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Summary:

As blogged a couple weeks ago, the Nintendo Wii will support Web browsing via Opera, with Nintendo’s Perrin Kaplan suggesting that users would “download an Opera browser using Wii points and surf the web”; since then, the story’s gotten even sweeter. The Norway firm behind Opera […]

As blogged a couple weeks ago, the Nintendo Wii will support Web browsing via Opera, with Nintendo’s Perrin Kaplan suggesting that users would “download an Opera browser using Wii points and surf the web”; since then, the story’s gotten even sweeter. The Norway firm behind Opera just announced that their browser will be free for Wii owners until next June.

Videogamesblogger even posted a cool YouTube demo of the Wii-powered Web in action, while reporting that “[t]he Wii remote control will also be an integral part of browsing, allowing users to intuitively control the Web with their Wii remotes.” This is confirmation to a specific point I had speculated on earlier, that the wand-like Wii control could help usher in a new era of the Web as a medium, moving beyond the mouse-and-keyboard controls that have been the standard for over 10 years, and toward something like a 3D Web.

(Why just point and click on an Internet that looks like disparate pages of data, when you can wave your wand to explore a Net that looks more like, well, a videogame? And wouldn’t a generation raised on games prefer that over a PC-driven Web, anyway?) Nintendo has promised more information on Wii’s Web capabilities closer to the console’s November launch, and I’ll be waiting with bated breath to see how much (or how little) the console drives the future of Web development.

  1. I’m pretty sure that Nintendo WII will dominate the nextgen Console Market.

    Just think about MySpace on your TV…

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  2. I see one HUGE fundamental issue with this. I have the same issue with using my PSP’s web browser, and that is that it’s a limited experience at best. No matter how slick the interface or how novel the idea of access the ‘net from a device without a keyboard is, all you can do is point and click! How many of you reading this can honestly say you can surf without using a keyboard? Bringing up an on-screen alphabet and individually choosing letters to write out a URL is EXTREMELY tedious and gets old fast. Other than quickly checking an email (but NOT responding), or checking out some bookmarked sites this type of interface is useless in my opinion. The web is a two way system, you TELL it what you are looking for and they it returns your results. Perhaps Nintendo is planning on building some sort of a portal into the browser, but then who even uses portals these days?? As far as I am concerned, web access without a real keyboard will never be more than a novelty.

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  3. If you have seen the application downloading process that Wii has displayed they have unlimited of options with the update service. Using online services as software for their viewers supplies them with a lot of options and configuration probabilities . For example, it could be a gateway for creating unique widgets pertaining to a regular service which gets communities that people get “everyday usage” out of.

    Just as they offered the Wii Browser for a small fee (then changed minds to free until June) they can add services and create an easy display interface for what the Wii remotes configuration which is what the system is all about. Like the Globe usage (Google earth rundown IMO) can really push efforts with the updating system where you may be able to order some grub from the set easily or even add a friend locater\caller with other services – they are numerous possibilities. It is the internet we are talking about here, not just the browser.

    There will be ways to get around not using a keyboard which they have displayed, and like the PSP you’ll only be entering once anyway (history and bookmarks people!!). Also something to note is that it is an updatable system, so who’s to say Nintendo wants to stop there and not go with the video mail, online voice chat, to spice things up and avoid KB and mouse overall. Or even a writing recognition with the Wii – it would be fun to see and think of these possibilities that could earn Nintendo a nice spot. A part they are not taking on too serious which is media can be done now with the Wii playing as the gateway – I won’t go too far until it is seen but I am sure they can pave a way for online media here for the users and create it’s own MySpace – that is where the innovation lies for Nintendo and the newer gaming communities (next-gen, not really PS3 and 360). Any unit with an updating system offers a lot of productivity but not innovation – so we will see what Nintendo do to get in the race of not only gaming but community bondage and media…

    CyKiller

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  4. InterNetMan, surely Nintendo and/or 3rd parties will sell a wireless keyboard add-on.

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  5. I agree with Aaron, Nintendo will make these optional services unique – they have already announced a few new social services which can be found at the link below:

    http://www.joystiq.com/2006/09/27/new-wii-features-message-board-and-play-history/

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  6. Honestly, doesn’t the wii have USB ports where you can plug in a keyboard?

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  7. yes it does have usb ports… look at pics of the wii, there on the back.

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