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Wii Weather Channel Up, Browser Coming

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the wiiconnected dept.

The Internet 192

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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Slashdot's weather forecast (4, Funny)

LordEd (840443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300244)

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.
Does that mean its going to be foggy?

But what about.... (5, Insightful)

twilightzero (244291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300290)

...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???

Re:But what about.... (5, Funny)

Karganeth (1017580) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300312)

Because wii hate you.

Arghh... (2, Funny)

JohnSearle (923936) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300628)

Because wii hate you.
When will wii end the madness of these wii jokes? Don't wii have anything better to joke about?

- John

Re:But what about.... (1)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300344)

You can, but will cost another 500 points.

Don't even ask how much the mouse hook up will cost!

Re:But what about.... (2, Interesting)

astrokid (779104) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300398)

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.

Re:But what about.... (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300452)

That's still using the "clicky thing" to do it though. I'm thinking he's talking about the Xbox360's USB keyboard support.

Re:But what about.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300492)

I'm thinking he's talking about the Xbox360's USB keyboard support.

And the PS3's. But the Wii is only a gaming machine, so users really don't want to surf the web anyways. For $250, you really shouldn't expect that much. Did the Xbox, GameCube, or PS2 support USB keyboards? No. And since the Wii is such a step forward in human interaction, you really can't expect it to allow silly things like mice and keyboards to be attached. Voice-to-text support is on the way!

Re:But what about.... (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300608)

I could have sworn that that was what the USB ports on the PS2 were for, and I have seen a keyboard for Gamecube too (ahh, if you only knew what else didn't leave the shores of Japan). I can't say about the Xbox, though.

Re:But what about.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300740)

"Did the Xbox, GameCube, or PS2 support USB keyboards?"

The dreamcast did. Well, not USB, but a proper keyboard nonetheless. It also had a web browser and a mouse, as we're on the subject.

AFAIK the Cube had something similar for Phantasy Star Online. The PS2 did for PS2linux, don't know about any other support.

Re:But what about.... (1)

dolson (634094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300966)

Phantasy Star Online for Xbox did include a USB adapter that you plug into one of the memory card slots on the controller. This works in xlinksbox (homebrew port of xlinks) as well. You can also plug in a USB thumb drive and have it formatted as FATX to use as a memory card.

Re:But what about.... (1)

zariok (470553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301016)

Yes, I taunted many a person in Socom with a general USB keyboard.

Re:But what about.... (1)

mjhacker (922395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17302188)

Final Fantasy XI used a USB keyboard. Because typing with the softkeyboard on the controller sucked.

Re:But what about.... (1)

twilightzero (244291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300818)

Actually, yes. I have a PS2 USB keyboard, and you could get a GameCube keyboard/controller hybrid that some games supported. Also the DreamCast supported a keyboard in some form or another from what I remember.

Besides, the Wii has USB ports built-in...why the hell didn't they put in a few lines of code to support a goddamn keyboard?

Re:But what about.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300614)

A bluetooth keyboard might work. Has anyone tried one?

Re:But what about.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300840)

I guess a Bluetooth wireless Keyboard is feasible and may become available in the future.

Re:But what about.... (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300850)


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?

Re:But what about.... (1)

kmhebert (586931) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301374)

No, that's not it. Perhaps some other reason? I for one really want to be able to plug a USB dongle into my Wii so that a wireless keyboard should work. That would be great! Come on Nintendo. In fact I would buy a Nintendo brand keyboard and mouse that plugged into the accessory slot on the remote. I would buy it today.

thumbpad (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301502)

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.

Re:But what about.... (1)

rev063 (591509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17302130)

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.

Where does it store the browser and weather client (0)

suso (153703) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300298)

How does this work, can you store the browser on the console itself and switch to it at anytime? Or do you have to pop out your favorite game and then pop in a browser disc? Just curious.

By the way, if anyone wants to buy me a Wii for my birthday coming up in February, you can send it to:

Suso
101 W. Kirkwood Ave., #008B
Bloomington, IN 47404

Thanks. ;-)

Just a guess (1)

el_munkie (145510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300400)

But I think you'll probably have to pop out of your game to the OS, though you shouldn't have to eject the disk. On the games I've played, you can exit a game and get back to the main screen with the home button and a dialog box.

Re:Just a guess (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300524)

On the games I've played, you can exit a game and get back to the main screen with the home button and a dialog box.

Can you get back to your game at the same place, though?

