Not only is Wifi helping people connect and do business worldwide, but wireless connections are also changing the ways in which we play games. The three main home video gaming consoles (Nintendo Wii, Sony Playstation 3, and Microsoft Xbox 360) are all capable of connecting to the Internet via wired or wireless Internet connection. Where gamers are really seeing improvements, though, is in the addition of Wifi to handheld gaming consoles.The Nintendo DS, which first became available in 2004, launched with built-in 802.11 Wireless Network Connection. Initially, this was used for accessing the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, where users could play online with compatible games.
A special cartridge was later introduced, however, that allowed users to browse the Internet as well.In 2006, the Nintendo DS Lite was introduced. Visually, the device is sleeker and brighter than the original DS. What you can’t see is the added Wi-Fi connectivity, which allows the DS Lite to receive signals from other DS systems of all varieties, along with the Nintendo Wii and Wi-Fi access points. The DS Lite supports WEP encrypted networks in addition to unencrypted.A third model, the DSi, was introduced in 2008 in Japan and 2009 in other parts of the world. Its design is similar to the DS Lite but added digital cameras, internal and external storage, and connection to a new Nintendo DSi Shop help justify it for both old and new DS owners.
The DSi supports, even more, modes of wireless encryption, including not only WEP but also WPA and WPA2.A version of the Opera web browser has been developed for all DS models. A cartridge is required for both the DS and the DS Lite, while the DSi can download a compatible version of Opera 9.5 free from the DSi shop.Sony’s PlayStation Portable (PSP) is the other main handheld video game system. Wi-Fi connectivity was also included from the beginning when the device launched in 2004. A PSP Web Browser was soon added to the system as part of a regular system update. The PSP Go, released in 2009, is unique among both the DS and PSP lines, as it lacks a UMD drive and requires all new games to be downloaded via an Internet connection. The Go also added support for Bluetooth connectivity, allowing players to use certain PS3 controllers or headsets when playing.Wifi is certainly a benefit in professional situations, but as these devices show, it’s important to remember that it can also be used for entertainment. Just make sure not to mix the two.