WiiConnect24 is a feature of Nintendo's Wii that was announced at E3 2006. It will enable some of the system's features to work while the console is on stand-by; for example, a friend might be able to visit another player's town and leave that player messages in Animal Crossing without him or her being present. WiiConnect24 is not the same as the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, which is for competitive online play gameplay.
The service will also be used to distribute content such as software patches and updated game content while the Wii is not in use. It is also to receive messages when the Wii is off. At the E3 2006 Nintendo Conference, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata described Wii as "the system that never sleeps." The WiiConnect24 system requires about the same amount of power as a miniature light bulb.
WiiConnect24 can be turned on or off via the Wii's Setup Interface. The Wii Optical Drive will glow a neon-blue color when content has been received. The brightness level of this blue color can also be changed via the Setup Interface, with the options of Bright, Dim, or Off. The Wii's Power LED shows the current status of WiiConnect24 when the system is powered off:
- Red: system in standby, WiiConnect24 is off.
- Orange: system in standby, WiiConnect24 is on.
During an interview with the Japanese newspaper, Nikkei Business Publications, Nintendo's CEO Satoru Iwata revealed that the WiiConnect24 could be used for the downloading of demos for the Nintendo DS.
"Let's say your Wii is connected to the Internet in a mode that allows activation on a 24-hour basis. This would allow Nintendo to send monthly promotional demos for the DS, during the night, to the Wii consoles in each household. Users would wake up each morning, find the LED lamp on their Wii flashing, and know that Nintendo has sent them something. They would then be able to download the promotional demo from their Wii systems to their Nintendo DSs."
According to Nintendo's European micro-site for the Wii, WiiConnect24 can be used to send SMS messages "to family members that are out and about", and exchange pictures and messages with other Wii users.
- Everybody Votes Channel (new polls and poll results)
- Forecast Channel (current local and worldwide weather conditions)
- Mii Channel (Miis created by friends can be shared)
- News Channel (the latest news articles and headlines)
The initial firmware update caused some parts of the system to be inaccessible to a small portion of people who purchased the Wii at launch. Those Wii systems received constant error codes like 110213 and 32002 ; for those users it was necessary to contact Nintendo's customer service to replace or repair the system . This issue has not been reported on any Wii systems shipped since launch. Some have attributed the slow connection and errors to server overloads.