Nintendo have generously (finally) decided to give away the internet browser feature on the Wii. And as PS3 users will attest, browsing the web from your sofa is awesome.
There’s even better news for those of you about to explode in fury for paying 500 points for it in the past. Nintendo has said you’ll be able to help yourself to a 500 point NES game from its Virtual Console range around the end of October. There has also been a Flash update meaning better video viewing for some sites such as YouTube. You might want to download it to an SD card rather than the Wii’s memory though as it takes up over 200 blocks.
So is it any good? Well, as you can imagine using the on-screen keyboard can be a bit slow and inaccurate pointing away at the TV with the Wiimote, which makes it a relief you can plug in a keyboard if you’re going to enter a lot of text. If you’re using the TV cable out of the box on a HD TV the picture is quite blurry, pretty hideous if you compare it to the HD browser on the PS3.
Options are slim and simple, with a search option (choose from Google or Yahoo) and a favourites file to bookmark your regular sites. It’s cookie enabled too so you won’t have to put in your login details every time you visit if you don’t want to.
I had a quick blast on some popular sites to see how it coped. YouTube and Google Mail all worked well. The BBC iPlayer has been adapted to a Wii user-friendly version, but I couldn’t get anything to work on it at the time. Whereas the PS3 has no problems and has recently added a specific button to its XMB.
While the PS3 browser does have better Flash support for playing videos, both fail to play videos from gaming sites such as CVG. Also, you can only have one window open at a time whereas the PS3 allows multiple screens (before you get greedy and make it crash at least).
One site that the Wii displayed a distinct advantage over the PS3 browser was Facebook. PS3 users may have noticed that sometimes the cursor struggles to select things like the Inbox, or the option to view additional comments under a status, or the red ‘notifications’ icon in the bottom right of the screen, often just refusing to acknowledge their existence. Everything appears to be clearly selectable on the Wii version. But does it work with Farm Town? I’ll only do so much for you guys ok?
Naturally, you’ll have no problems browsing here at The No Sleep Gamer so feel free to add us to your favourites list.
This is a great piece of free software. If you’ve not experienced the lazy joy of not having to turn on the PC and possibly wait for ten minutes for it to wake up if it’s more than a year old (or you’ve been on those sites too much) you’re in for a treat. It makes a nice change to get a freebie you actually need. Actually it makes a nice change using the Wii and not having to move all the furniture and worry about standing on the cat.
*This article was also posted at Pixelated Gamer and Game Hub