Game Politics (gamepolitics) wrote,

Will British Law Hamstring Wii Online Service?

Perhaps we (wii?) should protest a British government directive aimed at reducing energy consumption since it may have an adverse effect on Nintendo's forthcoming online service, WiiConnect24.

The government mandate seeks to make electrical appliances more energy efficient - and this includes eliminating "standby" features, wherein equipment sits dormant in a low-power state when not in use.

Credit Brit video game Club Skill with uncovering this one. The editorial team there have put two-and-two together, realising that many of WiiConnect24's benefits may be negated by the energy directive.

Specifically, Nintendo's much-ballyhooed "always-on" content update feature could be threatened. This WiiConnect24 feature is expected to ship demos and content updates to your Wii while it's not in use. It will also permit other types of game interactions. For example, fellow Wii users might be able to visit your Animal Crossing town even though you are not playing at the time.

Club Skill also speculates that other European countries will accept always-on, meaning that the feature might have to be scrapped specifically for the U.K. market, a tricky proposition for Nintendo. Notably, the British government claims that standby features on various electronic devices and appliances consume 8% of the nation's annual consumption of electricity.

As a British gamer, I'm not entirely sure that this will have much effect. While devices fingered by the Government such as televisions and washing machines might have wasteful standby features, they're only wasteful because they're not doing anything useful - T.V.'s on standby aren't showing a picture and washing machines aren't churning. The Wii, however, will be providing an integral part of the system's service in a low-power mode far preferable to leaving it on full-power as you have to to download with, say, XBox 360.

The London Times has more on the energy issue.

-reporting from the U.K., GP European Correspondent Mark Kelly, who is himself in a permanent low-power mode

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Tags: energy consumption, mark kelly, nintendo, u.k., united kingdom, wii, wiiconnect24
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