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Nintendo Cloud Wii

Nintendo To Cancel Weather, News, and Other Built-In Wii Apps In June 175

Posted by Soulskill
from the end-of-life dept.
damn_registrars writes "Nintendo has announced that at the end of June it will be canceling the services of several of the channels that are built in to the original Wii, including the Weather, News, Everybody Votes, and Mii Contest. This will also affect the WiiConnect24 services, though should not affect the Wii shopping channel. They added: 'Exchange of Wii messages on the Wii Message Board, exchange of Mii characters on the Mii Channel and message/data exchange within some games will be disabled.'"
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Nintendo To Cancel Weather, News, and Other Built-In Wii Apps In June

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  • #dealwithit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 12, 2013 @12:03PM (#43433493)

    this is the future of gaming if the publishers get their way.

    • #DontCareAboutConsoles_andTheirShittyDRM

  • by alen (225700) on Friday April 12, 2013 @12:06PM (#43433523)

    i had a wii years ago and after setting these up out f curiosity i never used these services
    the GUI for anything but gaming is pretty limited by the controller

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      well the thing is what is puzzling me is that aren't they still supplying these services for the wii-u? how much can it cost them to keep electricity going on the apps??

      • well the thing is what is puzzling me is that aren't they still supplying these services for the wii-u?

        Yes. As in, "If you still want these services, go buy a Wii U." I'm reminded of when Microsoft cut off the original XBox from XBox Live.

        • by Golddess (1361003)

          well the thing is what is puzzling me is that aren't they still supplying these services for the wii-u?

          Yes.

          More like no.

          The apps were already unavailable in the Wii U's backwards compatibility mode

          So unless they are floating around somewhere in standard Wii U mode, they are not providing, and according to TFA, have never provided, those services for the Wii U.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          I'm reminded of when Microsoft cut off the original XBox from XBox Live.

          Except that was because the Xbox was holding back Xbox Live development - all for the thousand or so people (900 of which were playing Halo 2, the rest a few other games). At the time, that meant the other hundreds of thousands on Xbox Live suffer because they're stuck with the original Xbox's limitations.

          Plus, it came after many years after the Xbox360 came out - until then, Microsoft worked around the limits of the original Xbox. Heck

    • by sootman (158191) on Friday April 12, 2013 @12:39PM (#43433865) Homepage Journal

      I had a surprisingly good time spinning the globe and looking at weather around the world, and zooming in and out and learning a little geography along the way. I spent a good amount of time with it, to be honest. That was the great thing about it -- it was just a really nice 3D-ish/VR-ish globe that you could zoom in and out of, like Google Maps, and the weather was a hook or a bonus. That said, the Wii has spent the last few years in a kid's room so I haven't been on it much since the first few months after Christmas all those years ago.

      The apps are already built and they just need a source of data -- I wish they'd partner with Yahoo or someone and keep them going. The older kid just moved out and the Wii just made its triumphant return to the living room. I'm genuinely sad about this news. I'm not, like, all broken up about it, but it's like when a show you like gets cancelled, or when the lead singer of a band dies.

      • by AngryNick (891056) on Friday April 12, 2013 @02:10PM (#43434717) Homepage Journal

        I'm genuinely sad about this news

        My kids will be crushed, especially with the Mii contest going away. The spend as much time inventing and sharing Miis as they do playing the games.

      • by BTWR (540147)

        I had a surprisingly good time spinning the globe and looking at weather around the world, and zooming in and out and learning a little geography along the way. I spent a good amount of time with it, to be honest. That was the great thing about it -- it was just a really nice 3D-ish/VR-ish globe that you could zoom in and out of, like Google Maps.

        I did the exact same thing. I used to zoom all the way out until you saw outer space and stars behind Earth, then I'd spin the globe around like Superman.

    • by wierd_w (1375923)

      I noticed that if you hook up the classic pad, you can control the pointer with the thumbsticks.

      If you were put off by the GUI interface's pointer requiring you to aim the wiimote at the screen, this might alleviate the developer strain involved.

