The logo of Nintendo's public WLAN service
The logo of Nintendo's public WLAN service
[Click to enlarge image]

"Nintendo UK," a UK company of Nintendo Co., Ltd., has announced it will start a public wireless LAN (WLAN) service in the UK on November 25, 2005. The service intended for users of the company's "Nintendo DS" portable game console will enable them to enjoy playing against someone through WLANs provided for free at locations including McDonald's hamburger restaurants, major hotels and train stations.

For the service launch, Nintendo will introduce more than 7,500 WLAN base stations across the UK. The company achieved this in collaboration with "The Cloud" and BT, leading public WLAN service providers of the UK. With about 4,000 in Japan and about 6,000 (mainly McDonald's) in the US, which the company had announced in advance, a total of about 17,500 base stations will be implemented for the service. If a gamer wants to play against someone overseas, "It depends on the game's settings, but technically, DS players can do that by connecting each other through WLANs," said a company spokesperson.

Nintendo will start the service in the US on November 14, 2005, and in Japan on November 23, 2005. Most of the abovementioned base stations will therefore become available within this November. The company plans to disclose the location of these base stations through a website that is spesific for the purpose and other media before long.

Tetsuo Nozawa, Nikkei Electronics