The Wii interface contains a number of channels for interactive and online content. Using the Wiimote as a pointing device you can navigate through these channels for your entertainment.
The forecast channel lets you see what the weather is like, both in your area and elsewhere in the world. The interface is similar to Google Earth, you can spin the globe using a flick of the Wiimote. You can then zoom in on places and drag the map at a slower pace. The map will have basic weather symbols giving you an idea of the weather in that area. Naturally this channel relies on an Internet connection to function.
As its name suggests, the news channel gives you access to the news. Using an Internet connection it will display the latest headlines for you to browse. Selecting one will bring up the appropriate news article for you to read.
The innovative Mii software allows you to create little caricature versions of people. These people can be customised extensively, with varying height, weight, hairstyles, colors, accessories and facial features. Your people are then stored on the Wiimote's built-in memory and included in certain games like Wii Sports, essentially putting you in the game!
The photo channel allows you to load in pictures taken with your digital camera via the SD memory card slot. It can display a maximum of approximately 1,000 photos. Many fun options exist which allow you to doodle or add effects to your photos or any frame of a video clip. The file formats supported are JPGs of up to 8192x8192 for photos, and QuickTime videos of up to 848x480.
A special version of Opera has been developed to allow Wii users to browse the web on their TV sets using the Wiimote. Rumors exist that the Opera software will be free to download within the first 6 months of the Wii's life, this is not yet confirmed.
On the shopping channel you'll be able to download your favorite classic Nintendo games to play on the Virtual Console or newer WiiWare titles. Purchases are made using a points system, whereby a 100 points is roughly equivalent to a dollar.
Like its name suggests, "Everybody Votes" lets you (and anyone else who has a Mii on your console) to vote on polls. New polls are posted every few days and have 2 answers to choose from, for example "If you were a time traveler - Would you go to the past or the future?". You can also cast a prediction on which option will be most popular. Results are updated after a week or so, and you can see fun statistics based on nationality and gender.
This is another Mii-oriented channel for entertainment and community building. Users can browse a wide selection of Miis based on famous people, characters or themes and download them into their own systems. There's also a biweekly contest where you can submit your own Miis.
The Nintendo Channel will keep you up to date on the latest news for Wii and DS games, with interviews, documentaries and downloadable demos for DS titles.
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Nintendo should do this more.
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