When Nintendo originally unveiled the Opera Web browser for the Wii, known as the Wii Internet Channel, it offered the program for free. However, Nintendo later announced that the browser would cost 500 Wii points (£7.50, $5) after being available gratis for a limited time.
Today, Nintendo announced that the Internet Channel is once again available on the Wii Shop Channel for free--and will cost nothing for the rest of the Wii life cycle. Users that already paid for the browser will be offered a free virtual console NES title with a value of 500 Wii points in late October. Gamers will be able to choose from titles, such as Super Mario Bros. 3, Castlevania, and platformer Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa.
The Wii and PlayStation 3 are the only consoles to include Internet browsing. The Xbox 360 does not have a dedicated browser, though Web-based applications, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Last.fm* are on the way. The Wii's browser not only supports couch-friendly Web-surfing, but its Adobe Flash support also allows for streaming video from sites, such as YouTube and the BBC iPlayer in the UK, though at lower quality than a PC.
*=Last.fm is owned by GameSpot’s parent company CBS Interactive.