The following is from Codename Revolution:
According to the latest United States patent (7056217) filed by Nintendo (planned six years ago) and is now published on June 6th, 2006 it states the following:
Title: Messaging service for video game systems with buddy list that displays game being played
Description: A messaging system includes a web server computer and at least two video game systems. Each game system is configured to connect to the web server computer via the Internet and to communicate status data indicative of an activity engaged in by a user thereof. The web server computer generates a session file indicative of user status and the status of each of two or persons on a buddy list of the user.
The messaging service client provides the user with an opportunity to create a user profile that is stored in the memory of network server…The user profile may contain any desired user-specific information including, but not limited to, an alias, first name, last name, gender, age, city, state, favorite game, favorite food, favorite sport, hobbies, recommended URL and notes…If desired, users may also be given an opportunity to indicate high scores and other accomplishments achieved on the game network or on stand-alone games. Users may also be provided with the capability of including in their profiles customized faces (images) made up of various user-selected features (e.g., a particular nose, mouth, mustache, etc.) in order to enhance the "persona" of the user. These customized faces may be included with messages. Users may even be provided with the capability of including in their profiles digital images of their own faces generated, for example, using a digital camera…
The messaging service client allows the user to create a list ("buddy list") of other users ("buddies") with whom he/she wishes to remain in contact…The connecting user and his/her buddies can then communicate with each other on an individual basis and private chat sessions can be set up. These chat sessions are typically text-based, but it also possible to set up voice over Internet sessions between two users…
Each of the game systems includes an input device(s) that is usable by a user to create messages. In the case of a game console, an on-screen keyboard may be used and the game controls are usable to select characters from the on-screen keyboard to create messages. In another implementation, a separate keyboard (not shown) may be connected to the game console. In still another implementation, the input device may be a microphone to enable voice over IP communications. Voice over IP may be implemented within the messaging service.
According to the patent the system will have a View Associate List, Block List, User Preferences, Profile, Access, Status, Rules list, Alerts and Autostart Alerts. It also speaks about the possibility of a portable game console to use this (DS + Wii? sounds mindblowing).
Although Nintendo has always had this planned it seems with the Wii this is now possible. Keep in mind a motion-sensing controller was always planned for the Gamecube long ago. But with these revelations of a possible keyboard, a headset, a ability to most likely use SD Cards to upload pictures and an amazing instant messenger system, it seems highly likely this will end up on the Wii. The Wii just gets better.