Wii

Use Your Wii Remote on a PC

by Michael Cole - December 3, 2006, 6:30 pm PST
Total comments: 16 Source: Carl Kenner

Through the magic of Bluetooth you can use your Wii remote as a PC game controller.

Thanks in part to information provided by WiiLi researchers, clever programmer Carl Kenner has begun incorporating the Wii Remote into his input emulator software, GlovePIE. Since the Wii remote and console uses Bluetooth to communicate, the Wii remote is also able to pair up with other Bluetooth devices…such as a Bluetooth adapter running on Windows XP.

Previously websites had reported the ability to pair a Wii remote with Windows, but without a game controller driver the remote was useless. GlovePIE grabs information directly from the remote and translates button presses to keyboard strokes. Current support is fairly limited: GlovePIE recognizes the remote's buttons and can supposedly read the controller's accelerometer (though I couldn't get the latter to work). The nunchuck attachment is not currently supported, though future support is likely.

Here is a quick guide Wii-PC interaction in Windows XP.

Connecting the Wii Remote

  1. Make sure you have a Bluetooth adapter for your PC.
  2. Go to Control Panel >> Bluetooth Devices and click "Add" a new Bluetooth Device
  3. Hold down 1 + 2 on the Wii remote to begin the syncing process.
  4. Check the box next to "My device is set up and ready to be found", then "Next"
  5. Click on "Nintendo RVL-CNT-01", then click "Next"
  6. Select "Don't use a passkey", then click "Next". You may need to hold down 1+2 on the Wii remote again here. If you're successful, three LEDs will be flashing on the Wii remote.

Using GlovePIE

  1. Download and extract GlovePIE to a directory, then open "GlovePIE.exe"
  2. Open "TestWiimote.PIE" from the File menu (It should be in the default displayed folder).
  3. Hopefully your Wii remote is still blinking. Click "Run" near the top of the GlovePIE window.
  4. Push on the D-Pad with GloverPIE being the active window. You should see values changing in the toolbar on the bottom-left corner.
  5. Leave the script running and open up a game!

Note that there is currently a bug in GlovePIE requiring you to exit and restart the program if you want to run the script again after stopping the script.

If you're feeling brave you can change the button-keypad mappings in the script file. You may want to do this to adjust the D-pad directions for two-handed remote play or to assign the expected keypad values for your favorite games.

Be sure to keep an eye on GlovePIE for future enhancements! Who knows, maybe you'll be able to use the remote as a PC pointing device in the near future!

Talkback

BiLdItUp1December 03, 2006

Cool. Let's hope Nintendo doesn't change the design of the controller so that this won't be possible in the future...

DunnymeisterDecember 03, 2006

Wait, I'm confused... This doesn't use the sensor bar does it? So all we get is basic accelerometer functions rather than an accurate pointer?

Well for now that's all you'd be able to do. But I suspect if you mounted a sensor bar on your monitor and waited a few weeks you'd have a better pointing solution.

StrellDecember 03, 2006

Just set two candles and/or white christmas lights and/or two TV remotes up on top of your monitor.

Ingenuity FTW.

Dark_SlothDecember 03, 2006

This stuff is actually pretty cool. Kinda useless right now... but I wonder how far all these hacks will go.

DjunknownDecember 03, 2006

Are there any legal ramifications for using the Wii mote other than its intended purpose? Knowing Nintendo's past history of protecting its 'intellectual' rights, they'll find a way.

It'd be interesting to use this in games like Doom 3 and the ilk if they recognize bluetooth devices. It could also be a stepping stone for more dubious methods. Emulation anyone?

SheckyDecember 03, 2006

Controlling 3D Models (CAD, Simulations) with this would be cool. Map A and B to different mouse buttons (best would make the mappings adaptable)

BlackNMild2k1December 03, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: Djunknown
Are there any legal ramifications for using the Wii mote other than its intended purpose? Knowing Nintendo's past history of protecting its 'intellectual' rights, they'll find a way.

It'd be interesting to use this in games like Doom 3 and the ilk if they recognize bluetooth devices. It could also be a stepping stone for more dubious methods. Emulation anyone?

This could actually bea very good thing for Nintendo and their Wii. If the PC gaming community really gets into experimenting with this and the Wii becomes the success its shaping up to be, this could mean lots of PC ports (WoW, Starcraft, Half Life) and that would also eat into MS plan of being the only console that PC developers are looking at making/porting games for.

CericDecember 03, 2006

Personally I don't think Nintendo is going to care as long as:

A) No body makes a knock controller that they are not getting a cut of
B) As long as the controllers each make them a profit

If it sells controllers it makes them money. They prefer to sale a whole a system so they may go after them if they deem it is costing them console sells. Otherwise I don't see them caring.

KDR_11kDecember 03, 2006

I don't think there's a law that'd allow them to prevent this.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusDecember 04, 2006

It would be amazing to gain some pointing and nunchuk support. Being able to play Half Life 2 with the wiimote sends shivers down my spine. I'm sure it is only a matter of time before it's done so I'll just wait and see.

Ian SaneDecember 04, 2006

"Are there any legal ramifications for using the Wii mote other than its intended purpose? Knowing Nintendo's past history of protecting its 'intellectual' rights, they'll find a way."

I have a USB adapter that lets me use a SNES controller on my PC. If that is legal then I don't see why this isn't.

This is really cool though.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 04, 2006

Now, IANAL, but the only thing I could possibly come up with is if something about the Wii Controller's communication protocol is copyrighted/patented (or whatever) and the software being used somehow infringes on it... but I doubt that's really even possible.

RizeDavid Trammell, Staff AlumnusDecember 05, 2006

The sensor bar merely emits two points of infrared light. So in theory you could plug it into your Wii, activiate the Wii (to activate the sensor bar) and then do some programming magic to start using the pointer. You can also come up with other infrared sources (such as candles). A better solution would be if someone makes a knockoff sensor bar, or else a usb adapater for the Wii sensor.

blackfootstepsDecember 05, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: UncleBob
Now, IANAL, but the only thing I could possibly come up with is if something about the Wii Controller's communication protocol is copyrighted/patented (or whatever) and the software being used somehow infringes on it... but I doubt that's really even possible.


But if it's just plain old Bluetooth then that wouldn't be the case.

I've already ordered spare sensor bars for multiple TVs, but don't be surprised to see battery-powered or wall socket-based sensor bars from third parties (or even Nintendo). All the Wii sensor bar needs is a 12V DC source, and that's becuase, as I understand it, there are four LEDs in a serial circuit.

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