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Wii

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Wii

by Jonathan Metts - November 18, 2006, 11:39 pm PST
Total comments: 16

Wii's online shop finally opened today, so I bought F-Zero and tried out the long-awaited Virtual Console. WiiConnect24 is also on... I think?

Although I've had my Wii for a week now, and it immediately connected to my USB adapter (the same one I use for taking the DS online), the system would not actually do anything through the online connection. It tried to download a firmware update, but the update wasn't available yet, so eventually it would time out and return to the main menu. Today, that update finally went up…and so did the one after that. They enabled the Virtual Console shop as well as WiiConnect24.

After a few minutes of downloading and installing the updates, which was all automatic except when I was asked to review the service agreement, I could finally access the Wii Shop channel. Unfortunately, Nintendo announced a couple days ago that the Weather and News channels will not be up for several weeks. I also learned today that the Opera browser for Wii will go up at a later date, but when it is available, it will be found in the "Wii Ware" section of the shop. This area will also house new software and possibly game demos.

The rest of the shop is devoted to older systems. Currently, there are only two SNES and Genesis games for sale, plus one N64 game, and TurboGrafx is a no-show thus far. Most of the selections at launch are for NES, and the choices are questionable. Soccer? Pinball? Mario Bros. (not Super)? At least you can get the original Legend of Zelda, if you missed out on the GameCube promo discs.

I decided to get F-Zero from the SNES pile and was very happy to see that the shop displays which controllers are compatible with the game, before you pay or download. F-Zero can be played with the Wii classic controller (which I don't have yet) or a GameCube controller. I started with a WaveBird but soon switched to my Hori digital controller, which is almost perfect since it is shaped like the SNES pad and has clicky shoulder buttons, used heavily for cornering in F-Zero.

Of course, I didn't have any Wii Points at first, but you can buy them directly through the shop channel. (The alternative is to buy a card at your local retail store and input some code from it to activate points.) The denominations are 1000 ($10), 2000 ($20), and 5000 ($50). Entering my credit card info was easy with the Wii software keyboard, and the process went quickly and smoothly, which I found to be slightly disturbing.

After the points were purchased, I spent 800 of them on my VC game, and it began downloading immediately. The download took about thirty seconds to complete, and it was tracked by a progress bar that looks like 8-bit Mario running through a line of coins. As the download reaches certain milestones (probably 25%, 50%, and 75% complete), Mario jumps up and hits one of three coin blocks. It's a funny gimmick and the perfect bit of nostalgia to accompany the Virtual Console, which is all about playing old games.

After the download finished, I went back to the channel menu to find F-Zero sitting right there at the next empty space. After selecting it, the screen prompted me to insert a classic controller before I could proceed. I was momentarily worried that the shop had told me wrong, but the game booted immediately when I plugged in a WaveBird receiver. F-Zero is emulated beautifully and controls perfectly, so hopefully games on the other systems will follow suit.

My firmware update also enabled WiiConnect24, but so far it doesn't seem to do anything. It is staying connected after the system is turned off, which is indicated by the power light turning yellow instead of red, and I can see on my computer that the system (under a weird name with strange characters) is periodically connecting to my USB rumordongle. I hate to say it, but on the eve of Wii's launch and with my own system already connected to the service, I still have no idea what Nintendo really plans to do with WiiConnect24. But I do like what it's doing with the Wii Shop, as long as more and better games are added early and often.

Talkback

TJ SpykeNovember 18, 2006

1000 Wii Points=$10
5000 Wii Points=$10?

What do those firmware upgrades do?

18 DaysNovember 18, 2006

You're questioning Soccer?

it is THE BEST soccer game ever. Pro Evo 6? Rubbish.

NephilimNovember 18, 2006

well u might get a msg from nintendo when u wake up

Infernal MonkeyNovember 18, 2006

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You're questioning Soccer?

it is THE BEST soccer game ever. Pro Evo 6? Rubbish.


Confirmed. NES Soccer was also the only thing Animal Crossing had going for it!

Tuxedo.BondNovember 20, 2006

^You suck!^ AC owns you!

Johny, were you one of the staff members who insisted you should not have a problem walking into a store on launch day to buy a Wii?

