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Wii

Opera Included in Wii

by Michael Cole - June 3, 2006, 3:50 pm PDT
Total comments: 29 Source: Cubed3

An interview discloses quite a few new details about the console web browser, including its responsiveness, Wii-customized internet applications, and supported technologies.

Website Cubed3 recently interviewed Scott Hedrick, vice president of Opera for Devices, about the mysterious Opera browser for Wii. Hedrick reveals quite a few tidbits.

Cubed3: Will the Opera browser be embedded from launch on the 512MB internal Flash or included with the system via a memory card?

Scott Hedrick: The Opera browser is saved to the Flash ROM on the Wii console, and does not require a separate memory card as Opera for DS does. The browser can be launched in only a few seconds, immediately delivering a great user experience.

That's right, Wii owners can browse the internet without any additional software, much like PictoChat on Nintendo DS. Hedrick also says web applications could be tailored for Wii, and that the Opera browser can be used for more than just the internet.

SH: In addition to being a full Web browser, Opera also serves as a presentation engine for devices, such as set-top boxes. This means that you it is possible to create dynamic Web-based applications and user interfaces using Web technology running on Opera – avoiding the use of native code such as C++. Nintendo has not released information on its specific use of Opera, but one can imagine the possibilities of what a browser can deliver to a game on a console that is always connected beyond simply browsing the Web.

Could an online version of PictoChat (or similar communications software) be in the works using Opera technologies?

For further comments on the Wii remote, which technologies are supported (JavaScript is confirmed), and Opera's possibilities, be sure to read the whole interview.

Talkback

Frozen AtlanticJune 03, 2006

Wii wins.

thepogaJune 03, 2006

I don't think there's gonna be an online pictochat. It's probably not very easy to write using the wiimote.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusJune 03, 2006

Wow this is some awesome news. This means all the developers can take advantage of the fact that there is a web browser on board. I'm sure this will open up some more new venues in gaming. When you stop and look at the complete package of the Wii it is becoming more and more impressive.

KirbySStarJune 03, 2006

Why not? Just have pictochat download to the DS via Wii and using that connectivity the DS could piggyback and join chatrooms you select via the Opera browser on Wii.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJune 03, 2006

But... Nintendo websites aren't Opera-friendly...

KirbySStarJune 03, 2006

Yet.

Frozen AtlanticJune 03, 2006

Not easy to write with the Wiimote?

Dude, do you own a USB keyboard? :/

I haven't used Opera in ages - is it any good now?

wanderingJune 03, 2006

Quote

Cubed3: Will the Opera browser be embedded from launch on the 512MB internal Flash or included with the system via a memory card?

Scott Hedrick: The Opera browser is saved to the Flash ROM on the Wii console, and does not require a separate memory card as Opera for DS does. The browser can be launched in only a few seconds, immediately delivering a great user experience.

Is it just me, or was that a trick question to determine whether Opera was included with the console out of the box?

This was clearly an email interview. You can't really have a trick question in an email interview, becuase they can just not respond to it. If Hedrick didn't want to say it was included with Wii, he could have said "Nintendo has not revealed that information about the browser yet."

SheckyJune 03, 2006

Hunter cards and other such uses to the next level
check it on the Wii or your friends PC

mantidorJune 03, 2006

And still their damn video podcasts dont work in opera for me.

When I first read the headline I thought of the Wii conductor game and made an sound of glee. Then I realised it was about the browser. That's good too, I guess. I just hope it's better then the DS version they showed at E3. This is a meaningless feature if it doesn't work well.

18 DaysJune 03, 2006

So is anyone else thinking of online storage and game save swapping?

GriffinJune 03, 2006

I was thinking that about the VC a long time ago. Instead of all games being saved to your system, it will keep a library saved online, and you just download the game when you want to play. For NES and SNES games, that probably would be very useful.

Crimm, considering the Wii and the browser are being developed at the same time (as opposed to after-the-fact with the DS), and Wii has a LOT more (and faster) RAM, I'm sure the Wii Opera browser will be much more capable. Even though it isn't high def :-/.

mantidorJune 03, 2006

haha, thats probably the only drawback there is for lack of HD, but Im sure PGC will make a rev-friendly version of their site to be viewable in the low resolution of a normal TV face-icon-small-wink.gif

ruby_onixJune 03, 2006

Quote

C3: Will the browser be issued with all Wii consoles or will you purchase it separately?

SH: As mentioned before, Opera will not be sold separately on a game cartridge for Wii. We would like all Wii users to be able to use Opera to surf the Internet. The details of how exactly Opera will be available for browsing within Wii have not yet been announced by Nintendo.

The browser will be hardwired into the Wii, buuuuuttt ... ... ... *Opera waits for Nintendo to finish the sentence*

*They'll be waiting a long time*

infinitys_endJune 04, 2006

I don't know if anyone agrees with me, but I am so totally over the Internet.

MarioJune 04, 2006

What this made me think of is that people could make simple Wii games and store them on the net, for free access on the Wii via the Opera web browser.

sikboy1029June 04, 2006

They could setup the virtual console similar to steam. You could just sign in and the game would download to the flash drive until you're done and use SD cards as memory cards maybe?

RequiemJune 04, 2006

That's cool and all, but what if you had internet connection and then moved to somewhere where you don't? Can I take my games with me?

ssj4_androidJune 04, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: wandering
Quote

Cubed3: Will the Opera browser be embedded from launch on the 512MB internal Flash or included with the system via a memory card?

Scott Hedrick: The Opera browser is saved to the Flash ROM on the Wii console, and does not require a separate memory card as Opera for DS does. The browser can be launched in only a few seconds, immediately delivering a great user experience.

Is it just me, or was that a trick question to determine whether Opera was included with the console out of the box?


Nintendo announced at E3 that Opera would be built in, no trick questions about that needed. His answer seems to suggest that Opera will not be included on the 512 MB internal flash, as I'm assuming there's a seperate ROM chip. I wonder if the browser is upgradable? I primarily want to know if USB keyboards will be supported. It would be horrible if they weren't

OMG! You're right!

This is confirmation of Flash ROM on the system for...upgrading firmware?

~Carmine M. Red
Kairon@aol.com

RequiemJune 04, 2006

upgrading anything that needs upgrading....not neccessarily the firmware. Maybe a new version of Opera?

sycomonkeyJune 04, 2006

It was also be very easy to make a Web-based Media-Center, effectively making the Wii into a media center... assuming one knows enough javascript and perl (or AJAX or something). Heck, something like this may allready exist.

sycomonkeyJune 04, 2006

Also assuming that the Wii would support a particular video format (the server could dynamically re-encode it into whatever the Wii recognizes.

KDR_11kJune 05, 2006

I thought the 512MB are called flash ROM? Guess the other interpretation is that the 512MB are all user data and Opera is included with the firmware.

AnyoneEBJune 05, 2006

KDR is correct. Flash ROM (Read-Only Memory) a.k.a. EEPROM is rewriteable. It made sense to someone. (I think the tech used in Flash memory is similar to ROM chips.)

But why use the term ROM? That usually refers to EEPROM technology, much like our 100-saves-before-they're-kaput SuperNES technology.

Flash memory, which is what the 512 MB has been called, is more like our Memory cards and USB Key drives. This is similar to EEPROM, but is better for rewriting purposes (it doesn't go kaput).

I'd like to think that he uses the term ROM because he really means a sort of memory in the hardware not intended for frequent rewriting, not because he doesn't know what the technical term means.

~Carmine M. Red
Kairon@aol.com

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