Wii to receive dedicated iPlayer channel

BBC promises an "improved viewing experience" from iPlayer integration into the Wii home menu.

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Recently, console manufacturers have been racing to add non-gaming features to their machines. Microsoft's upcoming dashboard update will add Facebook, Twitter, and Last.fm integration to the Xbox 360 on November 17, while Sony is rumoured to be adding Facebook support to the PlayStation 3. Sony also recently integrated BBC iPlayer into the video channel of the PlayStation 3 XMB, an addition that proved so popular, the console is now the second most popular method for watching iPlayer, accounting for 10 percent of all usage.

This success was clearly noted by Nintendo, who today announced that the Wii will be given its own dedicated iPlayer channel on the main home menu. Though iPlayer was previously accessible via the Wii's Web browser, the BBC promises that the integrated player will offer a "faster, high-quality, and improved viewing experience."

The BBC iPlayer launched in 2007, and the service has grown to receive 75 million requests per month for radio and television programmes. The service originally rolled out to the PS3 and Wii toward the end of 2008, paving the way for its availability on over 20 devices.

The iPlayer channel will be available for free in the UK via the Wii Shop channel on November 18.

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