That's the only way I can see using this... I'm playing a game and I want to check the weather right quick so I hop over to the weather channel then back to the game. Otherwise I'd just use the web browser on my computer to call up noaa.gov. That would mean getting off the couch, though, so Wii Weather might do the trick.

Re:Just a guess (1)

Phisbut (761268) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300634)

Can you get back to your game at the same place, though?

I doubt it. The web browser will probably be just another channel, and you can't access the other channels without quitting the game altogether. It would be very cool though... play a game, "suspend" it, launch the browser and head to gamefaqs, then back in the game...

Suspend works for the vc games (1)

remmelt (837671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301226)

I don't remember where I read this, but I think the virtual console games support suspend mode. The article had screenshots, too. Pretty screenshots.

Re:Just a guess (1)

friedmud (512466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300698)

"Can you get back to your game at the same place, though?"

Not currently.

When you hit the Home button on the Wiimote and go back to the Wii Menu it quits the game completely. I'm hoping this ability might be something they add in the future though.

Friedmud

Re:Just a guess (1)

mzs (595629) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300712)

Not with games on disk, though you can with VC games.

Re:Just a guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300746)

that would mean getting off the couch, though, so Wii Weather might do the trick.

the whole point of the wii is to get your fat ass off the couch !

Re:Where does it store the browser and weather cli (1)

moo083 (716213) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300414)

The Wii has 512 MB of internal flash memory. The browser is stored there and can be run from the main menu.

Re:Where does it store the browser and weather cli (-1, Troll)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301262)

The browser is stored there and can be run from the main menu.
Does this mean that Opera can now lock up an entire system, instead of just itself?

Re:Where does it store the browser and weather cli (4, Informative)

Buddy_DoQ (922706) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300444)

At the risk of feeding the troll:

The Wii has a certain amount of built-in flash memory, enough to store several VC games, Wii Save Games, and yes, even a web browser. You may also expand this to your liking by adding in a standard SD card.

No need to swap disk like we all did with the Dreamcast.

Re:Where does it store the browser and weather cli (4, Informative)

Bobartig (61456) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300786)

The built-in 512MB memory can currently store something like EVERY VC game available, and about 2000 blocks of save game memory (the typical game so far using about 4). since a formatted 512 SD card shows up as a little less than 4000 blocks, I'm assuming its 'blocks' are counted in megabits.

Re:Where does it store the browser and weather cli (1)

typobox43 (677545) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301548)

A large chunk of the built-in memory appears to be firmware, as a fresh-out-of-the-box Wii only has about 2160 blocks available.

Re:Where does it store the browser and weather cli (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300854)

It didn't really sound like a troll to me, just ignorant. Modern Consoles are just like modern computers. They have processors, ram, and video chips. They have optical drives, and local rewritable storage. They run an Operating System. This is true of all the new generation consoles (with the exception of the $300 XBOX 360, which has no storage and is useless out of the box until you add $100 or so in accessories.)

Although about the Wii specifically, I'm still hoping they'll add USB harddrive and Keyboard support in an OS update.

Lockout chip business model (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301388)

Modern Consoles are just like modern computers. They have processors, ram, and video chips. They have optical drives, and local rewritable storage. They run an Operating System. This is true of all the new generation consoles

But can they load software developed without the case-by-case authorization of the console maker, such as software developed by amateurs or by smaller companies?

Re:Where does it store the browser and weather cli (1)

duguk (589689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301358)

And free email! Don't forget email! You too can have w[somereallylongnumber]@wii.com!

Actually, I think it all is rather good :D Weather is very nice feature and I can't wait for the webbrowser.

Monkeyboi

Re:Where does it store the browser and weather cli (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301612)

No but you do have to swap blocks. If you're going to save a VC game to the external memory - don't expect to play it. If your primary ram then is full (why else would you buy extra memory in the first place?), then you have to (a) backup a different game to the external card (b) erase it from primary memory (c) copy the card-saved VC game to primary memory where now you can play it.

Fucking simple - Wii - it's for casual gamers!

Re:Where does it store the browser and weather cli (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300450)

Its stored internally, and no you don't have to take the disc out to use the browser. It also looks like there functionality is there to pause a game and do stuff like this while its paused. The function doesn't exist currently, but it seems possible based upon the GUI structure.

Re:Where does it store the browser and weather cli (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301116)

It runs off the internal flash memory (512MB).

