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28 comments

Wha? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19096821)

"I love using my Wii to catch up on my Google Reader feeds and now that activity is officially supported by Google. It's really great to see that the Google Reader team has created an improved user interface optimized for the Wii's Opera browser and Wiimote. You can also try out the Google Reader for Wii in your browser. Google account is mandatory, of course."


So basically "I can use this feature on my wii but now it says I can use this feature on my wii, I've been able to do this the whole time, but now there's a small note saying it officially, I'm excited!"

How is this news.

Re:Wha? (2, Insightful)

prelelat (201821) | more than 6 years ago | (#19097113)

I think this is news because it is saying that the reader has now been optimized for the Wii where as before it was just using what was available.

Re:Wha? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19097619)

the reader has now been optimized for the Wii
I'm sorry, but shouldn't the Wii be optimized for the Reader?

You see the same thing with the Macintosh folks and having to "optimize pages for Macintosh", but isn't this a little ass backwards?

Shouldn't the manufactures of hardware write their software to comply with the data?

Re:Wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19101097)

Sure, and web browsers should be optimized for the web pages you want to visit. That's the same idea, really. Some sites are optimized for viewing at 1024x768 in 16bpp, others were intended for 640x480 and god forbid if you try to resize the screen - that's all you're getting. Some are optimized for web standards, others for IE sub-standards. The fact is, there's so much data out there that writing software to make all of it look perfect may not be possible. It is possible to optimize for the Wii's interface however, and I'm glad they're doing it.

Why spend the time and resources on this? (1, Insightful)

Judinous (1093945) | more than 6 years ago | (#19096951)

Why do consoles continue to try and integrate "PC-like" features? The *only* reason to use a console over a PC is because the games will be optimized for your specific set of hardware, so you can be sure that there are no compatibility issues and it will probably run pretty smooth. For everything else, a console is really just an overpriced, underpowered, practically non-upgradeable box with almost zero control given to the user. Supporting these features is great and all, but it seems like a waste of resources to me. If you've got the TV/monitor and internet connection, why use the console?

To prevent another XBMC (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#19096997)

Why do consoles continue to try and integrate "PC-like" features?
To discourage would-be homebrewers from modding their console to add PC-like features *cough*XBMC*cough* and then discovering piracy.

If you've got the TV/monitor and internet connection, why use the console?
Because another family member is using the PC.

Re:To prevent another XBMC (1)

spirit of reason (989882) | more than 6 years ago | (#19099765)

I feel like it makes me want to mod the console more, though, because the added features are usually half-baked. On the video end, you never get all the codecs you want supported, for example.

Re:Why spend the time and resources on this? (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#19097081)

The *only* reason to use a console over a PC is because the games will be optimized for your specific set of hardware, so you can be sure that there are no compatibility issues and it will probably run pretty smooth.

Actually, there's another reason. The Internet Channel in the Wii provides a net-enabled entertainment center. For example, if you browse to video.stumbleupon.com [stumbleupon.com] on your Wii, you can watch various "channels" of net videos on your television. Not only does this easily allow you to share the experience with others around you, but it allows you to view the videos on a larger screen. (Most people still have far larger televisions than they do computer screens. Only us geeks use an HDTV as a computer monitor. :P)

You can't share that sort of content on a computer nearly as easily as you can on something like the Wii. Sure, you could hook up your computer with a TV-out, but how many average people are really going to do that? And that's not even mentioning sites that provide homebrew video game content through the web browser.

Re:Why spend the time and resources on this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19099835)

Also if you're a fan of imeem.com [imeem.com] and their social media platform then you can peruse most of the content from your wii using a specially designed interface [imeem.com] targeted at nintendos console. Imeem is the best place I've found online for music and the wii integration is good enough to make it my main media player.

Re:Why spend the time and resources on this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19099845)

Exactly. I tuned in to channel youtube this morning and put on a couple of episodes of Anpanman for the kids (their mum is Japanese), and watch them myself. Getting the video full screen is slightly fiddly, but it is still convenient.

Now, if youtube could detect the Wii browser and render the pages suitably, that would be nice ;-)

Re:Why spend the time and resources on this? (4, Insightful)

HoneyBunchesOfGoats (619017) | more than 6 years ago | (#19097137)

I can't speak of other consoles, but I like the Wii browser because it's easy to use from the couch. The Wii is already hooked up to my TV, so I don't have to fumble about with cables to hook up my laptop, change the display settings to put the image on the TV, and then have to sit right next to the TV while I use it. I could get an older computer to leave permanently hooked up to the TV, and a wireless keyboard and mouse for it, but that'd be a whole lot of hassle, and would still have input devices that are less ideal to use from the couch... and for what, to have a more PC-like interface to pull up Wikipedia when people are over? The Wii isn't going to replace my PC and monitor for most of my web usage, but it's ideal for using the web for casual entertainment.

Re:Why spend the time and resources on this? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 6 years ago | (#19109123)

that'd be a whole lot of hassle, and would still have input devices that are less ideal to use from the couch.

