Published in Games

No ticket, no Wii Speak

by on14 November 2008


Nintendo looks to stop used sales

Nintendo has taken an interesting approach to prevent used sales of the new Wii Speak Mic that will at least curb some used sales of the Wii Speak microphone hardware. Without the included Wii Download Ticket number you will not be able to access the Wii Speak Channel.

The Wii Speak microphone will be available separately or bundled with the Animal Crossing: City Folk title that is slated for release next week. No matter if you purchase the Animal Crossing: City Folk with the Wii Speak microphone or the Will Speak microphone that is being sold separately each will include a 16-charcter code that is printed on a pamphlet that is included. Don’t lose it, because if you do, Nintendo will not replace it and you will not be able to gain access to the Wii Speak channel.

While the Wii Speak channel will first require that you load the Animal Crossing: City Folk title, Nintendo intends to release an update that will allow voice chat without the need to load a title first. It is thought that Nintendo as well as other third party developers will expand the use of the microphone into other titles as time goes on.

The strategy to curb the sales of used games and hardware has recently become even more of a hot button issue with console manufactures and software developers. We expect to see attempts to put a dent in the sale of used titles and hardware on which the manufacturers and developers get no compensation. Recently Electronic Arts used a similar tactic with the release of NBA 09 Live, which included a code for the Dynamic DNA feature that is tied to the account that it was activated using. Without the code, users who wanted to take advantage of the Dynamic DNA feature are forced to pay a $19.99 charge.

Unlike Electronic Arts, Nintendo will offer no such option. The Wii Speak Channel access code at least for the time being will not be available for purchase on the Wii Shopping Channel or by buying it direct from Nintendo. The only option for users is to buy another new microphone with another code.

Our thought is that this is a novel approach to deal with the problem of used hardware and game sales, but many will be put off by this policy. Still, it is an understandable development with the continued growth in the sale of used hardware and games. At least for the game digital distribution will continue to gain popularity, but as for hardware this may be something that could have a negative reaction that is so strong that Nintendo will have to rethink this approach as time goes on.
Last modified on 14 November 2008
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