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Surfing on the Wii
September 9, 2009 - Art Smith
Users of NewsandSentinel.com recently gained yet another way to view the Web site.
Owner of the popular Wii gaming system can now download, for free, the Internet Channel, which brings the Opera-based Wii browser to gaming system. In the past you had to pay a one-time fee to download the software.
This allows anyone with a Wii, and a wireless Internet connection, to access Web sites, such as NewsandSentinel.com on their television.
I tested it recently and found it to an awkward to use. Unless you decide to add a keyboard to your Wii you have to type by pointing the Wii remote to onscreen letters. Most web sites are fairly heavy with text and text on a TV screen is very difficult to read.
The feature does have its niche. It’s nice for watching videos. YouTube has set up a special site tailored to the Wii. Allowing people to watch video on a TV, is of course, a great fit.
You can also watch videos that are included on other sites. We put video of the recently ran News and Sentinel Half Marathon on its Web site newsandsentinelhalfmarathon.com allowing Wii users world wide watch me check to make sure the web camera was working correctly as well as watch hundreds of runners cross the finish line.
One can only assume that Nintendo will add streaming movies to the game platform at some point, providing an additional revenue source for the gaming giant.
For normal web browsing though, on sites like this one, the feature will likely remain an oddity that users just occasionally use. To make it work, you have to have a wireless Internet connection. Most people that have a wireless network in their home have one so that they can use a laptop anywhere in their home. It is far easier to use a computer to access the Web than it is to use your Wii. It is also easier to access the web on mobile devices such as the iphone that can also use a home’s wireless network.
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