Friday, September 29, 2006

Channel Surfing

Nintendo's official Wii website recently put up some short videos of the various Wii Channels in action, and overall I'm impressed. The News Channel is still unnecessary, and surprisingly bare-bones, but the equally unnecessary Forecast Channel at least has a fairly neat interface. I'm not sure that spinning a virtual globe is integral to the process of looking up weather information, but it certainly looks fun. Rounding out the redundant features is the Photo Channel, which, despite looking robust and intuitive, remains silly and unnecessary. Personally, I think it would at least be neat if I could take screenshots, save them as photos, and then edit them or transfer them to a camera, but I don't expect to see any such functionality.

Finally, the previously mentioned Opera web browser, originally said to be a one-time paid download but newly announced to be a free download until June 2007, is powering the Internet Channel. It supports flash, lets you zoom in on sections, and just generally looks pretty slick. I'd suggest you use a real PC if you want to do any typing though, because, regardless of what solution Nintendo implements (as yet unspecified), it will be woefully insufficient in that regard. I still think that the browser is not necessarily a welcome add-on, but I can kind of see the appeal (or, more accurately, have come to see it after a discussion with Nathan) in web-browsing from your couch.

I'm getting really excited about this thing, and I wish that EB would let me order one already. There is apparently some kind of Gamestop/EBGames managers' conference taking place in Texas today where the final details will be hammered out, so I hope to be able to preorder one by Monday. Unless of course they implement their crazy required trade-in plan, in which case I'll be joining the rest of the gaming community in boycotting them. At this point, I'm just hoping for a bundle that won't entirely screw me, and that there will be a midnight Saturday launch.


Anonymous Mike said...

I think all three of those things are exceedingly useless, although were they on the DS I could see the use. It would really become a gaming device/pda and I could see spending money on it instead of those OTHER PDAs.

The only cool thing about the browser would be if I could open the browser in a slick interface like on the xbox 360 while I'm in the game to have something like gamefaqs running in the background so I wouldn't have to get up to check my computer for info. That could be neat. I would also be neat of that weather channel could be tied in with games so that if it were raining at your place it would be raining in the game. I've always wanted real-time weather in games. Not all games... but it would be cool.

Monday, October 02, 2006 4:25:00 PM  

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