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The Internet Wii

Wii Weather Channel Up, Browser Coming 192

Posted by Zonk
from the wiiconnected dept.
Nintendo's console has been out almost exactly a month, and the company is now rolling out some of the system's additional features. As you are reading this, your Wii should already be capable of giving you the weather forecast. Additionally, this Friday a trial version of the web browser should become available. From the Pro-G article: "The fully featured Opera web browser for the Wii was intended to be available for the launch of the console. Sadly it wasn't, but the good news is that you'll only have to wait until Friday to get a taster of what it can do. A trial version of the Wii Opera web browser will be available for free from December 22. The final version of the Opera browser will be released at the end of March 2007 and will be free for all Wii owners until the end of June 2007. After this date, anyone who hasn't already downloaded the browser will have to pay 500 Wii Points."
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Wii Weather Channel Up, Browser Coming

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  • by LordEd (840443) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @11:38AM (#17300244)
    Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.
    Does that mean its going to be foggy?
  • But what about.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by twilightzero (244291) <mrolfs AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @11:42AM (#17300290) Homepage Journal
    ...the fact that I STILL HAVE TO TYPE EVERYTHING WITH THE !@#$%@#%^#$^&E$%& CLICKY THINGY???

    Why in the world can't I plug my USB keyboard in it and type?

    WHY, GOD, WHY???
    • by Karganeth (1017580) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @11:44AM (#17300312)
      Because wii hate you.
    • by WarlockD (623872)
      You can, but will cost another 500 points.

      Don't even ask how much the mouse hook up will cost!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by astrokid (779104)
      Although it doesn't make up for the lack of USB keyboard support, the Wii has a 'predictive' function when writing memos. If you click on the icon that looks like the eject button on the right it will turn on this feature.

      After writing a few letters it will suggest a few words that you may then click on to use.
      • by Cheapy (809643)
        That's still using the "clicky thing" to do it though. I'm thinking he's talking about the Xbox360's USB keyboard support.
    • by Vellmont (569020)

      Why in the world can't I plug my USB keyboard in it and type?

      WHY, GOD, WHY???

      Maybe because not enough people are interested in that feature to justify developing it, and there's not really any apps out right now that it'd be usefull?

    • What I want is a thumbpad that hooks firmly into the nunchuck port of the wiimote. Something a little larger than the treo keypad is all I want. I would pay ... oh, say $70 for such a device.
    • by rev063 (591509)
      Typing with the Wiimote is easy compared to using the Xbox 360 controller (say), but they could easily make it better. I just wish they would let you hold the B trigger as a SHIFT key, rather than having to click on-screen. Also map controller buttons to SPACE, BACKSPACE and RETURN, and you've got yourself a handy-dandy typing tool, without the need for a big-ass keyboard sitting in your lap.
    • by Nevyn (5505) *

      Actually, there is no typing. You just select from list boxes.

      Mini-review:

      The weather view itself is very nice and easy to read, it even displays the current weather in the channel selector (so you don't have to go into the channel). However it'll only display the current day, and I'm mostly interested in the 5 day forcast so I'd need to start the channel anyway. It does run the channel fairly quickly (about the same time as the Mii channel, at a guess), faster than TiVo anyway (and much faster tha

  • by ProppaT (557551) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @11:46AM (#17300350) Homepage
    Even for people who don't get their hands on a Wii until later next year, $5 is a bargain for Opera. It's a great browser and a great price seeing all the extra considerations and functionality that has to be programmed in to work well on the Wii at 480i/p. I remember spending more than that on a copy before they went free.

    My only question is, how is Nintendo going to block users from playing emulated games via the web? That could seriously hurt Virtual Console game sales if someone can figures out all the logistics behind getting the remote to work correctly through the web browser.
    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      My only question is, how is Nintendo going to block users from playing emulated games via the web? That could seriously hurt Virtual Console game sales if someone can figures out all the logistics behind getting the remote to work correctly through the web browser.

      What do you mean, a flash-based NES emulator on the web? I'm not aware of anything like that, certainly not an N64 emulator. Or are you talking just normal flash games?

      I doubt Nintendo is too worried. Most people will probably be happy to have
      • by ProppaT (557551)
        Look around the net. There's multiple sites where you can play NES games in the browser.
        • There's multiple sites where you can play NES games in the browser.