      Considering that the Wii is totally a hacker's paradise now (threat of new, crippling firmware is basically officially over) and that it has good USB2.0 ports on the back, and a fairly mature homebrew toolchain, I would think that this is the starting shot to see lo

    • by synapse7 (1075571)
      I like the wii for the virtual console and the ability to play gamecube games. I also use it to play movies from a netbook running xubuntu acting as a nas. I actually use the weather service from time to time, I thought it was nice but dated compared to xmbc. If you gave me a wiiU the old wii would probably still see more use in my case.
    • I was using it for a while to browse news while eating cereal in the mornings. This was before I got a smartphone or tablet. It was slow as hell, though that was likely due at least in part to the slow connection. I usually finished eating by the time it loaded.
      • Same here. I would always pour myself an especially large bowl of cereal and then turn on Wii World News. It had nice music for relaxing in the morning.
    • by OakDragon (885217)

      I never used them, but now they're the most important thing in the world! ;)

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Sure, but this is the beginning of the end, and not just for the Wii but for the 360 and PS3 as well. For now it's just some data channels, but soon the servers for online multiplayer will go and so will the DRM servers for all the games you bought through the various online stores. Maybe they will be kind and let you continue to play them offline, but if your Wii ever dies you won't be able to re-download the stuff you paid for.

      • You can't do that now. Nintendo game downloads are tied to the console, not an account.

        If your Wii dies and you don't want to lose the games you bought on it, you have to send it in to Nintendo for repair. Same with the DSi, 3DS, etc.

    • by Tarlus (1000874)

      I never used them beyond the first couple of days that they were brought online. The novelty was fun but it quickly became a hassle to fire up the system and TV (and then wait for the app to launch) to check the weather forecast that I can have in a matter of seconds using my computer. I think the weather application only updated itself every 8 hours, which is kind of useless with Weather Channel always being right up-to-date.

  • Translation ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Friday April 12, 2013 @12:07PM (#43433541) Homepage

    Since nobody actually uses these things, we're turning them off.

    Back when I had a Wii, in order to get these network services, you essentially had to set the device to never turn off. And that was something I deemed as pointless and a waste of power.

    And, really, who needs to get the weather and news on the Wii?

    But, somehow everybody seems to keep acting as if the game console is going to become your internet hub.

    • by Synerg1y (2169962)

      and then you got the idiots who are saying that Nintendo is dying and closing up shop as a result of cutting these services... that I 100% agree nobody uses. Articles like this just bring out the trolls.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Articles like this just bring out the trolls

        It's Slashdot -- there's always trolls, it doesn't matter what the article is. :-P

        • by Synerg1y (2169962)

          Ya I've been posting on here for a bit, I'm just saying that at least at the time of my posting that the trolls out numbered any legitimate posts like... 5 to 1?

          They didn't load the wording... but the editors excluded oh say the reasons for the cancellations completely, and... those that RTFA would know that at least for now this is a Japan ONLY move. Headers / summaries / articles like this are a cancer imho, and just the editors demonstrating they can herd the sheeple through fear and rage.

          Anyways, I'll

          • by CodeHxr (2471822)

            Ya I've been posting on here for a bit, I'm just saying that at least at the time of my posting that the trolls out numbered any legitimate posts like... 5 to 1?

            That's pretty much the internet in a nutshell. Or, more realistically, life in general.

    • by EvilSS (557649)
      Yea, I don't think there is an evil scientist cackling over killing a beloved feature in the background here. If it was popular, I can't see them killing it.
    • by Applekid (993327)

      Since nobody actually uses these things, we're turning them off.

      Back when I had a Wii, in order to get these network services, you essentially had to set the device to never turn off. And that was something I deemed as pointless and a waste of power.

      And, really, who needs to get the weather and news on the Wii?

      But, somehow everybody seems to keep acting as if the game console is going to become your internet hub.

      They're just glorified RSS readers. How much does it really cost to maintain them? How many new functionality changes are they expecting? Are we planning to discover a new type of weather or something?

      It smacks of Nintendo being a little bit of a tightwad over it, especially considering that anyone going out of their way to use a Wii to get this information is more aware of it and more likely to play a game on it, too.

      • by Isca (550291) on Friday April 12, 2013 @12:43PM (#43433889)
        Maybe they are built on top of Google Reader? :)
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by gstoddart (321705)

        Well, the contrary point is the Wii is now 6+ years old, which means they're starting to wind it down.

        Nintendo is hardly the first company to do that.

        Apple dropped support for the original iPad after barely 2 years (much to my nuisance), people find themselves with phones that don't get updates any more, the Sega and Amiga platforms don't really exist any more, and I'm sure lots of video games have stopped working when the company pulls the servers.

