Nintendo’s secret online past: The Famicom Modem

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When the Gamecube was announced Nintendo put online gaming on the backburner. Phantasy Star Online was the only series to take advantage of the ill fated broadband adapter. Their strategy shifted with the DS and the successful launch of Nintendo WiFi. Before all of this… way way back in the eighties Nintendo toyed with an online service and the Famicom Modem. Nintendo had the mindset to get people connected way before the popularity of the internet. The Famicom Modem could be used to do banking transactions and stock trading. Sure the modem was slow and it tied up the phone lines, but the Famicom could go online, which was pretty revolutionary at the time. The Famicom Network also had fun services like the Super Mario Club, which had game reviews and previews. Here’s the downside the modem was never used for online gameplay, but Nintendo took a stab at claiming the online marketplace way before most people even realized that it existed. Can you imagine what would happen if the Famicom Modem caught on? Maybe we would all be connecting to the Net through our Gamecube or at the very least we might have had online play for more Gamecube games.

 


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