When the Wii arrives in stores on Sunday, it will do so without some of its promised functionality. Nintendo today announced that users looking to surf the Web, check the weather, or peruse the news on their Wii systems will need to wait a while.
The Forecast Channel, which will provide users with free constantly updated weather reports from around the world, will go live December 20. Information for the channel, which allows users to manipulate a 3D globe to find their forecasts, will be provided by Japan-based Weathernews.
That debut will be followed by the arrival of the Wii News Channel on January 27. Once live, the Wii News Channel will provide users with constantly updated headlines from around the world, courtesy of the Associated Press.
The Wii Web Broswer will also trail the system's launch, though it's not clear by how much. Nintendo said only that more information about the browser's availability "will be released in the coming weeks." The browser's developer, Opera Software, has said that it will be free to download until June 2007 and will be sold on the Wii Shop Channel after that.
As for the Wii Shop Channel, Nintendo says it will be up and running on day one, offering at least a dozen Virtual Console games for users to download. Gamers whose retro favorites aren't in the initial batch can take some comfort in Nintendo's announcement that new games will be made available on the service every Monday after launch.