          But don't most in-browser emulators use Sun's Java technology, which Opera software on non-PC platforms tends not to support? And aren't a lot of those sites just clones of the NES games? For instance, N-Blox [neave.com] lets you play a game with nearly the same rules as NES Tetris, but it can't be made to play any other NES game without a rewrite.

    • I don't think they are. But you're not going to get anything but a mouse cursor from within the browser. Not the same thing at all.
  • How exactly does Nintendo justify paying for a browser? I don't own the console, but I would expect that if web browsing is a feature/portal to finding other Nintendo goodness they'd want you to have it for free (post summer 2007 ;) ). Is it a licensing issue, and if so why not use an OSS browser platform? Am I missing something?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by heinousjay (683506)
      They probably use a variant of the following line of thought: We are in business to make a profit.

      It's not too hard to imagine that as the justification.

      Also, the browser isn't necessary to use the Nintendo online features. That's built in already. The browser is for porn.
      • They probably use a variant of the following line of thought: We are in business to make a profit.
        Snarky! But charging for functionality that is free elsewhere is like, well, Opera :) My point is I can't imagine that Nintendo will make much profit on Opera, and they'd likely only increase their appeal by offering a free browser platform. It may be splitting hairs, but $5 per browser install seems like it's the sort of nickle/dime profiteering that people were originally concerned about with the dow
        • by Kelson (129150) *
          But charging for functionality that is free elsewhere is like, well, Opera :)

          You are aware, I trust, that the desktop version of Opera (the one that runs on Windows, Linux, Mac) has been free for over a year, right? (I'm not trying to be condescending. Just in the last few days I've seen statements by people who honestly thought that Opera still charged for the browser.)

          • You are aware, I trust, that the desktop version of Opera (the one that runs on Windows, Linux, Mac) has been free for over a year, right? (I'm not trying to be condescending. Just in the last few days I've seen statements by people who honestly thought that Opera still charged for the browser.)

            Opera does still charge for their browser. Opera for the desktop is free, but Opera 'for devices' (IE: Cell phone, PDA, etc...) is still a pay for product, and that's what this is. Until June Nintendo is payin

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by brandor (714744)
      If I'm thinking right (I'm too lazy to go look at operas website) the portable version of opera still costs. So that could be one reason Nintendo is charging for it.
    • by friedmud (512466) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @12:30PM (#17300826)
      Firstly... the browser is _not_ going to be a portal for "finding other Nintendo goodness". The Wii _comes_ with a Shopping Channel that allows you to buy stuff (including retro games... and this browser when it's released).

      What I wan't to know is why you think the browser should be free? Opera is the browser of choice here because they have built considerable functionality in for displaying web pages on resolution and input limited devices (cell phones, PDAs, the OLPC and now the Wii). Are you saying that all of their work isn't worth anything? I mean, we are just talking about $5 here...

      Also... you make it sound as if Nintendo is the one that made the browser and is selling it. In fact, Opera put money into porting a browser (and by all accounts it works really well) and is selling it through Nintendo's Shopping Channel. I see no problem with this.

      Look... I love Linux/OSS/Free software as much as anyone... and I also enjoy getting most of it for free (as in money). But, what is everyone's aversion to paying for some software? As a computer scientist I know how much work goes into making good software, and I don't understand why people around here think it should always be free (as in money).

      Friedmud
      • Firstly... the browser is _not_ going to be a portal for "finding other Nintendo goodness". The Wii _comes_ with a Shopping Channel that allows you to buy stuff (including retro games... and this browser when it's released).

        Think reviews, FAQs on games, etc. This isn't to say it would be the primary focus, but still...

        What I wan't to know is why you think the browser should be free? Opera is the browser of choice here because they have built considerable functionality in for displaying web pages on
        • the question still remains what the value would be to Nintendo in charging for something that is widely available for free on other platforms versus the value recieved (in terms of sales and goodwill, etc) by providing it standard.

          And if you get your Wii before June 2007 it IS provided standard, so I fail to see your point. If anything, it encourages people to adopt the console early (though I doubt that, since I don't know anyone who *really* wants to browse on their Wii.)
    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      Is it a licensing issue, and if so why not use an OSS browser platform? Am I missing something?

