More than two weeks had past since I played Wii Fit. The animated Balance Board avatar must have been stewing with fury. Somewhere, in the real world, I wasn’t exercising. Oh sure, I was outside, walking and enjoying the pleasant weather. Yet, that wasn’t good enough for my Nintendo friend. No, my Wii demands attention and today it got some. The pulsing blue light beckoned me. There is a special message, no doubt a system update, and I would read this message. The Internet Channel was updated.
The Wii message from Nintendo stated the following:
The Internet Channel, which allows everyone to easily access and enjoy the Internet, has been updated.
The main updates are as follows:
- Change from Adobe Flash version 7 to Adobe Flash Lite 3.1 (this corresponds to Adobe Flash version 8)
- The Internet Channel is now available to download for 0 Wii Points.
Press “Start” at the bottom right of the screen and you will be able to download the updated Internet Channel from the Wii Shop Channel.
If you previously used 500 Wii Points to download the Internet Channel to your Wii console, at the end of October we will be offering you the opportunity to download, for 0 Wii Points, one NES game of your choice (valued at 500 Wii Points) from the Virtual Console catalog. Details of this download offer will be provided via the Wii Message Board or on Nintendo.com soon.
At first, I was excited. This was an opportunity to combine two pleasures — the Internet and my Nintendo. I quickly went to Youtube and I attempted to load up an old episode of MacGyver.
It was a failed attempt. “An error occurred, please try again later.” Nope, a retry was not going to work. It was obvious that the upgrade was still insufficient for playing these types of videos. (In fairness, the PlayStation 3 browser is not a PC replacement either. While it will load the MacGvyer pilot episode, the playback was a little choppy for me.) I don’t like watching Internet video from a PC computer. It’s just not comfortable. I could hook up my PC to my TV, but a Wiimote is just more fun. These are baby steps toward the blurring of boundary between the Internet and the television.
An excerpt from a Nintendo press release highlights that technological journey…
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.”
So while the upgrade seems minor, the price change is dramatic. If you haven’t downloaded the Internet Channel for your Wii, price is no longer a reason to procrastinate.