Review Review - Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector

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Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2003
United States

Online gaming may just be the best thing since sliced bread. What could be better than playing a co-op game with a friend hundreds of miles away? Or blasting away complete strangers on another continent? Sony tried it first with the PlayStation 2, Microsoft perfected it with Xbox Live, and now Nintendo has jumped on the bandwagon with its Wi-Fi USB Connector for the Nintendo DS.


One of the neat things about the Connector is that up to 5 separate DS’s can be connected to the internet at the same time. Also, the Connector itself has holes in it for a lanyard or chain, which is nice if you want to bring it with you. A small green LED light on the end lights up when you're connected, so you know that you are. There's not really much else to say-- everything you need to get set up to play your DS games online is in the box:



The Connector is a slick little portable Wi-Fi adaptor the size of most conventional thumb or flash drives:


The Connector is on the left, and my beaten-up Kingston USB flash drive is on the right.

It allows online play for those of us without a wireless router or a local Wi-Fi hotspot, but only for PCs and then even only PCs running Windows XP. It has a typical range of 30 or so feet, and naturally it’s best if there is a clear line of sight between the DS and the Connector. For this purpose, Nintendo has thoughtfully included a USB extension cord, which can be plugged in to the back of a PC to allow the Connector to sit on top of the PC.


Setting up the Wi-Fi Connector was a breeze. Insert the CD, plug in the USB Connector when it tells you to, and voila! You have a portable wireless connection for your DS! I was able to plug it in my PC a room away, and still get reception in my living room, which is a feat in and of itself, let me tell you.
All you have to do to use your Wi-Fi Connector later is plug it in, and then run the software. Easy as that!
Sadly, with all good things, there must be some bad. You can tell that the Nintendo programmers are unfamiliar with developing PC software— there’s no way to exit the program! After you’re done playing, you can click on the Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector icon in your taskbar to ‘stop’ the program. The only way to get rid of the now-grayed-out icon though, is to open XP’s Task Manager and manually terminate the process. That’s only a minor annoyance, however. The program barely takes up any memory as is, and when not running, memory usage is even lower.


The thrill of playing MarioKart DS and Metroid Prime: Hunters online against human opponents is incredible. The soon-to-be released Star Fox Command will surely prove to be excellent online as well. The Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector has an MSRP of around US $40, and is worth every penny. The DS has a bright future ahead of it if its online games continue to be as good as the ones out now.
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