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Wii

Updated Internet Channel Now Available

by Lukasz Balicki - September 1, 2009, 10:10 am PDT
Total comments: 49

The Wii's Internet Channel gets an update and a new price tag.

Today Nintendo updated the Wii Internet Channel in all regions. The new version of the Internet Channel upgrades the Adobe Flash Player from version 7 to Adobe Flash Lite 3.1, the Lite equivalent of Adobe Flash 8. Flash 8 includes H.264 support, which means that most modern Flash videos should now work with the browser.

The channel is also available for free once again (it was originally free for a limited time). If you previously paid 500 Wii Points for the channel, Nintendo will allow you to download one 500-point NES game of your choice from the Virtual Console free of charge starting at the end of October.

To update the Internet Channel you must re-download the application from the Wii Shop Channel.

NINTENDO MAKES IT EASY FOR WII OWNERS TO ACCESS THE INTERNET

Internet Channel for the Wii Menu Now Available at No Cost

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 1, 2009 – Nintendo is offering an easy way for Wii™ console owners to access the Internet without a computer. Effective immediately, people who want to browse the Internet using their Wii consoles will be able to do so at no added cost.

The Wii Menu houses a variety of informational and entertaining channels, such as the News Channel and Wii Shop Channel, that users can visit to enhance their Wii experience. Wii consoles that are linked to a broadband Internet connection have even greater access to additional content and channels. For example, the Nintendo® Channel is an interactive guide to what's new in the world of Nintendo that lets consumers watch trailers, mini-documentaries, product demonstrations and game-play videos, while the Check Mii Out™ Channel allows users to show off their Mii™ creations and download Miis that others have created.

The Internet Channel, which can be downloaded from the Wii Shop Channel, allows Wii owners to browse the Internet on their televisions from the comfort of their couches. Users can check their e-mail, make purchases or travel plans, and surf their favorite Web pages by pointing and clicking with the Wii Remote™ controller.

"Wii has truly changed the way people play games, but it is more than just a game console," said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. "Wii owners have access to a wealth of fun entertainment, information and practical tools like the Internet Channel, which is another great way for the whole family to enjoy their consoles with no additional costs involved."

When Wii launched in November 2006, Nintendo initially offered the Internet Channel as a free download as a promotional incentive to get people online. Starting in July 2007, the Internet Channel could be downloaded in exchange for 500 Wii Points™. Effective immediately, the Internet Channel is again available for zero Wii Points, and it has been updated to support an upgraded version of Adobe® Flash® player.

Starting at the end of October, consumers who have previously exchanged 500 Wii Points to download the Internet Channel will be able to download, at no cost, one NES™ game of their choice valued at 500 Wii Points from Virtual Console™. Details of this download offer will be provided via the Wii Message Board and on Nintendo.com.

Remember that Wii features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other Wii features, visit Wii.com.

For more information about the Internet Channel, visit www.nintendo.com/wii/channels/internetchannel.

Talkback

I don't get much use from the Wii browser anymore, but this is excellent news. 

broodwarsSeptember 01, 2009

Does anyone actually use the Opera Browser?  It's almost as bad as the browser on my PS3 (which I've used a grand total of once, and that was to acquire a new wallpaper for my XMB).

I used to use it from time to time, when the wife was hogging the laptop.

SteleSeptember 01, 2009

Free again is good news.  I was not an early adopter of Wii and missed the free period.

StratosSeptember 01, 2009

My friend gifted it to me since I got my Wii after the free period. I wonder if that means that I get the game too since it was 500 points when I got it.

GoldenPhoenixSeptember 01, 2009

Quote from: broodwars

Does anyone actually use the Opera Browser?  It's almost as bad as the browser on my PS3 (which I've used a grand total of once, and that was to acquire a new wallpaper for my XMB).

I actually use my Wii Internet Channel all the time, so this is fabulous news for me.

StratosSeptember 01, 2009

I used it back when my laptop fried and a couldn't use my parents computer all the time. Now that I have my own computer in the same room as my Wii it feels a bit redundant.

Though back in my old apartment, I would sit at the TV and use the internet and the news channel to catchup on current events while I ate breakfast. I would imagine that is what I will do again when I get my own place once more later this month (counting down the days...).

ShyGuySeptember 01, 2009

Updated Flash is excellent news. Has anyone tested this with Hulu yet? If that works, then we're all sitting in butter.

NinGurl69 *hugglesSeptember 01, 2009

h.264 is such a power-hungry codec.  I fear that the Wii would explode trying to process the Youtube search request.  Has Nintendo finally unlocked and overclocked the hidden HD GPU OR SOMETHING?

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusSeptember 01, 2009

Quote from: NinGurl69

h.264 is such a power-hungry codec.  I fear that the Wii would explode trying to process the Youtube search request.  Has Nintendo finally unlocked and overclocked the hidden HD GPU OR SOMETHING?

