WCS/WLC and Wii

Unanswered Question
Sep 24th, 2007


I am on a University campus where we allow students to plug in there game consoles into our network for online gaming. We recently purchased a WCS solution from Cisco and deployed it this summer. The students coming to campus have brought in their Wii consoles and are unable to connect to the network.

I have attempted to use the Wii with an Access Point prior to joing the WCS system but once it is joined it will no longer connect. Is there a setting within the WCS system that needs to be tweaked to allow Wii connectivity?

Best Regards.

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Overall Rating: 0 (6 ratings)
irisrios Fri, 09/28/2007 - 14:24

WCS is a network management solution and is a part of the Cisco Unified wireless network. Ideally, WCS should not cause any issue for wireless clients connecting to the APs. I have a couple of questions. Is the AP registered with the controller? Is the WCS able to communicate to the WLC?

Rob Huffman Sat, 09/29/2007 - 10:13

Hi Jeff,

Interesting question :) I am just guessing here but I would look at what security model you are using on the WLAN.

The Wii is designed to be compatible with most home wireless routers and security standards. While we do not have a list of specific supported routers, checking for the following features on a router can help ensure you pick one that is compatible with the Wii. Remember that you must have a highspeed Cable or DSL internet connection in order to connect your Wii online.

What to look for:

802.11G/ 802.11B (or mixed)

Most routers currently sold offer these settings. Check the box to make sure the router supports these broadcast standards. Routers that mention 802.11N or pre-N (as well MIMO) may not be compatible with the Wii.

WEP and WPA/WPA2 encryption

The Wii is compatible with WEP, WPA and WPA2 encryption methods if you wish to enable wireless security on your router.

There are several different WPA variations. The Wii is compatible with:






Hope this helps!


jrieman Mon, 10/01/2007 - 04:34


Thank You for the response. We spent several days troubleshooting this this week with Cisco and came to a resolution although not an ideal one.

Problem Statement: Nintendo Wii Wireless consoles would not work with Cisco access points once they are added to the Wireless Lan Controller (WLC) solution. The Light Weight Access Point (LWAPP) would receive DHCP requests from the Wii and the DHCP server would send back an Offer but the Wii would not acknowledge the offer and would not accept a DHCP address. If the same model autonomous access point is used (not WCS/LWAPP) the Wii works as expected.

Infrastructure background: Our DHCP server is a Unix platform which must DHCP Relay through a Cisco Clean Access (CCA) solution and then DHCP Relay through the WLC solution. Somewhere in all the relaying an address was changing that the Wii console could not understand and as a result never got the DHCP address. We are not using any encryption at this time.

The solution: By creating a new DHCP scope and placing it directly on the WLC systems we were able to bypass any DHCP relaying and provide the address directly from the WLC to the Wii console. We are aware of at least one additional institution whose DHCP infrastructure is the same as ours who is also using CCA who had the exact same problem. They claim that a Nintendo Wii running firmware version 2.x will work with their system but once it is upgraded to 3.x it fails to connect. We haven't been able to validate that for ourselves but if this was the case, it would seem that Wii software version 3.0 handles DHCP a little differently than 2.0.


Rob Huffman Mon, 10/01/2007 - 05:30

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for posting back with your resolution :) That is some crazy stuff, nice job resolving this one so quickly. Sorry for not being able to direct you with any helpful info :( Oh well. 5 points for your good work and for sharing this with the rest of the Forum participants!

Take care,


ThomasPemberton Wed, 01/18/2012 - 14:50

Any other solutions for this?  Our campus is having the same problem.  We have 3x5508s and NCS - can setup an autonomous AP and the Wii will connect fine, have it connect to an 1142 or 3502i AP and it will not be able to get online.  Tried disabling DHCP Proxy on the 5508 as well.  It is not feasible with our setup to put a new DHCP scope on the controller directly...

blakekrone Wed, 01/18/2012 - 14:53

The Wii requires the 1 and 2 Mbps data rates to be enabled in order to connect, even though it will operate at 11 Mbps. What rates do you have enabled?

ThomasPemberton Wed, 01/18/2012 - 15:00

I will check those.  I had heard this suggestion before and made the changes - didn't seem to help but I will try again. 

Strange... seems to have worked on this Wii.  Makes me feel like I am losing my mind as I had checked about 3 other Wiis and enabled/disabled 1&2Mbps with no luck.  It looks like this wii is the newest software version (at this time) of 4.3U.  I will have to re-contact some other users and see updaing software + data rate changes will work...

ThomasPemberton Wed, 01/18/2012 - 15:07

After a little more testing it looks like setting 1Mbps and 2Mbps to "supported" will not work, but "mandatory" will.  I'm guessing that before I had changed it to "supported".  How would this effect other "normal" devices on campus? 

blakekrone Wed, 01/18/2012 - 15:09

The downside to enabling those data rates is that now all of your management traffic is going out at those 1 and 2 Mbps data rates, so depending on how your APs are placed and how many SSIDs you have you could run into channel utilization issues.

George Stefanick Wed, 01/18/2012 - 15:13


To piggy back on Blakes comment. Management traffic will be transmitted from your access points at the LOWEST mandatory rate. If you have 1,2,5 and 11 all as mandatory, the lowest one, being 1 in our case will be used to send your beacons and other managment frames.

Since we are on the topic, multicast frames are sent at the highest mandatory rate.


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