Journal of a Geek

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Wii Web Browser

with 2 comments

When I got home this morning I fired up my Wii and downloaded the “Internet Channel” for the Wii. Internet Channel is of course a fancy way of saying Internet Browser. The browser was created by Opera who does browsers for almost any device on the planet. The current Internet Channel is labeled “trial”. In this case the trial is more of a beta with the final product coming at the end of March.

The web browser is fairly simple to use. At the bottom of the page you have a back, forward, stop/refresh, favorites and home button. Most of these are self explanatory, but the home button is different than on most browsers. This takes you to a special page on the browser that allows you to enter a URL, got to your favorites, get help, and read the license agreement.

Browsing the actual page consist of two actions. The first is holding down the B button and pointing around to scroll around the page. This works really well. It works similar to when you click the scroll wheel on most browsers. How close you get to the edge of the screen determines how fast it will scroll in that direction. The other action is zooming in and out. Since text on the web can be fairly hard to read on the TV, the Wii browser allows you to zoom in and out using the plus and minus buttons on the Wiimote.

I have two current complaints with the browser. The first is how long it takes before it reacts to a URL being clicked or entered. It was taking around 5 seconds. This may just be my Internet connection but it seems like something deeper than that. The other is it currently does not work with YouTube. I feel one of the big uses for this could be viewing streaming video on your TV. I understand this is a beta product though, so we shall see how it shapes up.

I think Opera has done a good job so far with the Internet Channel for the Wii, but there is still room for improvement. I think it would be interesting if websites begin having Wii optimized versions of their websites.

Written by Ryan Farnell

December 22, 2006 at 3:48 pm

Posted in Games, Wii