Well Adobe Lite Players are optimized for cellphones and consumer electronic devices. So I'm sure that your Wii won't explode.

The original Xbox is (just) powerful enough to process Hulu's H.264 streams, so the Wii shouldn't have a problem.  Except for the fact that Adobe's video processing seems to be more power-hungry than should be necessary, but I don't know how their Lite version is optimized.

ShyGuySeptember 01, 2009

Flash video seems to be poorly optimized period. I've had Full Screen 480p Hulu video choke on multi core systems. Unfortunately, the "new" HTML 4.5 video isn't speedy either.

TJ SpykeSeptember 01, 2009

Quote from: Stratos

My friend gifted it to me since I got my Wii after the free period. I wonder if that means that I get the game too since it was 500 points when I got it.

I'm thinking the answer is probably no since your friend actually paid for it. You can try e-mailing Nintendo though and ask them.

I haven't used the browser in a long time, but it's free to update (I got mine the day it was available to download) so I will do it.

KDR_11kSeptember 01, 2009

Depends on whether Nintendo tracks what's a puchase and what's a gift.

AVSeptember 01, 2009

i haven't really played with the channel in a while but i will update regardless.
I got a ton of ' out of memory ' messages and crashes so i gave up on the channel.

YankeeSeptember 01, 2009

I only used it when my computer was broken. The best two reasons to use the browser are youtube and hulu if it works...

roger6106September 01, 2009

Hulu does not work on the new one. I should have tried if it worked on the old version.

BeautifulShySeptember 01, 2009

I'm in the process of updating it. I use the Internet Channel all the time. The majority of the time I am on the Internet Channel when I post here except when I post screenshots or am in Chat during a Marathon weekend.

Great news!

ShyGuySeptember 01, 2009

No Hulu? NO SALE

StogiSeptember 01, 2009

Better support and a free NES game?

Hell yes!

BeautifulShySeptember 01, 2009

Quote from: ShyGuy

No Hulu? NO SALE

It's Free.

BlackNMild2k1September 01, 2009

Quote from: Maxi

Quote from: ShyGuy

No Hulu? NO SALE

It's Free.

Hes still not buying.... no matter how much it cost!!!

TJ SpykeSeptember 01, 2009

Quote from: Kashogi

Better support and a free NES game?

Hell yes!

You actually paid for the Internet Channel?

steveySeptember 01, 2009

The fact that they are giving back money proves that it sucks and Nintendo doesn't want to get sued because it can't browse the web...

GoldenPhoenixSeptember 01, 2009

Quote from: stevey

The fact that they are giving back money proves that it sucks and Nintendo doesn't want to get sued because it can't browse the web...

Uh huh. The Wii Browser works fine for me. It is much faster then the PS3 browser which is extremely clunky to control as well.

Mop it upSeptember 01, 2009

Does this mean that the high-quality option on YouTube will now work with the Internet Channel?

I downloaded the Internet Channel last year when my computer crashed and I didn't want to go so long without Internet. I don't use it so much anymore though I do still watch YouTube on it from time to time.

It's pretty nice that they're offering a sort of refund too, you don't often see something like that. I already own most of the good NES games which are on the VC though I'm sure I could find something I want. It's too bad they're not including Sega Master System games though.

Is it really a free NES game, or is it just a 500 point voucher?

Mop it upSeptember 01, 2009

Well, since they specifically said a free NES game then I think that's what it would be, but I guess we'll see once details become available.

Well, I hate Opera on the DSi. Can't get the damn thing to diisplay my Gmail without it running out of memory. I've never used Opera on the Wii. Hopefully it'll be a better experience.

GoldenPhoenixSeptember 01, 2009

Quote from: Halbred

Well, I hate Opera on the DSi. Can't get the damn thing to diisplay my Gmail without it running out of memory. I've never used Opera on the Wii. Hopefully it'll be a better experience.

I can't stand using it on the DSi either, so yeah I'd say it is better.

YmeegodSeptember 01, 2009

Well I haven't used it much but as it is "free" I'll download it as well.  My parents (well my dad) is going back to school so maybe he'll use it--was thinking of buying him a laptop or something but this might be the ticket--he just needs the basics so I guess this will work.

Going need a wireless keyboard and mouse option though. 

Put it in basic HTML mode and Gmail will work on DSi.

yoshi1001September 01, 2009

Quote from: NinGurl69

h.264 is such a power-hungry codec.  I fear that the Wii would explode trying to process the Youtube search request.  Has Nintendo finally unlocked and overclocked the hidden HD GPU OR SOMETHING?

I thoughtabout that as well. As long as you don't try and navigate around the page too much while the video is playing, it seems okay. Quality seems about the same on YouTube.

Mop it upSeptember 01, 2009

Quote from: Halbred

Well, I hate Opera on the DSi. Can't get the damn thing to diisplay my Gmail without it running out of memory. I've never used Opera on the Wii. Hopefully it'll be a better experience.