I disagree.. I've got an HTPC with a wireless keyboard/mouse, and I find it vastly preferrable to the Wiimote. For starters, there's a touchpad on the keyboard, which sucks, but is still far easier to manipulate than the Wiimote. Even leaning forward to use the mouse on the coffee table is less effort. Additionally, I don't have to spend 10-30 seconds with the wiimote to input text instead of typing it.

I'm sure the Wii browser is better than nothing, and I'm sure some people appreciate it and it fits their needs, but it's certainly not my first choice.

Re:Why spend the time and resources on this? (4, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#19097153)

That's the easiest question ever. Because people want it.

Nintendo tends to be a people company, and they tend to listen to their customers a LOT more than the other console manufacturers. So when it became clear that there was NO way to avoid having things like this on their console, they went ahead and saved everyone the trouble, earning some more money in the process.

Nothing extra exists to stop someone from writing a homebrew version of these features than would have existed anyhow. In fact, the copy protection on the Wii is amazingly weak. It's almost identical to the Gamecube's, and that was weak as well. Everyone else in the industry has put a LOT more effort into protection.

So tell me again why they shouldn't do this? Because you don't want it is not good enough, and you don't speak for the majority of people. You probably don't even have a vague clue how many Wii-owners feel as you do.

Re:Why spend the time and resources on this? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19099093)

Nothing extra exists to stop someone from writing a homebrew version of these features than would have existed anyhow. In fact, the copy protection on the Wii is amazingly weak. It's almost identical to the Gamecube's, and that was weak as well. Everyone else in the industry has put a LOT more effort into protection.

You're correct about copy protection on the wii being pretty much identical to the gamecube, but the two consoles are worlds apart when it comes to homebrew. The executables on the wii are signed with public key crypto, while gamecube executables are unsigned. You cannot yet create homebrew for the Wii.

For the near future at least, nobody except Nintendo is going to be adding channels to the Wii.

Re:Why spend the time and resources on this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19101741)

Nintendo tends to be a people company, and they tend to listen to their customers a LOT more than the other console manufacturers.

Get serious. I may own every Nintendo system released since NES, and I may never have owned/may never own a Microsoft console, but this is crazy talk.

Microsoft has clearly been the one playing the open-ears game this generation. They are trying to stay ahead of the needle as it runs along the easily-predictable groove along the technology curve, by keeping their eyes and ears open to what people say they want. "Americans say they like online gaming, let's evolve that into something exclusive we can own." "HDTV sales are expected spike, let's throw money thataway." It is Nintendo that scratched the record and jumped the needle over to a whole other song. "They don't know it yet, but they're going to love this despite their preconceived expectations."

You think the public demanded the innovation that Nintendo delivered with the DS and the Wii? Nintendo gave them something new to want; the public didn't know to ask for it. That's not saying that the public is stupid, or that Nintendo is taking advantage of them - I'm saying that these innovations were new ideas that were not borne of some previously-standing popular desire. 20th-century Sony were, and Apple and Nintendo continue to be, masters of gauging potential interest in brand new ideas in this way. Microsoft is the company that has always been the reactionary entity of the technology world. For example, when have you ever seen MS chase after a technology where profit potential wasn't already clearly established by the true innovators in the field?

In fact, the copy protection on the Wii is amazingly weak. It's almost identical to the Gamecube's, and that was weak as well.

The GameCube was the final of the three (four) home consoles from the last generation to be cracked to run homebrew or illicitly copied games. Nintendo had the most effective copy protection.

In addition, there is no Wii-specific homebrew to date (outside of sandbox applications that can be accessed via web browser/flash).

Re:Why spend the time and resources on this? (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 6 years ago | (#19107511)

Everyone else in the industry has put a LOT more effort into protection.

Except in the area of Region-locking, where the Wii reigns supreme. The PS3 doesn't have it at all (except for old PS2 games that are already regionalized), and the XBox has it as an option to publishers.

Re:Why spend the time and resources on this? (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 6 years ago | (#19097575)

One word: Friends. Ever invited some friends over to play Counter-Strike with ya? Ever invited 4 friends over to play C&C3?

Now, have you ever invited some friends over to play Wii Sports? Halo 2?

Re:Why spend the time and resources on this? (1)

ben there... (946946) | more than 6 years ago | (#19097737)

Because many of those who own a console might not have their own PC, specifically HS and college kids. Whether they use their parents' computer, the library computers, or a hand-me-down, they might prefer to do most things on their brand new console. Consoles will likely get the full subset of features provided by cell phones, PDAs, and iPods. Well, everything except the phone calls. But a console is powerful enough to do IM, web browsing, music, video, all sorts of stuff. Actually, a Core 2 Duo or X-2 is overkill for everything except games and HDTV, both of which are covered by consoles with their specialized processors. Many people would prefer an appliance to a general-purpose computer for most tasks they do. The trend will only continue.

That said, I prefer a computer for all of the above, including games. I suspect I'm in the minority.

Re:Why spend the time and resources on this? (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 6 years ago | (#19098553)

The portion of college students that do not own computers is statistically insignificant. A lot of colleges require students to own a laptop or desktop, and scholarships for laptops are easy to get.

