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Nintendo Unveils New Nintendo Zone Service

Even more ways to use your DS; service kicks off on Friday.


Nintendo announced yesterday Mac de DS, a service that lets DS users access free special content at McDonalds restaurants. It turns out that Nintendo's plans for the DS extend beyond just McDonalds.

Mac de DS is just a part of Nintendo's new Nintendo Zone service. Nintendo first announced this service at a press conference held in October last year when it first properly unveiled the DSi. Today, it shared specifics.

Nintendo Zone is a free service that allows DS owners to connect online wirelessly to download demos and other content. The service can be accessed from nationwide McDonalds restaurants and at major stations along Tokyo's Tsukuba Express train line.

You might remember this service under the name Nintendo Spot. Nintendo has been holding a trial version of Nintendo Zone under that name since last May. The McDonalds branch of the service was accessible only at a small selection of Tokyo restaurants during the trial.

Official sites for the Nintendo Zone service.

The McDonalds and Tsukuba Express versions of Nintendo Zone both offer downloadable demos and access to Nintendo's Wi-Fi Connection service. The latter feature allows players to play games over the internet with friends. DSi owners can also download DSi Ware software, although this is available only at Tsukuba Express stations. Browser access is not available through the service, but can be accessed at both facilities through separate paid wireless LAN services.

In addition to these common features, the two facilities offer specific features.

As detailed in yesterday's announcement of Mac de DS, McDonalds will offer coupons, stamp rallies, digital comics, and mini games. Further details can be found at a special site set up by McDonalds.

Tsukuba Express offers users access to NTT Broadband Platform's Wi-Fine wireless internet service, which offers free news, television programs and other content. The Wi-Fine support was added to the test version of the service in August of last year.

The McDonalds and Tsukuba Express versions of the service offer different content.

DS, DSLite and DSi users will all be able to access the services. Owners of DS and DS Lite will have to start off by clicking the DS Download Play icon from the system's startup screen. DSi owners will find that an icon for the Nintendo Zone service automatically appears on the system's app selector when they are in the vicinity of Nintendo Zone access spots.

More details on Nintendo Zone can be found at the Nintendo corporate site.

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