UK law could hobble WiiConnect24

British plan to outlaw standby switches on electronics could flummox Nintendo's plans for an "always on" console.

US Vice President Dick Cheney once called energy conservation an optional "personal virtue." However, over in the UK, it may soon become the law. A recent report in the London Times reveals that the British government may soon outlaw standby switches on electronics, which allow them to be partially powered down, in an effort to curb energy use among its citizens. According to a government energy review, standby machines use 8 percent of all domestic electricity in the UK.

So what does that have to do with games? Well, if passed, the measure would complicate the online component for the forthcoming Wii console. When Nintendo unveiled the next-gen machine at its 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo press conference, the game giant played up the device's WiiConnect24 download service. Company president Satoru Iwata made much of the fact that the console would be "always on" and would automatically download demos and other new content in standby mode while gamers slept. "We're aiming for a console that's new every day," said Iwata.

The WiiConnect24 service is predicated on the assumption that the Wii will be turned on 24 hours a day, either fully powered or on standby. That means that the new British law would effectively hobble the service's automatic download features, since it would require the console to either be turned on or off.

Given that most other European countries have no such anti-standby button measures on the books, Nintendo may have to tweak WiiConnect24 specifically for the UK market. But will it? That has yet to be determined, as Nintendo reps had not returned requests for comment as of press time.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

125 comments
kp2001
kp2001

Yo whats going on man these guys comin up wiv some stupid new laws

freakykidd
freakykidd

I wasn't a big fan of WiiConnect24 anyways... I'ld rather download the stuff I need rather than let the console download the stuff itself. But hey, Nintendo said it was optional. Even if we do get WiiConnect24 in the UK, I'll porbably turn the thing off overnight and when Im away anyway :P

aransom
aransom

The law of unintended consequences is going to twist this. If UK passes a law prohibiting standby mode people will just leave their stuff on all the time, which will probably increase the amount of electricity people use. By the way, since when is the amount of electricity I use any business of the government anyway. As long as I pay the power bill, no one else has the right to tell me how much electricity I should be able to use. We have energy shortages, but that's because environmentalist wackos get in the way of building more powerplants. We have these kooks in the US too, so we can probably look forward to this kind of silly legislation here too.

tomlee129
tomlee129

this law if it gets passed, its going to have wider reaching implications. it will not be just the WII. this will be for TV's , PS2's, VCR'S. ANYTHING WITH A STANDBY MODE! Though this is only likely to apply to new products, this though will have a major impact on all consoles which have a standby mode

LittleDuck
LittleDuck

This could actualy be a big oppertunity for nintendo to show themselves. Around 40% of people are devout greenies. If nintendo adapt their console to be off at night sya and on in day, this will dwell well with the green party. And as a result give a popularity boost over 40% of the world. Not bad.

CLeRKSfan4life
CLeRKSfan4life

This sucks! Although I think everything will be fine!

jsambeckwith
jsambeckwith

If they pass this law (I doubt it'll even get past commons) then Nintendo will need to make some alterations, but I highly doubt they will pass it.

Mateoman17
Mateoman17

Basically, I say "Go England!" This is just evidence that they're trying to do their part to conserve energy, slow global warming, and protect our planet. Which is much more important than we Americans realize. I'd be pleased to see our government enact a similar law. Maybe we could learn a little bit from those guys accross the pond. And yeah, Nintendo's just gonna have to get over it.

mikelpowl88
mikelpowl88

What do i care? i dont live in the Uk.

blueblur87
blueblur87

If they do implement this law, some people are going to end up wasting even more energy by leaving the Wii turned on 24/7 so that they dont miss any downloads.. instead of having it in standby mode when they're not using it, which uses a minimal amount of energy. It wouldnt be a bad thing to turn it off. The "always on" concept is just a stupid idea idealised by nintendo and also mentioned by sony and it shouldn't be promoted as a good thing, cause energy is running out. It's as if their marketing team haven't done any research about whats going on in the world (e.g. energy running out, global warming, people leaving stuff on standby cause they cant get off their arses to press a switch..,)

Sidrat2004
Sidrat2004

It's a stupid comment made by someone who should have known better. Of course we don't need Stand by buttons. But do you really want to have to set the timer on the dvd/video player every single day? I've got family members who do this, but they do it not to save energy but to prevent electrical fires in their house. The WiiConnect although it will be required to be on, surely will be able to be turned off. Where's the harm in allowing the unit to be turned off, and what if you're not near a WiFi spot anyway? It's much ado about nothing. It won't even get off the ground, and while I support saving energy legislating against standy modes won't save that great deal. I've heard figures from every range between .02% to like stated 8%. Our nuclear plants are growing old already so of course they'll have to rebuild new ones eventually. Just chill out people.