Oddly enough, this might make a lot of people start getting their news from the TV again. It seems like most people are used to getting their news from the internet these days, but now they can get the same headlines from the same sources on their TV.

Re:Why spend the time and resources on this? (1)

ben there... (946946) | more than 6 years ago | (#19100569)

"A lot of colleges require students to own a laptop or desktop,"
That's what I hear. But none that I've heard of in RL. Most have labs and libraries for that.

"and scholarships for laptops are easy to get."
Never heard of that. Loans, yeah. Grants, if they've got it left over. But not "scholarships."

"The portion of college students that do not own computers is statistically insignificant."
Maybe I just don't know the right people going to the right colleges, but I'd say they're not "statistically insignificant." This is all ignoring the fact that my premise wasn't dependent on whether or not college kids have computers.

Re:Why spend the time and resources on this? (1)

Moisteri (1082707) | more than 6 years ago | (#19100131)

Well I think the time and resources are well spent in this technology. Think about it. Average Internet user usually visits about 5-15 pages for news and such each day. You can easily bookmark those, so you really dont need any keyboard for browsing. Keyboard comes handy only if You are planning to write long e-mails, forums posts or are doing a lot of surfing. As it is stated, the Wii is designed for casual players so why not to casual Internet users as well? The Wii-mote is also very much like a normal TV remote controller so this could help not-so-tech-savvy-people to get on-line. Oh, and you get unlimited pr0n to your TV.

Re:Why spend the time and resources on this? (2, Insightful)

donaldm (919619) | more than 6 years ago | (#19101789)

It really depends on how far back you like to go. I suppose I could say why do PC's try to emulate workstations, because back in the early 1980's PC's were tty based and if they had graphics they were very clunky compared to the high resolution but expensive graphics of a workstation. If we go back even further I am sure mainframe people were saying the same against workstations.

The first time I ever saw a FPS game was Wolfenstein and it was running on a 1024x1024 Silicon Graphics Workstation and this was months before it came out on the PC.

You are right in saying "The *only* reason to use a console over a PC is because the games will be optimized for your specific set of hardware, so you can be sure that there are no compatibility issues and it will probably run pretty smooth".

Why do people prefer a console game over a PC game or the other way round really depends on the individual. For most people a console game is easy to get running or to quote "Just Works". On the other hand a PC game can have much better graphics and is really great for First Person Shooters (FPS), Strategy and Simulation games and it's on-lie capability is great.

Now the line between PC and Console is blurring although PC's can have a much higher resolution but smaller monitor so basically it really boils down to what games you like.

An example of console to PC FPS games is to compare Metroid (Gamecube) to Halo 1 on the PC. For Some the answer would be Metroid for others Halo.

Re:Why spend the time and resources on this? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#19103467)

Why do consoles continue to try and integrate "PC-like" features?

Cause they can, and cause some people find it cool/useful or just like to use the hardware they've paid for to the fullest.

Re:Why spend the time and resources on this? (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 6 years ago | (#19104703)

If you've got the TV/monitor and internet connection, why use the console?
Because all the games you want to play are console-exclusive. Oh, and you want to play in the living room on the big TV rather than in the dark cramped computer room.

Re:Why NOT spend the time and resources on this? (3, Insightful)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 6 years ago | (#19105011)

Why do consoles continue to try and integrate "PC-like" features? The *only* reason to use a console over a PC is because the games will be optimized for your specific set of hardware, so you can be sure that there are no compatibility issues and it will probably run pretty smooth. For everything else, a console is really just an overpriced, underpowered, practically non-upgradeable box with almost zero control given to the user. Supporting these features is great and all, but it seems like a waste of resources to me. If you've got the TV/monitor and internet connection, why use the console?


First of all, who is "Wasting resources" on this? Nintendo? Hardly. This isn't a "Nintendo Browser" that they have to develop and maintain, they made a deal with Opera so they could provide a version of "Opera for Devices" to that platform. It's Win-Win-Win. Nintendo offers a feature to their customers, that does not drive up the price of the system (completely optional, and free until July 1) and Opera has exclusive rights to that marketplace. The consumer gets a good browser for Free or cheap, (depending on when you get it). If you want a web browser on your PC, the choices are abundant. If you want it on the Wii, you get Opera. The console life span is about 4-6 years (historicaly speaking) and for all but the first 6 months that browser will be $ for Opera ($5 -minus whatever Nintendo gets) and more exposure to their brand for their other products. Nintendo probably does QA testing for certification, but likely nothing greater than what they would do for a game.


As far as "Why would anyone use this over a PC?" I admit, I was skeptical, but most of my 'leasurely web-surfing' is pretty simple with a mouse only (and short inputs with the software keyboard). Strong Bad works, Slashdot works, YouTube works... and for relaxing, my couch beats my computer chair every time. It also boots up alot faster than my PC. It's ironic that I use the Wii nearly every day, but don't play games on it every day. I check the weather, the headlines and my email when I get up and have my coffee. For about 80% of what I use the computer for, the Wii has already replaced it... Now if their Opera would just support Divx...

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