      Because, much as I love Firefox on my full-sized monitor, Opera is a much better browser for limited-resolution systems. Opera has been making their bank in the embedded market, and they work well there. From a provide-quality-service-to-customers standpoint, this was probably the best choice for N.
    • by bunions (970377)
      My guess is that they're making you get the browser from a 3rd party so they don't have to deal with the support issues, which I imagine would be significant.
  • wii weather (Score:3, Informative)

    by HaymarketRiot (931189) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @11:57AM (#17300470)
    I just booted up the Wii to give the weater channel a shot, and while I'm not sure about its everyday usefulness, it is definitely designed well. You can view the weather for today, tomorrow, or get a five day forecast. The thing that I really like is the globe menu. It basically presents you with a globe, which you can spin around with the wiimote, and view the weather anywhere in the world. Again, while I doubt I will ever really use this, its just plain fun to whip the earth around with the wiimote.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by friedmud (512466)
      The one thing that I found useful, is that when you first click on the Forecast Channel it gives you the current conditions outside... even before you click "Start" to actually launch the full blown channel.

      I think this might be handy... just for quickly checking the temp in the morning while I'm getting ready.

      I wish they would build in a small dashboard or something on the Channels menu itself... where it could have a rolling ticker displaying the current weather and the forecast so that you don't have to
      • by Mongoose (8480)
        Yeah, I can see how this would be useful! Why stop with weather? You could add a traffic report, stock ticker/dow tracker, top news stories, realtime news ticker, and even some hosts via live video! Hey -- it's called the morning news. ^_^
        • by friedmud (512466)
          The problem with the morning news is.... _people_. I _can't stand_ the fuckers on the morning news. Even if you mute it... I still have to look at their goofy asses....

          I much prefer the internet/wii for some quick news and weather...

          Friedmud
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @12:00PM (#17300504)
    Like anyone with a Wii will ever want to go outside.
    • by BMonger (68213) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @12:37PM (#17300922)
      It's mostly there so you know what weather your friends had to endure to come over to your place to play the Wii since they don't have one yet.
    • by ecliptik (160746)
      Suprisingly while playing Wii sports a message pops up every half hour or so between games suggesting you take a break. It's accompanied by a picture of a Wiimote on a table next to an open window. Which either suggests you jump out it or actually go outside. Here's a page with a screen of it [nintendowiifanboy.com].
  • Great, and very well designed!

    Now, when do we get Google Earth? :-)
  • WiiTalk doesn't exist, but I would love to see video chat capabilities added to the Wii. You already have a TV for the video and sound, the network connection for the data, so all that is left is keypad support and webcam support. Maybe they need to team up with Google, Jabber, or Skype - basically any company who can connect beyond their own network.
  • I got up late this morning. I was so pissed. I am rushing around collecting a PSP for music (about all I use it for) and a charger because a copy to the memory stick took too long last night. Got everything ready. I'm late I'm late. Quick "what am I missing" and I notice a blue light. A Glowing blue light. It's the wii.

    Don't ask me why, but the wii flashing a blue glowing light is an amazing thing. It looks friendly, and personally I'm happy to see that. It just has a visual appeal that beats anythin
    • by friedmud (512466)
      I agree!

      I couldn't help but smile this morning when I got up and saw the glowing blue light under my TV... I knew that some new Wii goodness had been handed down by the Wii Gods overnight ;-)

      Also... you never finished your story.... did the blue light make you stop and check out the new functionality... thus making you more late? ;-)

      Friedmud
      • by Fozzyuw (950608)

        I couldn't help but smile this morning when I got up and saw the glowing blue light under my TV... I knew that some new Wii goodness had been handed down by the Wii Gods overnight ;-)

        hehe, I saw my DVD loading drive glowing blue this morning too, and I was like "what they heck?" Then I figured it was doing a system update or something. I didn't check anything new out, I had to head out the door for work, but I look forward trying it out when I get home. =)

      • by kinglink (195330)
        Sadly I really had no time. But the mystery is there, and even though I know what's in the Blue glowing box, I'm still excited about getting home and "unwrapping" it myself.

        Wii goodness, Wii Gods. Nice choice of words :)
    • I just got my Wii last night, and was up until almost 2:30 this morning playing around with it. I didn't go to bed until I'd played Wii Sports, updated the software, downloaded/played Bomberman '93, and checked out every feature the Wii had to offer.