SeaMouse
SeaMouse

FACT: This policy would not affect Wii FACT: 8% of UK energy is a vast amount (several nuclear power stations) FACT: Nintendo are being very irresponsible by encouraging people to leave their console on 24/7 FACT: Britain will not be able to implement it alone - it will require an EU-wide agreement which will take years FACT: Stand by mode is a bad thing. It's made for lazy people. Nobody really needs it!

Chi-You-Man
Chi-You-Man

What does this have to do with bush?. How does he control our country?,and how is it his fault we got bombed?, we went into iraq as well you know. I am not defending bush,the guy is an idiot .Btw....are you sure your british?ruining our country? how?. Who cares anyway he is gonna have to step down in a couple of years

Chi-You-Man
Chi-You-Man

What does this have to do with bush?. How does he control our country?,and how is it his fault we got bombed?, we went into iraq as well you know. I am not defending bush,the guy is an idiot .Btw....are you sure your british?ruining our country? how?. Who cares anyway he is gonna have to step down in a couple of years

tetraswarrior
tetraswarrior

Just so u no, wen the wii is on standby, it will be using wifi still, and usually wen things have wifi on they are using 300-400% more energy than on normally (and infinite more energy than off). This means that the wii will still use a hell of a lot of energy on standby PS: I,m british, I do not blame bush 4 everything, i only blame him for... Starting Wars Being a prick Not controling his country Looking like a chimp (OK maybe thats his parents too) Letting his country create a large portion of global warming Ruining our country Getting our country bombed Controlling Our country (badly) and finaly.... Preparing domonating/destroying the world

Psiphor
Psiphor

Ah, so that stupid ruling would also have to apply to such neccessities as central heating, whereby the thermostat regulates the heating system. Thermostats are therefore on all the time, or sit in a state of limbo until the temperature/timer triggers the 'On/Off' events... Surely, they can't mess with the law governing the use of thermostats, so why mess with the Wii's standby mode... The amount of energy used by the console is gonna be minimal even when it's fully on... Certainly less than your average tv drains. That's Britain for you... Rules for the sake of 'em that just complicate our lives, yet other rules that make a mockery of our once-revered legal system. At this rate, they're going to prevent Nintendo from releasing the Wii here at all.

assassinX01
assassinX01

"couldnt nintendo make the wii so that it turns on every hour, downloads anything it needs to and then it turns off. " There you go, Nintendo, he's just save you all the trouble of figuring out the legal loop holes.

acu02151
acu02151

This will never become law, the electronic companies would have to make specific products only for the uk market which of course would cause massive price rises. If the all the political parties were funded only using public money then i'd say there would be a small chance they would be this reckless with the economy but as so much of the parties funding comes from people who would be hurt financially by this law for it to ever come into effect.

geo888
geo888

couldnt nintendo make the wii so that it turns on every hour, downloads anything it needs to and then it turns off.

senorjoeyo
senorjoeyo

I really dont see why my post got deleted, sure it was insulting but my point was a relevent one. I'd also like to point out that other people were insulting the British government with no action, I do the same with american government I get points reducted and my post deleted (I dont actually care about the actions but my point is still valid) I feel it is blatent bias. 8 % of a countrys energy is still ALOT of energy. If the world cut back 8% on energy consumption, the savings would be HUGE!!

Willdyer10
Willdyer10

man thats sucks why do i live in the uk

jeb800e
jeb800e

I hope this law doesn't affect us, in America.

1huge1
1huge1

aww man i live in the republic of ireland and if this law comes here to ill be so pissd, luckily were not part of the UK but northern ireland is and sometimes we copy the UK on a lot of laws

coruscant
coruscant

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

coruscant
coruscant

axia_777 said "That is so retarded. This would never happen here in the States." And I say: thats because the US does not care about global warming, and they will tell everyone else off when it turns out to be true.

Luigi_Vincetana
Luigi_Vincetana

What of PC standby switches? Suposibly PCs use the most6 power when turning on and off, which means that putting your PC in standby may be more energy efficient then turning it off. Ohh well, makes no difference to me, I live in Australia.

lobotomies4free
lobotomies4free

nobody's complained about the lack of the feature on the 360, we'll be fine

SpareJesus
SpareJesus

Dear British Government; Please tell George Bush to turn Las Vegas off at night, maybe then we'll start thinking about saving electricity ourselves. Thank you.