ThePermNovember 20, 2006

i wish putting in ac unlocked some of these games

CericNovember 20, 2006

I wished my Wii wasn't borked.

RickPowersRick Powers, Staff AlumnusNovember 20, 2006

Dissing Pinball ... why I oughtta ...

mantidorNovember 21, 2006

hmmm.. I really don't like this "patch" mentality with firmware, since I don't have wifi in any form, is there a wired adapter? Well, is ok for this kind of updates, if I don't have connection then I'm certainly not going to use wiiconnect24 or virtual console, but down the road lazy devs might release buggy games because they can patch them, I hope Nintendo has some policy against that.

Ian SaneNovember 21, 2006

"Well, is ok for this kind of updates, if I don't have connection then I'm certainly not going to use wiiconnect24 or virtual console, but down the road lazy devs might release buggy games because they can patch them, I hope Nintendo has some policy against that."

My idea for how to implement console patches:

1. To issue a patch you have to pay a fee to Nintendo.

2. Each publisher only gets five patches. After the fifth one they lose their Wii licence for a year.

3. Updates and new content doesn't count as a patch. Thus third parties can hide a patch with free new content if they wish.

I think sometimes patches are good for fixing huge bugs that no one found. But too often it just gives devs an excuse to use us as beta testers. With strict rules like this then emergency fixes can occur but no one can get away with lazyness. Patching becomes what I should be instead of what it is abused as.

The only problem is that MS and Sony aren't going to be as strict so it might scare third party support away because companies can save money by downsizing their testing staff.

wanderingNovember 21, 2006

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Entering my credit card info was easy with the Wii software keyboard, and the process went quickly and smoothly, which I found to be slightly disturbing.

I love the cheery music that plays as you insert your credit card info.

vuduNovember 21, 2006

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down the road lazy devs might release buggy games because they can patch them, I hope Nintendo has some policy against that.
With Xbox I think patches can only apply to online modes. This way it ensures that anyone who needs the patch has the ability to download it.
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2. Each publisher only gets five patches. After the fifth one they lose their Wii licence for a year.
Great way to improve third party relations. Idea of the year!

Ian SaneNovember 21, 2006

"Great way to improve third party relations. Idea of the year!"

I know. face-icon-small-smile.gif It's kind of like that rule on the NES that limited how many games a publisher could release per year. The idea is actually pretty good because it encourages quality and doesn't allow publishers to flood the market with junk. But it also pisses third parties off.

I've also come up with an idea for having a licence to use express lines in stores. If you have too many items, fumble too long with your purse or wallet, or chat it up with the cashier you lose your express line licence for a month. The idea is too weedle out the idiots who f*ck up the express line concept while still being forgiving enough that one can accidentally screw up or learn from their mistakes. If you're an intelligent person the idea makes tons of sense but I figure in execution the idea would scare away a lot of customers that don't understand the concept or don't like that they can't get away with their typical bullsh!t anymore. The idea is my test when meeting new people to see if I'll click with them. If they like the idea I know we'll get along great and if they hate the idea it means our ways of thinking are way too different to be compatible.

vuduNovember 21, 2006

Ian for President!

I'll be your running mate if you can come up with a solution for idiots who drive in the left lane on highways and talk on cell phones (despite being illegal in Chicago).

Smash_BrotherNovember 21, 2006

I came downstairs in the morning to find the blue disc light on and some messages waiting for me.

WC24 is DEFINITELY working.

RickPowersRick Powers, Staff AlumnusNovember 21, 2006

Wait just a damned minute ... where did you guys get the idea that Nintendo was allowing game patches at all? A firmware update (to fix bugs or release new features) is a necessary thing with a console like this that's evolving. Game Patches, on the other hand, are far harder when you don't have much persistent storage. I think Nintendo would far rather a developer fix the game and ship out new discs (at the developer's cost and Nintendo's profit) than have to load a patch every time you want to play the game.

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Wii

Game Profile

Genre
Developer Nintendo

Worldwide Releases

na: Wii
Release Nov 19, 2006
PublisherNintendo
jpn: Wii
Release Dec 02, 2006
PublisherNintendo
eu: Wii
Release Dec 08, 2006
PublisherNintendo
aus: Wii
Release Dec 07, 2006
PublisherNintendo
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