Though it would probably be rather slow, it'd be great if you could 'alt+tab' into and out of Opera to check gamefaqs [gamefaqs.com] for the next part of the quest or level. Kind of like flipping from World of Warcraft to thottbot [thottbot.com] to get the cords for the next objective.

Microsoft has had this feature for a long time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300314)

You just look out the windows.

Wow, only 500 Wii Points? (3, Interesting)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300350)

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.

Re:Wow, only 500 Wii Points? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300454)

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 the games on their console. Especially if getting the remote to work correctly involves any hackery, I doubt it will affect VC sales much at all.

If Nintendo is really worried about VC sales, then they'll create a time-limited demo option. Oh and halve the price, which would tripple my sales at least.

Re:Wow, only 500 Wii Points? (1)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300664)

Look around the net. There's multiple sites where you can play NES games in the browser.

But can Opera run Java applets? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301452)

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.

Re:Wow, only 500 Wii Points? (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300474)

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.

Re:Wow, only 500 Wii Points? (-1, Troll)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300526)

Even for people who don't get their hands on a Wii until later next year, $5 is a bargain for Opera

And how much did the browsers on the Xbox 360 and the PS3 cost? Nothing. To bill yourself as a cheap console and nickel and dime your users is a bit hypocritical I think.

Re:Wow, only 500 Wii Points? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300584)

Since when does the 360 have a web browser?

Re:Wow, only 500 Wii Points? (4, Funny)

Jearil (154455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300606)

Umm, the 360 doesn't have a web browser on it. So I suppose you could truthfully state that it's free.. but not very featureful, since it can't actually load any web pages.

Re:Wow, only 500 Wii Points? (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300656)

Oh. Apparently I am wrong about the 360, but the PS3's is still free.

Re:Wow, only 500 Wii Points? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300832)

I'd still rather pay $5 for a browser that actually worked.

PS3 browser is free ... of AJAX ... of decent JavaScript support ... of standards compliance ...

Re:Wow, only 500 Wii Points? (2, Insightful)

JonnyCalcutta (524825) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300864)

The PS3's browser is not free, its included in the $600 one off payment you make at the start. Personally, if I was ever going to use my Wii to browse the Internet I'd rather pay $5 for a good browser with a long development history. Since I'm never going to use my Wii to browse the Internet I can save myself the $5, which I couldn't do if it was built in and Nintendo were paying per unit licensing.
(In reality, since its going to be free I can actually have the best of both worlds - but I'm not fooling myself that I am ever going to use my Wii to browse the net, I'm just not going to miss the chance to grab it for free).

$500 console + 500 Wii Points (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301588)

The PS3's browser is not free, its included in the $600 one off payment you make at the start.

The Wii console's browser is not free; you need $5 to buy it plus $500 on eBay to buy the console to run it.

PLAYSTATION 3, on the other hand, is no longer under a severe shortage. Many people in the last PS3 article here on Slashdot reported being able to find it on store shelves, and online auction prices have fallen to within $100 of retail. On Yahoo! Auctions, I see three PS3 consoles whose Buy It Now price is listed as $550 + $50 S&H with 5 hours left as I post this.

Re:$500 console + 500 Wii Points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17301742)

The Wii browser IS free, at least until June 2007. If you buy a Wii before then, then it's free. I'm glad to see that you can read.

Also, to get the browser for free, you need to have a Wii before the end of next June. While supply is tight now, and secondary market prices are skyrocketing due to the Christmas proximity, the flow of product will increase greatly throughout the new year. Wii was better supplied from the start than the 360 was last year or the PS3 is now, so it wouldn't be overly optimistic to assume that one will be relatively easy to find come next April (that's about how long the 360 took to smooth out production).

PS3's relative undesirableness compared to the Wii, as reflected in secondary market price mark-ups, doesn't inspire confidence. Six years ago, at this time, PS2's were selling regularly for 3+ times their retail price, and supply wasn't as constrained. PS3's prices stabilized to be minimally above their retail price within a week or two of the product launch.

Re:$500 console + 500 Wii Points (2, Insightful)

Meatloaf Surprise (1017210) | more than 7 years ago | (#17302048)

Although your comparison between a Wii marked-up on ebay vs. the retail price of the cheaper PS3 is spectacular, I still don't see how this has anything to do with what the GP was talking about. The GP is explaining that the PS3's (retail) price includes the price of development of their browser, whereas the Wii doesn't because they separate the browser from the system as an optional upgrade. It doesn't matter what they are going for on ebay since Nintendo or Sony do not make any extra money from ebay auctions.

