Just a quick follow up to my questions from the other day: Apparently I'm not the only Canadian who feels this way. Fellow Canadian ranter and LPer Slowflake called this out in a recent rant looking back on the 4th generation (viewable at point 16 here). Although the whole article is worth a read, point 16 is especially cogent for that discussion.
So today I had the occasion to do something that's not normally available - engage in heavy use of Tag mode in Dragon Quest IX with a group outside Japan. It was an organized event by EB Games/Gamestop and they lured us all in with the potential for a DSi XL, but about 20-30 people hung out for a couple of hours and picked up maps and unlocked titles for each other.
The biggest attraction of the day, however, was the appearance of someone with a Japanese cart and a save who could hand out maps that were only released in Japan. And as soon as I can level up a bit and unlock the area with all of the metal slimes, much grinding will ensue.
Of course, the most common question asked at the meetup was "Why don't they just do these things over wi-fi?"
Most of what I play now is JRPGs, which heavily play off of the commuter culture in Japan. And based on that, a Twitterer who I will keep anonymous out of respect for his private account is calling that the Dream World will bomb in the West or be neutered as a result.
I have to wonder, though - the C-Gear, or the equivalent of tag mode, is also going to be looking for infrared (???) and more importantly, wi-fi signals. It's the first time we've ever been able to do a live trade without having to be at a Pokemon Center if it works as advertised. And the Dream World (based on the trailer that came out this week) is a wi-fi based thing that uses the PC, so there's no reason why NOA/Pokemon International would need to neuter it.
I know I'm going to abuse the hell of it, if only because it's going to be a lot easier to catch the older Pokemon than the stupid mini-game they're replacing Pal Park with. (That's not to say Pal Park was a picnic - why is Shuckle a Pokemon of the SEA?)
The other reason why they'd want to keep it open would be simple - follow the money. If you don't think there's going to be advertising on the website that Nintendo could make a boatload of money off of, you're nuts. This is getting the kind of hype that ends up with a 7-digit number for sales on both games in the March 2011 NPD report, and a lot of them aren't going to pull out Adblock Plus. Hello, Google Adsense revenue!
And as much as I liked doing tag mode, I look forward to a day when I can tag with a random obsessed otaku in Japan over wi-fi. Now, if we can get WPA support into Black and White...