Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection was Nintendo's free online gaming service for the Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS and Wii consoles. Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection (typically abbreviated "WFC" or "NWC") allowed users to take advantage of titles that support the service via a wireless router or the Nintendo USB Connector. This service also allowed one to link his or her Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection records to his or her My Nintendo account, and track your scores on Nintendo's official Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection website (see "External Links").
On the Nintendo DS, each game card generates a "friend code" which can be exchanged with other owners of the same game in order to engage in online play with that person. Some titles that utilize Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection support random match-ups, but a few titles only allow online play between users who have swapped and registered their respective "friend codes."
On the Wii, "friend codes" are apparently only used for online play and information exchange when Nintendo DS-Wii Connectivity is involved. Otherwise, each Wii console utilizes its own, built-in Wii Number. Those who have exchanged Wii Numbers are allowed to play against each other in any title that does not utilize the aforementioned "friend code" system.
On the Nintendo 3DS, there is one universal friend code for the Nintendo 3DS, much to the delight of consumers who criticized the choice to have a unique code to insert for each video game.
The "friend code" system has been the source of numerous complaints throughout the gaming community for destroying the potential for an online Nintendo community due to its restrictiveness.
- List of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection games
- Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector
- Nintendo DS Browser
- Virtual Console
- In little over two months after the launching of the service, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection racked in three million connections through 500,000 unique users.
- At the release of Wi-Fi, over a million people logged on to play.
- On the first two Wi-Fi games ever (Mario Kart DS and Tony Hawk American Sk8teland) the Wi-Fi logo was printed on the left bottom corner on the game box rather than the top left corner which it has been printed on all the other Wi-Fi games since.
- In some Nintendo DS games is found a secret button. To access this button, you must load a Wi-Fi configuration and tap the left top corner with the stylus. A secret button will blink for a second and a secret screen shows up.