Thursday April 12, 2007 4:24 pm
Wii Internet Channel Finally Ready
Those Wii owners with WiiConnect24 enabled probably woke to find their Wii slots glowing blue, their consoles fresh with a notification from Nintendo that the final version of the Wii Internet Channel was now ready. For those without the WiiConnect24 service enabled, the full browser is just a system update and a visit to the Wii Shop channel away. Those that have been playing with the Beta version will notice a few new things about the final version. A better manual zoom option has been added, for somewhat better navigation and readability. Users can now toggle or disable the toolbar that has haunted the bottom of the screen, so videos can take up more of the screen and the Flash-based gaming experience should be improved. Along those lines, general performance of the browser seems to be improved; some of the YouTube videos that used to give the browser problems seem to stream and zoom a lot more smoothly now. The browser still isn’t perfect – a lot of the rich media experiences on the web still aren’t supported, but for free this is an excellent option. The browser won’t be free forever, though – after June 30th the price jumps to 500 Wii Points. At $5.00, this is still a decent bargain for an alternative browsing option to a PC.
Nintendo’s full press release continues below.
NINTENDO NEWS: FULL INTERNET CHANNEL NOW AVAILABLE FOR WII
April 12, 2007 - Search, surf and shop with family and friends, all from the comfort of your living room with the Internet Channel on Wii™. Featuring a number of enhancements to improve the user experience as well as a host of added extras, the full version of the Internet Channel powered by Opera is now available for free download across North America.
Fans of the innovative Wii channels already will be familiar with the Internet Channel, which delivers their high-speed Internet access via their television sets. Based on feedback from Wii owners, Nintendo has created a new and enhanced version of the browser featuring improvements to the user experience as well as a performance upgrade.
Users of the trial version will notice the improved usability of the full version. The browser now features a manual zoom, in addition to the automatic mode available in the previous version, allowing more viewing flexibility. When zooming in and out of a page, text is kept crisp and readable at all sizes. The new version of the Internet Channel also features improved scrolling functionality, as well as the collapsible toolbars and multiple on-screen cursors.
As search functions have become an essential part of our everyday Internet experience, the Internet Channel now features a built-in function allowing users to search without having to select a search engine each time. Wii owners are given the choice of either Google or Yahoo! Search as a pre-selected search engine to power their built-in search button. The selection can be changed at any time, or a different search engine can be used by typing in that search engine’s address. Users also will have the ability to easily access Nintendo, Yahoo!, Google and My Opera from pre-loaded bookmarks.
The full version of the Internet Channel is available as a free download through June 30, after which it will cost 500 Wii Points. Once downloaded, the Internet Channel is free for the lifetime of the system.
For more information about Wii, please visit Wii.com.
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