In a sudden move, Nintendo have announced that owners of the original Wii or DS consoles will no longer be able to play their games online as of May 20th.
Of course you will still be able to play those games offline, but any online functions which they possessed will no longer be available.
A strange move, perhaps, as the DS and Wii are still only one generation old – imagine the uproar that Microsoft or Sony would face if they were to cancel online capacity for Xbox 360 or PS3 titles.
Of course the online communities of the Wii and DS are exponentially smaller. The Wii in particular was a console designed with local multiplayer in mind – there may even be some owners reading this news entirely unaware that they could have been playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl or Mario Kart Wii online.
The impact this news will have of the console’s small but dedicated professional and semi-pro gaming following is great, though. Games such as the aforementioned Super Smash Bros. Brawl have an incredibly dedicated pro sector, and this announcement’s impact will be sure to upset some.
The news will apply worldwide. Do you believe the decision could have something to do with Nintendo looking to boost anaemic Wii U sales? We’ll see soon enough, what with the first Wii U instalment of the Mario Kart franchise launching just ten days after the online blackout, with Super Smash Bros. soon to follow.