      I woke up bleary-eyed this morning, stumbled through the living room, and saw the light. Being the kind of geek who actually reads manuals, I knew what it was and fired the machine right back up to see what was new. I played with the Weather Forecast Channel, th
  • Being able to browse the web to look-up TV listings was half of the reason I bought the wii. (The other half was the VC, wii-sports is just a bonus.) I have OTA NTSC and ATSC so no cable/sat box that I can use to see what is on. I use titantv on the computer, but that site might be too busy for 480i. Does anyone have suggestions for websites (or scripts I can run on my webserver) that would do the trick?
  • by Darkforge (28199) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @12:56PM (#17301140) Homepage
    As I've remarked before, the really exciting thing about the inclusion of Opera in the Wii is that it includes Flash support. That means that you can use the Wiimote to play mouse-only Flash games.

    Opera is already installed on every Wii (it's used to power the Wii Shop Channel), but to access other websites you have to use DNS redirection hacks... On Friday you'll be able to use it freely. Meanwhile, wiicade.com [wiicade.com] is a website dedicated to developing/promoting Flash games explicitly designed to be played on the Wii.
    • Meanwhile, wiicade.com is a website dedicated to developing/promoting Flash games explicitly designed to be played on the Wii.

      How can amateurs develop Flash games without using Adobe Flash software, which many developers who are between school and work cannot afford?

      • by Dorceon (928997)
        If they bought Flash before they were between school and work, they could have got the educational discount.
      • by bunions (970377)
        > How can amateurs develop Flash games without using Adobe Flash software, which many developers who are between school and work cannot afford?

        They could get down off their high horse for 3 minutes and just pirate it like everyone and their brother has done since time immemorial, then actually buy it when they start making a living.

        Alternately, since they are students/unemployed and therefore have plenty of spare time, they could use MTASC and Swfmill and the text editor of their choice.
    • I'm curious to see how Flash games will run on the Wii given that Flash can make even a decent machine bog down. Of course, a lot of it is dependent on how efficient the code is but Flash itself is far from ideal as a programming language. It still seems not to use any hardware acceleration, although that might be irrelevant given that the Wii is a completely different platform.

      I'm curious to see, however, Flash handles the Wii remote and how its buttons get mapped in Flash. The only solution is to have the
  • Ok, I find it odd that, at 9:08 am, it's giving me the results from the 6:00 pm observations (instead of, perhaps, the 6:00am-12:00am forecast, or better yet the 9:00 am observations or some such)... hence, it's telling me that it's nighttime. (It also does so by showing a full moon, even though the moon is nearly new.)

    It's FUN playing with the globe! You can let go while you're spinning it, and it'll keep moving. You can also view the world either from top-down, or a side projection view, or in-between

    • by typobox43 (677545)
      I'm having the same issues with update frequency. I'm getting data from midnight at my location. It's funny to see the moon on the globe where I am with a bunch of sunny days all around me. Also, it seems that Nintendo doesn't want to patch systems without asking the users first. A good thing, if you ask me. Although, I don't see why it can't download the patch into memory and ask to install it the next time the system is turned on. On a side note, I actually didn't get the message from Nintendo until
  • This is now the second generation of consoles where gaming companies have talked about convergence. The idea being that your gaming console will be the platform for your news, weather, web surfing and entertainment - all in one little box with their brand on it.

    Isn't it funny how the cheapest console on the market, branded generation 1.5 by many, comes the closest to getting it right?
  • by taniwha (70410) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @01:47PM (#17301694) Homepage Journal
    apparently the forcast for above the artic circle for this week is 'sunny' - perhaps 'clear skies' might be a better way of describing it

    It also gives the UV for my home here in NZ as '2' while the local TV n ews has been at '11' all week (ozone hole at the height of the summer evil)

  • by Jagasian (129329) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @03:35PM (#17303530)
    My Xbox can show me the weather, youtube, movie trailers, and it can play just about every classic video game for the NES, SNES, Genesis, etc.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by trdrstv (986999)
      My Xbox can show me the weather, youtube, movie trailers, and it can play just about every classic video game for the NES, SNES, Genesis, etc.

      Ok, ignoring the fact that none of that is built in, or supported by MS; When did XBMC get a browser? (or as you put it youtube support?) I remember it being able to download trailers from Apple, the weather hookup, emulators, and shoutcast, but no browser. Can you elaborate more?

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