Some Wii owners are completely unaware that the console is online enabled, the developer of downloadable WiiWare title LostWinds has said.

According to Elite legend and Frontier head honcho David Braben, some even see Nintendo's console as a Wii Fit device.

Braben was speaking to at a Nintendo press event held to promote the company's upcoming slate of WiiWare and DSiWare games, which includes LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias, the hotly anticipated follow up to the 2008 original.

At the press event Nintendo announced that the Connection Ambassador Promotion, which will give free Wii Points to players who encourage friends and family to get connected with their Wii, will start in Europe this October.

"With online on Wii, it is gradually improving," he said.

"There are a lot of people out there who don't realise it is even possible, and that the wireless network is built in - you don't have to buy anything separate."

According to Braben, the reason for this lies is because many people buy a Wii just to play one game.

"People buy it often for a specific game, whether it's Wii Fit or something like that, and see it as a Wii Fit device," he said. "And then only later realise, oh I can play other stuff on this."

Many believe the Nintendo Wii struggles when it comes to online. Although Nintendo does not release WiiWare download numbers, it is believed that the Xbox 360 and PS3, with Xbox LIVE and PSN respectively, are leaders in this respect.

Braben, however, believes the number of Wii owners who use its online functionality will gradually increase as a result of word of mouth and Nintendo's own rewards schemes, including the Connection Ambassador Promotion.

"World of mouth does that. Friends, particularly the playground, will help a lot, especially when there's 500 free points for everyone you can bag!"

He added: "It's not going to be overnight. The Ambassador Programme is going to help a lot. People are already starting to connect. It's true with all consoles, on average it's fewer than 50 per cent are online, maybe Xbox is slightly higher.

"But it's interesting with time the percentage with Xbox has fallen. It's not risen. But the numbers have risen. It's those numbers that matter.

"It's quite obvious, the reason the percentages have fallen is as with the PS2 generation, where the early adopters are often core gamers like you and I, that then spreads to a lot more people who, to be honest, don't want the fiddle of connecting it up, until they realise, oh, cool, free stuff! I'll sign up after all."

What do you think? Is David Braben right? Do some believe it's purely a Wii Fit device? Let us know in the comments section below.