ki11b0y
ki11b0y

the law will never be passed. it's a silly law and silly laws such as this are hardly ever passed. everyone calm down and take a deep breath

yabbal
yabbal

I think there needs to be exceptions to that law (if passed). For example, PVR's. My PVR stays in stand-by all day, every day, so that it can record my tv shows for me. If it didnt have a stand-by mode it would need to be left on consuming excess power, just so it is able to start recording when needed. And of course Wii Connect 24. If they want to pass this law I think they should state that Stand-by mode is allowed on devices that still preform an important function while in this mode.

ki11b0y
ki11b0y

this won't change the service. all it means is that here in the uk we will have to download everything manually which i would prefer to do anyway. incase you didn't watch (or pay attention) the E3 press conference they said that the always on system was optional. you don't have to do it. nothing is gonna change so will all you 14 year olds stop saying you're gonna bomb the UK. especially in a time when people actually are bombing the UK.

Famicomman
Famicomman

LMAO :lol: you guys are so touchy!!! So they might have to turn off the stand by mode on the Wii, IT DOESN'T AFFECT THE GAME PLAY!!!! As long as it does all the other stuff Nintedo promises it doesn't really matter!

wii___man
wii___man

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Gamer4eva999
Gamer4eva999

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

soul_motor
soul_motor

I don't want to know how it would be enforced. Damn you Big Brother!!

skine99
skine99

if they change it I hope its just for UK or better yet no law at all.

aramitz
aramitz

I think this is a great idea. For anyone here who's actually old enough to have to pay their own electricity bills, they'll understand what a waste of cash that leaving stuff on standby is over the course of a year. Saving nearly 10% on a countrys carbon output is also well worth the legal wranglings involved in such an action. On the otherhand It's also not hard to see why a vast amount of people think that energy conservation is a wasted effort when you see some of the GS users attitudes that have been posted. Until Americans have to pay anywhere near the same price us Europeans do for petrol and electricity they just won't care let alone take any action. That time isn't too far away though it'd seem with the current Middle East crisis.

SeaMouse
SeaMouse

8% of UK energy = several power stations and millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide. Standby mode is almost always unnecessary, so it is quite reasonable to seek to do away with it. And if you doubt it is as much as 8%, consider 25 million homes x multiple devices using up to 40 watts each on standby. And that doesn't include businesses. You do the math. However, other posters are correct that it won't affect the Wii, as this particular regulation won't come into effect until long after the Wii is released. Plus it could be argued that the Wii, technically speaking, isn't actually on standby if it is receiving and processing data. As for the cynical Americans out there, I look forward to the day when Europe has achieved a low-carbon economy, while America is still paying top dollar for oil and gas from its middle eastern enemies so it can power all those little red lights on their TVs.

snarple_basic
snarple_basic

Wow first I have heard what the wiiconnect24 was.... Only problem it does feel like it could be a waste of electricity. I can download a demo if i want it, I really dont need the machine to do it for me. Not too mention it can be a bit of a waste of bandwidth. Oh well.

joshuamcc
joshuamcc

The main reason why electronic devices have a sleep mode is to conserve energy. If you omit this from society then machines everywhere will me simply left on. If anything it should be illegal to make a device that doesn't have a sleep mode.

adamt68i
adamt68i

The Wii will be very energy efficient anyway so it won't be that bad if left on standby with its 90 nanometer process. Also its better to allow standby than risk people literallly having Always On consoles with no standby using more energy.

juanfraino
juanfraino

... ok i guess, it`s not like i live there. but i just cant agree with this law :?

PMC11
PMC11

This law will not passed anytime during the Wii's lifetime. our country takes many years to process laws, this is because the laws our thought out completely. obviously, there will be some kind of power usage specification. so if the product uses more than 40% on stand-by than of its normal energy consumtion, restricitons will be put in place to stop this from happening. even if this did happen in the Wii's lifetime i would be very surprised if this affected anything, and nintendo definately will not modify there design for one country alone. To all the people out their [americans] who think that leaving things on constantly is the answer - that is probably why your country produces the most amount of pollution on earth, even though there are countries with millins of more people. this, i think is a very good law, and it shows our government actually gets up (slowly though) and actually does something.

roareh
roareh

good idea by the tendo, but the UK isnt gunna start banning stand by products. Even if this law were to pass, it'd be way after the wii launch, and theyre not exactly gunna take everything thats standby away from you. seems like an ongoing problem thats just being linked to the wii. Kinda pointless.

axia_777
axia_777

That is so retarded. This would never happen here in the States. Even though we have a chimp fpr a Pres.....

_Sam_
_Sam_

I understand the law's cause but I don't agree with it

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

stupid UK..... do they not realize that lots of electronics are "on" when they are off? like tv's.....pc's.......most dvd players......

Riorio99
Riorio99

I won't leave it on all night anyways so it doesnt bother me at all