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When will Wii play online?

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s Wii video game console was the surprise hit of the holiday season, but fans are wondering when it will match rivals Microsoft and Sony by offering a way to compete in cyberspace.

The Wii is online-ready right out of the box, thanks to its built-in WiFi. Its Virtual Console, which allows users to download classic Nintendo games from the Web, has been a stunning success with more than 1.5 million games downloaded by the end of the holidays, according to the company.

But competitive online play is not among the many features available to Wii gamers, even though more than 50 percent of Wii consoles in the United States are connected online.

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