        Technology ages, companies decide they don't want to spend

        • But the iPad was replaced by the iPad 2. It's one thing when a company stops support on an older product/service and replaces it with a new product/service that does everything and more, giving you the opportunity to upgrade and continue doing the same things with the same friends... but it's completely different when they just stop a product/service you still want to use without giving a similar alternative.

          Sega stopped because they didn't have the money to continue, which is completely different.
    • Back when I had a Wii, in order to get these network services, you essentially had to set the device to never turn off. And that was something I deemed as pointless and a waste of power.

      And at least some models suffered from the disc drive spinning constantly when it was in standby mode and burning out, so you didn't want to leave it on with a disc in. Really made the power button on the remote useful.

    • Back when I had a Wii, in order to get these network services, you essentially had to set the device to never turn off. And that was something I deemed as pointless and a waste of power.

      I own two different White Wii consoles and neither has needed to be left on continually to use these services. You can power it down completely and you'll get the weather and news in 1-2 minutes at most after powering it back up.

      That said, the Wii is the most power efficient console on the market by a long shot. The Wii uses much less power when fully running than the XBox360 or PS3 use when idle. In fact IIRC the PS3 uses more power while sleeping than the Wii does while running. If you want to ca

  • Dear Loyal Customers,

    Fuck U

    Waaahaa!,
    Nintendo

    • Are you saying you use weather, news, and everybody votes? I get that there must be somebody who does, but do you?

      • by mooingyak (720677)

        My kids sometimes like everybody votes, but it'll hardly ruin the Wii for them when it's gone.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I liked the weather app on the Wii....

    But, how odd when you still have the Wii console on sale in retail store shelves and you're ending support?

    It seems like they are pulling the plug a bit early.

  • by prelelat (201821) on Friday April 12, 2013 @12:09PM (#43433565)

    I've sold my wii probably 3 years ago I wasn't playing it but those were features that I once enjoyed. I'm disappointed that as a console reaches it's end of life that the company can just go and switch off services for it. I know these are added features that don't hinder game play but it still seems like they are taking something people have paid for away. I realize that online services can be costly but this disconnection seems premature. The WiiU only came out at the end of last year and 6 months later they are starting to abandon services on the previous one. That's a shame. In this case I think how Microsoft supports it's products is better. Give it and end of life time frame like their OS's get. Maybe I missed the news but it seems rather abrupt to me and rather soon after the release of the WiiU.

  • by green1 (322787) on Friday April 12, 2013 @12:32PM (#43433807)

    I see various posts on here talking about how nobody used those features, or how this is normal EOL, or even berating Nintendo for doing this. But this is not an issue specific to the Wii, Nintendo, or even to consoles in general. This is the future of cloud based computing combined with locked down devices.

    As long as we allow the manufacturers of devices (whether it be a gaming console, a tablet, a phone, or even a desktop PC) to control what software we run and what services we connect to, we do not own the device. The manufacturer does, and they can (and have repeatedly proven they will) remove features at their whim.

    Unfortunately people haven't learned from the many, many examples in the past, and they keep lining up to thrown money at companies who are actively hostile toward their user base. Until that stops, nothing will change.

    If you want ANY feature on a device, you better be sure that you have enough control of the device, and of the service supporting it, that the manufacturer can't remove it, because if they can, they will. It's only a question of when.

    • Note that this is a problem of closed source in general (notice the sibling post complaining about iTunes, which is not a cloud app). The cloud only makes it worse and more obvious.

      If you don't have the source, you are giving up control. That might be worth it to you, but you should know what you are giving up.
      • by neminem (561346) <neminem AT gmail DOT com> on Friday April 12, 2013 @01:35PM (#43434467) Homepage

        It's only a problem with software that doesn't live in your butt [github.com] if that software requires you to phone in, or has an auto-update feature that you can't disable. Otherwise, while sure you might not have complete control over its behavior, you *can* at least guarantee that it will always have the *same* behavior... why I don't like software that silently auto-updates, instead of at least prompting.

      • "Note that this is a problem of closed source in general "

        Um no, its a problem with ALL software. However cloud apps are the worst as they measure lifetimes in months and are not depending on the os becoming obsolete for the application to be obsolete.

