Nintendo details Wii multimedia functionality

Relaunched Wii Web site demonstrates next-gen console's "Wii Channels": photo editing, news update, Web surfing, and "Mii" custom-avatar-creation features.

Thousands of people watched--or attended--Nintendo's pre-Electronic Entertainment Expo conference in May, where the company revealed the fully functional Wii console. As part of the demonstration, Donkey Kong creator Shigeru Miyamoto played a tennis match from the Wii Sports collection with Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime, and a lucky member of the audience.

When the match began, the audience erupted in laughter when it saw that the game featured cartoonish avatars of Fils-Aime, Iwata, and Miyamoto. Most assumed that the re-creations had been made specifically for the event as a humorous gesture to the Nintendo faithful.

However, today, it was revealed that the forthcoming Wii console will offer avatar customization to every user, although not in every game. As Nintendo concluded its Japanese press conference--which confirmed many new details about the console--it launched the official Japanese Wii Web site, which demonstrates several of the Wii's heretofore unknown multimedia features and will be known in the US as "Wii Channels."

One feature is the "Mii Channel," which will let players make simplified, cartoonlike avatars like those displayed at E3. Once an avatar is created using face-sculpting tools, it will appear in any game that supports Mii Channel characters. The avatar will also be stored on the so-called "Wii-mote" controller, which can be taken to a friend's house and be reproduced in a game on their console, according to Nintendo.

Wii.com also showed off the Wii's menu system via another clip, which showed a user moving a cursor over several selections, including a GameCube disc and photo gallery. Other video demonstrations show users selecting several Wii Virtual Console games, including Mario Bros. (NES), Super Mario World (SNES), and Super Mario 64 (N64).

The Wii Web site also outlined how the console's just-revealed photo-editing software will work. Wii owners can insert an SD card from their camera or mobile phone into a slot in the front of the Wii. As shown in yet another video demonstration, photos can be edited in a variety of ways, including cropping and pixilation. The Wii will also organize hundreds of photos via a vortexlike menu and let users send them to friends and family over the Web.

The site also displays a clip of the Wii's weather service, called the Forecast Channel, which will sport data supplied by Weather News Incorporated. Manipulating a cursor onscreen, a user checks out the forecast for Tokyo before zooming out to see what's going on weather-wise in the rest of Japan. Later, the user literally spins a virtual Earth to peruse conditions on various continents. Nintendo says the information will be constantly updated via the WiiConnect24 service and also will be free of charge.

Another part of the Wii site shows a user navigating the Wii's news service via WiiConnect24. No news provider was named for the service, which appeared to consist of a news feed of headlines and photos but no video content.

Nintendo also confirmed WiiConnect24 will let users surf the Web using Opera Browser, which is also the basis for the Nintendo DS's browser. The company showed a still of the browser accessing the popular search engine Google and promised it will support Adobe Flash animation. Animations on the same page show the Wii browser checking out a cooking site and finding the Makuhari Convention Center using Google Maps.

[UPDATE] Unfortunately, the Wii browser will not be free. Thursday morning, Nintendo confirmed at its New York Wii press conference that the Opera browsers would have to be purchased via the prepaid Wii points system.

Besides allowing Web surfing, WiiConnect24 will also sport a message board, as shown in two press conference video clips (at bottom of page). Details about the service were scarce, but the video clearly shows it having some sort of calendar function. Also, each message sports a Mii Channel avatar in the upper right-hand corner.

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Discussion

236 comments
PikminmegMaster
PikminmegMaster

Wii is cool,I can't wait until I get a wireless network,so I can go on the nieeve Internet

Shad_Zero
Shad_Zero

This like amazing....I really want buy a Wii... because it is the revolution of the next-generation games!!!

Assymetrix
Assymetrix

please be more respectful: thats not a gaming console, thats a kinda multimedia communcation device!!!

Tim-
Tim-

OMG how cool is the Wii. It just keeps getting better. You can put yourself in the game and access tv and internet (more or less). I'd like to see those x-box and playstations lovers say that about their game system. The Wii is the best and the cheapest, you can't go wrong......

fire_flower4
fire_flower4

Dude... everything about the Wii is kick ass,,,, EVERTHING! EVEN THE WAY YOU PUT THE FREAKIN' DISK IN IS AWESOME!!!!!!! God Nintendo.... you guys ROCK!

maecangel
maecangel

Yeah! Nintendo... I think this gen of consoles are going to be so awesome, but looking at this Nintendo is going for all the good entretainment. It got wands, classic controllers, old school games, customized avatars, GC ports and now a web browser. Nintendo your the best.

DarthRevan891
DarthRevan891

The browser is gonna be free till June of next year which means we every who buys the wii will already get its just a pain to type it though. But the browser fo the ds should be ok with the stylus right?

DarthRevan891
DarthRevan891

This is worth more nintendo really outdid themselves

kevdm10
kevdm10

I'm so gonna get this system It is probably worth 500$ but they sell it for 250$ that is a cheap ,easy, smart ,and affordable deal

Ryle_Boy
Ryle_Boy

Mii is a great idea, as is the browser, but paying for it, and no keyboard?

togo2828
togo2828

Man...But nintendo does need to make money to

ruttness
ruttness

Blast! if it was free that would be one of the grooviest things ever.

OmegaWeapon9
OmegaWeapon9

Why do I have to pay for a browser. I can just use my computer.

BloodMist
BloodMist

Those Mii avatars are the best idea EVER!Perfect for every online capable game, if not in the actual game itself, then in a lobby for every game, which i guess they were showing in one of the vids.

