According to reports from consumer website IGN.com, Nintendo is not planning to release any Wi-Fi Connection libraries for the Wii to third party developers until early 2007, leaving the first batch of third-party games without competitive online capabilities.
As part of a preview of Wii-exclusive title Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam
from Activision which confirmed that the game did not feature an online mode, the article's author commented that he had received multiple unconfirmed reports that "Nintendo will not release Wii Wi-Fi Connection libraries to third parties until early 2007, which means that no third party launch title will have an online mode."
Activision was the first third party developer to add online functionality to a Nintendo DS title, with the well-received Tony Hawk's American Sk8land
, and would presumably be one of the first third parities to received technical support for the Wii’s online features.
Although Nintendo has spoken often of its retro download service via the Wii’s “virtual console”, the always-on WiiConnect24service and online functionality in many of its key first party titles (including recently announced second party titles
such as Mario Strikers Charged
and Battalion Wars II
) it has failed to reveal any substantial details about any of the features.
It is still unclear whether Nintendo intends to offer a unified service with a single username, as with Xbox Live, or whether it will continue with ad hoc “friend codes” for each individual game, as with existing online Nintendo DS titles. Indeed, it is uncertain whether any of the launch titles for the Wii will feature any major online functionality beyond downloadable content.