I've accessed Gmail before on the Wii Internet Channel. The only time I've ever gotten that "out of memory" message was when trying to play certain games on the WiiCade.com.

D_AverageSeptember 01, 2009

Sweet!  Free nes game!  And I too use the Opera and PS3 browsers quite a bit, they both have certain sites that work really well on them.

The other nice thing is that those PC->Wii streaming software/services should see a quality boost.

Surprising but nice announcement. I occasionally use the channel when my PC is occupied or acting funny. No Hulu support is really sad, but I bet YouTube works better with the new Flash. And what's this about a free NES game for people who paid? That's crazy cool of Nintendo... but really, how many people ever paid for the browser? I doubt it's a large number.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusSeptember 02, 2009

The only NES games that doesn't count for the promo is the downright frustrating TMNT game(it's 600 points due to licensing) and import NES games since those cost 600 points (the promo only allows you to pick NES/Famicom games that cost 500 Wii Points) and it's nice that this promotion also exists in Japan and PAL territories. Although the only standout import NES game is Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels, I can't think of any other memorable NES import titles.

In Japan they have a crazy promo where if you help 10 Wii owners connect their Wii to the internet you can download ever first party Famicom VC game, if you help 20 Wii owners then you can download every first party Famicom, Super Famicom, and N64 game. I believe the promo also earns you Wii points as well.  I really wish Nintendo expands this promotion worldwide.

Mop it upSeptember 02, 2009

Maybe it is my imagination but I think the updated Internet Channel uses less blocks than the old one did. I could have sworn I had 611 free blocks before downloading it, and now I have 639 free blocks.

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I bet YouTube works better with the new Flash.

It doesn't seem to. You still can't watch videos in high-quality and they don't seem to load up any faster or run any more smoothly.

NinGurl69 *hugglesSeptember 02, 2009

So this was a down-date than an up-date?

BeautifulShySeptember 02, 2009

Flames you are correct. Helping someone hook up a Wii to the internet gives 500 points. I believe that is for the Wii and DSi.

Mop_it_up this new Internet Channel uses less space than the previous ones.

I also noticed that the update adds the Flipnote site to the Recomended sites in your favorites.  I noticed that I can watch embed videos and Gametrailers works where as before it did not.

steveySeptember 02, 2009

Quote from: NWR_Flames_of_chaos

In Japan they have a crazy promo where if you help 10 Wii owners connect their Wii to the internet you can download ever first party Famicom VC game, if you help 20 Wii owners then you can download every first party Famicom, Super Famicom, and N64 game. I believe the promo also earns you Wii points as well.  I really wish Nintendo expands this promotion worldwide.

That seem really over the top and a bit too easy to abuse... You sure it's not 100 free wii points per console connected or something less profit raping?

NinGurl69 *hugglesSeptember 02, 2009

"I noticed that I can watch embed videos and Gametrailers works where as before it did not."

There's some devious plan in the works, no doubt.

Youtube and other sites might be filtering Wiis specifically and haven't caught up to the new version.
Hulu is probably broken due to all the encryption/obfuscation stuff they've added to block Boxee and XBMC.

KDR_11kSeptember 03, 2009

Quote from: stevey

Quote from: NWR_Flames_of_chaos

In Japan they have a crazy promo where if you help 10 Wii owners connect their Wii to the internet you can download ever first party Famicom VC game, if you help 20 Wii owners then you can download every first party Famicom, Super Famicom, and N64 game. I believe the promo also earns you Wii points as well.  I really wish Nintendo expands this promotion worldwide.

That seem really over the top and a bit too easy to abuse... You sure it's not 100 free wii points per console connected or something less profit raping?

No idea where the source is but the point bounty is 500. Now consider how many people with a Wii you know that you could actually help get online and how many other people would want to get those bounties too. I doubt many people will see the free NES library, much less the free SNES and N64 ones.

Think about it, an online-enabled Wii can spend money on the VC and WiiWare that a non-online Wii could not. For those 500 points Nintendo is getting a new customer that may very well punch a 2000 point card into the system soon.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusSeptember 03, 2009

http://www.andriasang.com/e/blog/2009/09/01/nintendo_pushes_internet_use/

GoldenPhoenixSeptember 04, 2009

I haven't tested out the flash stuff but I can say the browsing is SO much quicker and the thing is better optimized all around. I'm quite happy with it!

Interesting accident:

I downloaded the Internet Channel and came out the other side with 500 Wii Points. I don't remember having 500 Wii Points lying around, so I'm wondering if Nintendo thought I'd previously downloaded the Internet Channel (I had not), and as a consequence, gave me 500 free points in error. I downloaded Super Mario Bros. 3, which I've been meaning to do, and I like it more than the GBA version.

The other option, of course, is that I just forgot that I had 500 points sitting there, unused.

KDR_11kSeptember 04, 2009

Probably, the free NES game deal doesn't begin until next month.

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