Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection (commonly abbreviated as Nintendo WFC) is built-in software (which must work with an internet connection) allowing for games to be played online with people from across the globe.
On February 27, 2014, Nintendo announced that the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection will be discontinued on May 20, 2014 for all the games used by Wii and Nintendo DS, and will no longer be available for online play. However, the Wii Shop Channel will remain active. 
The Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection was developed to be easy to connect to, safe for everyone to use, and free. Games designed to take advantage of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection offer Internet play integrated into the game. The Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection can support up to sixteen players on the Nintendo DS and thirty-two players on Wii . Basic features of the Wi-Fi Connection include worldwide matchmaking, leaderboards, tournaments. Additional features are available between friends who have exchanged Friend Codes.
Each game that uses the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection generates a unique twelve digit Friend Code that can be exchanged with friends and be used to maintain individual friend lists in each game. Though certain games can be played online without a Friend Code, a Friend Code is required to play with a specific person. Friend Codes are generated from an identifier unique to a copy of a game and the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection ID of a DS or Wii system. Using a different copy of a game or loading the same copy in a different system generates a new Friend Code . In order for users to become "Friends", they must mutually add Friend Codes and will be authenticated as Friends once both have gone online. Nintendo introduced these features as conscious steps to preserve users' privacy. If a DS or Wii game is sold, but not the system, there is no risk of the purchaser impersonating the seller. If a user needs to replace his or her DS system, then the old system's Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection ID can be transferred wirelessly, to maintain the user's original Friend Codes on the new machine. Some games require that the user use Friend Codes to use any online functionality.
Pay & Play
In 2008, Nintendo announced a new feature for the Wi-Fi Connection called Pay & Play. Games that use the Pay & Play feature may have additional Downloadable content (DLC) or services that require extra fees. These fees will be paid for using Nintendo Points. A special red Wi-Fi Connection logo with the words "Pay & Play" is used to distinguish these games from the regular free Wi-Fi games.
- See main article: WiiConnect24
WiiConnect24 is a feature of Wii that allows the system to be connected to the Internet even when the console is in standby mode. Games and channels that utilize WiiConnect24 can send and receive data even while the game is not being played. Players who wish to send data to friends only need to register each other's Wii System Code and not individual friend codes. Players can also send friends messages using WiiConnect24 from the Wii Message Board. When a message is received, the Wii's slot light will glow blue. WiiConnect24 was shutdown on June 28, 2013.
Wii Shop Channel
- See main article: Wii Shop Channel
The Wii Shop Channel allows users to download games and other software by redeeming Nintendo Points, which can be obtained by purchasing Nintendo Points cards from retail outlets or directly through the Wii Shop Channel using MasterCard or Visa credit cards online. Users can browse in the Virtual Console, WiiWare, or Wii Channels sections for downloads. A feature to purchase downloaded software as gifts for others became available worldwide on December 10, 2007. Additional channels that were not released at the console's launch are available for purchase in the Wii Shop Channel. Currently all downloadable channels are free of charge.
Virtual Console Channels
- See main article: Virtual Console
Virtual Console channels are channels that allow users to play their downloaded Virtual Console games obtained from the Wii Shop Channel. The Virtual Console portion of the Wii Shop Channel specializes in older software originally designed and released for home entertainment platforms that are now defunct. These games are played on the Wii through the emulation of the older Nintendo hardwares. The prices are generally the same in almost every region and are determined primarily by the software's original platform.
|Predecessor: Nintendo GameCube|
Successor: Wii U
ControllersWii Remote - Nunchuk - Wii Classic Controller - Wii Classic Controller Pro
RevisionsWii Family Edition - Wii Mini
Other HardwareOptical Disc - SD Card - Wii Sensor Bar - Wii Vitality Sensor - Wii Balance Board - Wii MotionPlus - Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector
SoftwareList of Wii Channels - Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection - WiiConnect24 - Virtual Console - Wii Shop Channel - WiiWare