        While I agree with your sentiment, open source software, to a non developer (read 95% of people) is just as useless. If oracle decides to stop supporting mysql, how is a non programmer supposed to find and fix security problems for instance? So any non program

        • If oracle decides to stop supporting mysql, how is a non programmer supposed to find and fix security problems for instance?

          They can pay a programmer. If they can't afford it, they're probably programmers using mySQL anyway.

          Now, you may say it's too expensive to pay a programmer. And indeed, the options are more limited for non-programmers. But the options available in your scenario are MUCH nicer than for a closed source project, where options might not exist at all.

      • If you don't have the source, you are giving up control.

        That's a nice political soundbite - but it's bullshit in this case. Even if you had the source to the weather app... you don't have the servers it pulls data from. Even if you have the server code - you almost certainly don't have a license from the companies providing the data.

        • It's not bullshit, you lack logic skills. Read your post again, what you said does not in any way contradict my statement.
  • It is irritating to hear of companies doing this because basically they do it just to disrupt someones routine. These services cost the company very little to operate as they were being run on a cloud where where they consume insubstaintial resources and only when the services are actually used. Its hard to believe they will save anything from this.

  • How much does it cost for Nintendo to leave these services running? I hope they at least push an update to the OS so it doesn't show errors / blacked out squares on the screen where these features used to exist.

    I miss the days of having consoles that didn't have retroactive feature loss.
    • I miss the days of having consoles that didn't have retroactive feature loss.

      I can't think of an internet-connected console that didn't have that fault. And of course you can still use the Wii just fine without these features, they have no impact on game play whatsoever.

  • by SkimTony (245337) on Friday April 12, 2013 @12:59PM (#43434089)

    For a moment, I seriously wondered whether they could do that. But if anyone could cancel the weather, and the news, it'd probably be Nintendo.

  • by jzarling (600712) on Friday April 12, 2013 @01:22PM (#43434353)
    My Wii is used primarily by my 8 yro for Lego Games, and Netflix - I bet that is 90-95% of how Wii's are used anyway.
    • by Megahard (1053072)

      I use Wii Fit - great exercise program.

    • Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, and all the others like them. And it's nice that the Wii uses less power than the XBOX # or PS# units.

      Even the old Wii with the non component video cable is good enough video quality to be enjoyable on my 42" TV. $5 or so later after I get the component video cable I expect it will look even better.

      If some day this Wii dies due to heat death or a bad cap or something I'll look at a roku or similar and I'll look at the Wii U. Considering we already have old Wii games

  • One nice thing about the Wii was the free multiplayer gaming; no subscription to xbox live or any such. Granted the game play was a little less stellar than other consoles, but you could still play COD online with no hassle. I hope that isn't being killed along with the rest of this.
  • The cynic in me would say "Gee, why not the shopping channel? Guess everything but 'buy more crap' gets the axe", but then again, yes, that's pretty much it. Shopping channel may make a dime or two, but the rest ... who needs it? Weather channel? Flip the TV channel over to the one that is actually relevant for you, where's the need for a weather channel on a Wii? Same goes for news and the rest, you can't even argue that you lose anything that you didn't already have in another way, essentially, it was sur

  • Not really any big deal to me, or my kids, which seem to be more entertained with their iPod or DS these days anyway. Given their ease of use and cost (our used iPhones turned into iPods for them) I'm wondering if I'll even invest in the next console from any maker. I'd thought about the next Xbox as my kids mature but I'm not so sure given the reports. There's so much entertainment for them already, I'd rather them be outside playing or interacting with friends or reading and less screen time, not more.
  • This will be interesting. I've seen Wii consoles used in the odd hotel lobby outputting to a tv, just running the news feed. Much cheaper and easier for the average person to set up than a PC or paying subscriptions to a news service.
    • by pecosdave (536896)

      There's a simple answer to that.

      Most weather sites have "stickers" and embedded options, and Wunderground even have an API for custom coding. The answer is to host a webpage somewhere and use the Wii's built in Opera browser to display the info from a custom page. You could go cheesy and just use an already made applet, or several from various sources, or make a custom page overall.

      I'm actually going to miss this function, I didn't use it much and it showed nearby cities, but not mine., but I did use it o

  • Someone in the hacking comminity will create a channel via Homebrewthat mimics the functions of these defunct channels. For news and weather, they will get the information from some free public RSS-type feed.

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