also act as a meeting place for people playing online games. And if the next GameBoy iteration has local storage, like flash cards, Nintendo could even offer full games for download. Nintendo just said today they were going to offer Nintendo DS demos as downloads from kiosks.

I also imagine neighbors finding each other locally, either through a handheld-to-Revolution connection or even Revolution-to-Revolution, if two machines exist near each other. I have no idea who owns a PlayStation 2 on my block, but I might socialize with them more if there were some way I could find out.

The upside for Nintendo? Other than just being a neat piece of hardware, the Revolution could act as the center around which people would buy other Nintendo gaming devices, like a GameBoy or Nintendo DS. Apple sure sold plenty of computers based on the success of the iPod (what I believe is called the Halo Effect) and existing Apple fans already appreciate that their devices all play well together. For once, Nintendo could seamlessly unify its handheld and console markets, instead of using kludges like link cables to connect markets with completely different strategies.

That's my Nintendo Revolution speculation. If nothing else, the little console seems to encourage imaginative predictions. So, what's your wild idea for Nintendo's future?


--Matt Matthews at 15:24
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