A million eager wireless hackers to descend on Macdonalds? It's free WiFi. If you have a Nintendo DS, anyway...

by Guy J Kewney | posted on 18 October 2005

It can only be a couple of weeks after Wayport throws open its WiFi hotspots in US Big Mac outlets (November 14) before America's finest are trying to see if they can get online with something else.

The official announcement simply says: "Nintendo has signed an agreement with Wayport, a leading provider of wired and WiFi high-speed Internet access in public locations, to extend the service to Nintendo DS users at nearly 6,000 McDonald's restaurants across the United States."

The easy way to read the full announcement is to go to Wayport's web site - Nintendo has chosen to publish the press release via a subscription-only PR site.

The easy way to hijack the network has yet to be discovered. The purpose of the promotion is to get the DS going - slogan: "Nintendo DS paves the way for the future of gaming." The DS stands for double-screen. It is hand-held, has touch screen, and voice recognition "including built-in communication software and wireless multiplayer features."

"This agreement with (Internet provider) Wayport will bring countless people together to play games in a single, simultaneous wireless community," said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales and marketing in the press release. Is this likely?

Well, insiders say that over-the-air gaming is the growth area. But there have been several flops, including some phones (n-Gage?) and the gaming community has been pretty low-key in its reception of the news. Watch, and let's see...

Full details - when it goes live - at - right now, that just goes to - so meanwhile, amuse yourself by going to instead.

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