Re:Wow, only 500 Wii Points? (2, Informative)

Phisbut (761268) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300670)

And how much did the browsers on the Xbox 360 and the PS3 cost? Nothing. To bill yourself as a cheap console and nickel and dime your users is a bit hypocritical I think.

From TFA :

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.

I guess I'll have a free web browser then.

Re:Wow, only 500 Wii Points? (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300926)

>To bill yourself as a cheap console and nickel and dime your users is a bit hypocritical I think.

Well, the 360 doesnt have a browser. The PS3 does. You're always going to get more from a monopolist behemoth like Sony. They can afford to bundle all sorts of crap and pay for it themselves. Think Bluray. Sony is so wealthy they can take a loss on this console for years until the game sales make up the price. Nintendo isn't wealthy enough to take such a chance.

Its 'unfair' or 'nickel and dimed' to pay for extra features. In a fair world these consoles should be sold unsubsidized. Heh, if you think the pS3 is expensive now... Yet, the Wii would be at the same pricepoint. Someone's buying from a huge over-protected unregulated monopoly from Japan has its benefits. Hope the "free" browser is worth fattening up their bottom line which only helps them put more DRM on CDs, push proprietary formats, and generally act like an unresponsible member of the business community.

I'll just take a Wii and browse on my laptop, thanks.

Re:Wow, only 500 Wii Points? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17302058)

I'd rather get nickel and dimed than fifty and sixty dollared to death, 360/ EA-style.

Re:Wow, only 500 Wii Points? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300552)

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? Have you ever played a flash game on the Internet? They almost universally suck. Especially compared to the virtual console games.

Re:Wow, only 500 Wii Points? (1)

puneypunk (831917) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300844)

"how is Nintendo going to block users from playing emulated games via the web?" by not running/using java?

As far as I have seen there are very few (if any) flash emulators. I also haven't seen anything about running java applets on the Wii.

Another major obsticale is the fact that the emulated keyboard through the WiiMote will make for a strange experience playing any kind of web based game (flash or other...)

Paying....for a browser? (1)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300458)

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:Paying....for a browser? (2, Informative)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300484)

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.

Re:Paying....for a browser? (1)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300556)

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 download system.
Of course, that's not absolutely a bad thing, Nintendo is a company out to provide a service in exchange for income. But charging for something that people can get for most platforms seems like less of a good deal than providing a platform as an incentive for people who may not be early-adopters to buy the system.
Also, the browser isn't necessary to use the Nintendo online features. That's built in already. The browser is for porn.
Interesting.... I find myself wondering how the Wii-mote figures into that :)

Re:Paying....for a browser? (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300760)

Sorry, I wasn't really trying to be a dick about it.

Considering that Nintendo now charges 60 dollars for their controllers (in two convenient purchases so it doesn't feel like you're spending so much), I'd say they're well beyond the nickel and dime stage.

Re:Paying....for a browser? (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17302096)

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.)

Re:Paying....for a browser? (2, Informative)

brandor (714744) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300660)

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.

Re:Paying....for a browser? (4, Insightful)

friedmud (512466) | more than 7 years ago | (#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

Re:Paying....for a browser? (1)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301274)

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 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..

Not at all. I'm saying that it's interesting that Nintendo isn't willing to adapt F/OSS software to this task and include it as part of their platform, given the potential for additional sales/interest. I have a browser on my computer, so why would I want one on a videogame console?

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).

I agree that there is value for charging reasonably for software - but this is more a question of who pays and what's in Nintendo's best interest. If, indeed, Opera is charging them a license fee, 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.

Re:Paying....for a browser? (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301518)

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.)

Re:Paying....for a browser? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300954)

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.

wii weather (3, Informative)

HaymarketRiot (931189) | more than 7 years ago | (#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:wii weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300650)

its just plain fun to whip the earth around with the wiimote

If you spin it backwards, does it show the forecast for last week?

Re:wii weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300674)

I agree. I didn't find it entirely compelling, but the news about the web browser is a nice christmas present.

Re:wii weather (2, Interesting)

friedmud (512466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301008)

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 actually launch the forecast channel itself unless you want detailed information or info on another city....

Friedmud

Re:wii weather (1)

Mongoose (8480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17302294)

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. ^_^

Useless feature (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300504)

Like anyone with a Wii will ever want to go outside.

Re:Useless feature (4, Funny)

BMonger (68213) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Useless feature (1)

ecliptik (160746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301848)

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] .