DJGeki
DJGeki

While the Wii sounds great, I don't see the point in paying for the browser...

drxym
drxym

You need a keyboard for browsing. You CANNOT browse without one. I have browsers on my PSP and on a Pocket PC with pen input. Browsing on either is a painful experience. Just entering a URL is a pain. Trying to type something (such as this message) would be agony. The Wii has USB and bluetooth so it may just be tolerable if it supports keyboards through either mechanism.

surenintendo
surenintendo

Wii is wicked. I LUUUUUVVVVV THE MEE, errr.... Mii AVATAR!!!

gozyaj
gozyaj

Mii avatar... yes. online extravaganzzzz.... cool. Nintendo.... Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!

Chaad_Losan
Chaad_Losan

Nintendo in going to make a Killing. They will be making money years before anyone else. It will change gaming and will leave the ps3 out in the cold.

dell900
dell900

sweet! this is going to be sssssssooooooooooooo cccooooolllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nintendo Wii for life! oh yia!

Kyo__man66
Kyo__man66

this is awesome im going to make a Mii

BigA231
BigA231

That is sooooooooo COOOOOOOOOLLLLL!!!! :D

rokkuman09
rokkuman09

Wow! This is going to be awesome! Nintendo really has got their act together! I think it's quite possible they could come out number 1!

shaakti123
shaakti123

Well, I never doubted Nintnedo for a second. I want one so bad!!!!!! the only problem is that if their next-gen system is going to backwards-compatable with the wii, it HAS to operate the same way as the wii: with the interactive controller.

ridethefire908
ridethefire908

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Guitargod00
Guitargod00

Okay this system is AWESOME! but.. If you think about it, what can nintendo add to it? When this ysytem comes out it will probably almost NEVER get old so nintendo may not make any new systems after this!

SUPERMANJOSEPH
SUPERMANJOSEPH

oh my dayz man this is like the coolest thing ive heard about the wii for sure i so badly want one now on the day it comes out.

lunchboxer
lunchboxer

AWESOME! i wish the web browser was free though

UnknownSage
UnknownSage

This will make games more interesting then before. Way to go Wii :-)

Zer022
Zer022

I love the the Wii since the day Mr. Iwata debuted the controller for the Wii I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Razorpunkk
Razorpunkk

This is gonna be f*cking cool!!! I'm getting a Wii for sure!

_Sam_
_Sam_

looking good!

Sw0rDMaN
Sw0rDMaN

I really think the Wii will be awesome!

jingwa
jingwa

Pritty nifty, there seems to be a heap of stuff which the Wii can do that i will actually use lol, which is pritty cool, im liking the Wii more and more each day and i was already sold after i got a look at the new controler being used. Lots of Nintendo goodness and almost everything comes at no cost, thank god Nintendo isnt folowing microsoft or Sony in business stragety or we would be looking at a long price list instead.

boblighte
boblighte

Photo editing! Bet your PS3 doesn't have THAT. But maybe it does. I dunno. Sounded like a cool thing to say.

Pett1
Pett1

Well so Nintendo pulled the dvd-player of the machine. BUT, what I was thinking about is that maybe they are looking at the future with that (and not just only that dvd-players are so cheap today)... Instead of having a dvd player on the machine, maybe they will have down-loadable movies. Which you get to your Wii and then are able to watch, lets say for the next 24 hours. Like an 24h license. And not to go ahead of things, but they Do have to "coming soon" slots on the site (www.wii.com)... Could one of them be a "Wii-Movies" ?? :D I do HOPE so....

japanesegoth
japanesegoth

"Hmmm... as much as the question has been asked a dozen times, I wonder if I'm paying for the internet browser only or if I'd have to subscribe to surf? Not only that, but how am I going to browse with a remote control? Maybe they should have a keyboard (Wiiboard?) add-on, because I don't really see it working out. " you only have to pay for the browser, then it's free...though i don't really care much for having to pay for a browser that they say is free for other stuff. i'm not even getting it anyway since i don't have the internet at home

frblaze
frblaze

@MBolton "Wii will have built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi connectivity allowing communication over the Internet and with the Nintendo DS. Nintendo has stated that Wii will implement standard Wi-Fi protocols. An optional USB adapter planned for release will provide network connectivity via wired Ethernet.[1] Wii also can communicate and connect with other Wii systems by wireless LAN, enabling local wireless multiplayer on different television sets." If you don't have a Wi-Fi hotspot in your area, then you must buy an adapter to hook it up to your router. But remember that the online service won't begin until earlier next year, so you'll have plenty of time to ask more questions about it or how to set it up.

MajicManj
MajicManj

Romuska86 MajicManj, don't forget. The Wii has usb ports. You can easily just plug in a normal keyboard. That is true. But I was hoping for a cordless keyboard designed for the Wii to be designed with gaming in mind. Not for nothing, but having a flight game similar to Tie Fighter vs. X-Wing over the net with the Wii remote handling like the control stick in an actual cockpit with a keyboard to handle other functions would be a great use for the Wii. Also, the Wii rmote works similar to a mouse and is a lazer pointer, so working with a keyboard also makes for easy RTS development.

jmac777
jmac777

Mii Message boards..kills all theory that Wii wouldnt have Xbox live like features...Buuyahhh Wii haters...

generic_user123
generic_user123

im already marking the calendar,waiting for its release...

Jandurin
Jandurin

Wirelessly connected in and out of the box. Just need to make sure the puppy is turned on.

aashkii
aashkii

Nintendo is definately giving us what we need for the Wii. Viva la Revolution... urr Wii!

MBolton
MBolton

The one thing that I haven't seen mentioned in this thread (I looked through 4 pages of comments and didn't see it) is whether the Wi-Fi capability of the Wii works right out of the box, or whether you have to pay extra for a wireless adapter of some sort? I kind of got burned a bit by the 360 and their creative wording about WiFi and i have learned that "WiFi capable" essentially means "you'll need to spend an extra $100 on a wireless adapter".