Beautiful! (1)

djkitsch (576853) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300582)

Great, and very well designed!

Now, when do we get Google Earth? :-)

That's nice, but (0, Offtopic)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300686)

That's nice, but I'd still like some popular VC games. Why can't we have Super Mario Bros? Why can't we have RC Racer? Etc, etc, etc. I love my Wii to death, but it irritates me that won't give us some of the AAA titles.

Re:That's nice, but (1)

IpalindromeI (515070) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301632)

Christmas is on a Monday this year. New VC games are released on Mondays. Maybe N will give everyone a nice gift this year with a few of the classics.

Re:That's nice, but (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301642)

A little bird told me that Super Mario Bros is coming out on Christmas day.

WiiTalk (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300716)

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.

Best part of the Wii. (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300804)

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 anything I've seen in other consoles.

Very cool. Nintendo has taken the "Lunchbox" of Gamecube, and made it into a stylish Wii product.

Re:Best part of the Wii. (1)

friedmud (512466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300970)

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

Re:Best part of the Wii. (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301672)

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. =)

Re:Best part of the Wii. (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301900)

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 :)

tv listings (1)

mzs (595629) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300886)

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?

Re:tv listings (1)

ragingmime (636249) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301330)

tv.yahoo.com works pretty well.

Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300896)

Article is from a UK website...is this for NA as well?

Wii Opera Supports Flash Games (with the Wiimote) (2, Informative)

Darkforge (28199) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301140)

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.

Flash is expensive (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301660)

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?

Wii is expensive too (1)

Telepathetic Man (237975) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301864)

Hmm... They managed to scrape together enough time and money to get a Wii.

My Initial Thoughts (1)

Piquan (49943) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301376)

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 (in 6 increments).

They have The South Pole! Ok, despite where they put the icon, it's probably McMurdo's conditions. But it's still cool!

I wonder why and how they're limiting their observation stations. For instance, Silicon Valley workers may be surprised that there's no listings for Sunnyvale, even though it's in every other weather reporting program (because of Moffett Field).

It's still fun playing with the globe.

Why does it download the message to tell you that you can get the weather patch, but not the patch?

It's 9:15am and it still is showing me the 6:00 pm observations, even though the NWS releases observations every hour. Odd, that. If you go to Weathernews, Inc.'s website, their flash applet on the front page seems to be using old observations for San Francisco, at least (although the webcam at their SF office is up-to-date!).

Spinny globe WHEE!

Today's Play History: Forecast Channel: 00:17 / Forecast Channel: 00:06 / Total Play Time: 00:23

Re:My Initial Thoughts (1)

typobox43 (677545) | more than 7 years ago | (#17302012)

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 after I downloaded the update manually. Seemed a bit pointless by then.

Convergence? (1)

daemonenwind (178848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301492)

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?

No fucking badwidth (1)

Richard Frost (18848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301520)

No, if you're reading this, you can try running the Wii update. And cry as the progress bar advances twenty pixels and freezes for an hour. And listen to that damned annoying update beep. They must have a server bank of a dozen 386's on dial-up somewhere in Japan hosting all of this. And the worst part is, there's no cancel button. So if you want to stop the "update" and actually USE your Wii, you have to do what the on screen instructions tell you not to do - turn the power off. Fucking brilliant, Nintendo.

Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17301560)

Great! Now I don't have to look outside to know the weather. :P

But is it any good .... (2, Informative)

taniwha (70410) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301694)

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)

Can of Cuzyoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17302008)

I've never understood this mentality in consoles. It has a CD-ROM, we should make it play CDs (so I can get tinny TV quality sound from my television?) It has a DVD-Rom, so it should play DVDs (with gold-lessly horrible picture quality and no 5.1) It hooks to the Internet and so...

These kinds of tack-ons have never seemed useful. I suppose that if you can only afford to buy one thing a year, it makes sense to combine, but I don't want to surf the web at a cartoon resolution. At least add quality features. (Guilty: I havent' seen if the new Opera will "zoom out" on the Wii)

In other news, Scion has figured that as long as the car's engine is going to get hot, they shall include a griddle for making pancakes. Also, the new Shick razor will come with a recipie book since it can be used to peel vegetables. (etc.)

Re:Can of Cuzyoo (2, Insightful)

majortom1981 (949402) | more than 7 years ago | (#17302180)

You do know that this is not with every console. This also does not drive the price of the console itself right? This is for people who want it.
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