Wii News - in a word, awesome. Apple?
Last year, Nintendo announced that it would be sending out several free updates (read: new applications, hear that, Apple?) for its Wii game console - a Weather Channel, a News Channel, and an Internet Channel (web browser). The Weather Channel was impressive, the web browser was nice, and now the News Channel’s out. It’s really, really well done, with live updated news content provided to your Wii via a wireless Internet connection by the Associated Press. Working through the features chronologically means that the good pictures are near the bottom, so click on the headline above to see what’s here.
The channel defaults to a highly functional, but visually plain set of mostly text menus. On the first screen, you can pick from the standard news genres - national, international, sports, entertainment, technology, and so on - and then navigate all of the recent stories from a given genre using the second screen. Nintendo doesn’t appear to be filtering the news, so one of this morning’s top stories in technology was the announcement of the PlayStation 3’s European launch details, and stories about deaths and crimes are all part of the mix. (Parental controls are still part of the Wii for concerned parents, allowing you to turn Wii News off for kids.) The excitement starts when you hit Slide Show, a feature that provides quick news headlines (a few seconds each) using an animated, moving globe, plus AP photography if there is any. Then it gets better. Much better.
Click the headline for the rest of the pictures and features.
So, while you’re reading national or international news stories, a map appears on the right side of the screen to show you where the news is originating from - or, at least, datelined. Clicking on the map brings up a zoomable globe, which you’ll recognize from Wii Weather, plus stacks of news stories from each country or region. The more you zoom out from the globe, the more the stories regionalize, becoming part of the “Tokyo Area,” “Caracas Area,” or even “Nashville Area” for all of America, improbable as that may seem. Region naming aside, this is a super cool way to show off what’s happening around the globe, even if the news volume skews towards North American because of the provider.
International slide shows will call up this nice map of the world at the top of the screen, along with pictures and headline summaries. A green screen comes up if no dateline’s provided, and the picture just disappears if no photo’s part of the news feed. Nintendo’s handled this all beautifully.
The actual news reading portion’s not shabby, either. There’s a full-screen viewing mode - the default, it seems - and also a paned view where the map is shown on the right while the text is on the left. You can zoom the text to larger proportions for your TV, or keep it smaller if your vision (or TV) is better. Photos can also be scaled to full-screen display.
Missing? A way to call up older news stories. A way to force the Wii to call up breaking news and other new stories. And the ability to do anything - say, e-mail/Wii-mail - with the news stories other than read them. Playing with the Wii’s buttons, you’ll find that 1 makes the glove cursor into a red underliner, but nothing can be done with the underlined text, and it disappears every time you close the story. Sort of odd. But so much of what Wii News does is fantastically implemented - as with Wii Weather, it should have been a feature of the newly rechristened Apple TV, because there is a place for light, properly formatted informational content on a home television set, and Nintendo’s setting the standard for how it should be done. Wii owners, check your Wii’s e-mail box this morning - it’s a free download from Nintendo, with an Update button in the e-mail you’ve received.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Screen protector installation now available at Apple Stores
- Russia mulling tax increase on App Store purchases, other Apple services
- Lawyers threaten to sue Apple over ‘Error 53’ codes disabling iPhones
- Apple releases iOS 9.3 beta 3, tvOS 9.2 beta 3, watchOS 2.2 beta 3 to developers
- Indie game ‘The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth’ rejected by Apple over violence toward children
- Apple likely to receive approval to open retail stores in India
- Study finds Apple Watch is best fitness tracker for privacy, security
- Conflicting reports over pink color to be featured in iPhone 5se
- Report: Some third-party repairs ‘bricking’ iPhones with iOS 9
- Report: Apple to bid on NFL Thursday Night Football streaming rights
- Gumdrop Cases DropTech Case for iPad Pro
- Edifier MP700 Rave Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Just Mobile HoverDock for Apple Watch + HoverDock for iPhone
- VRS Design Dandy Layered Case for iPad Pro
- Just Mobile TENC for iPad Pro
- Native Union DOCK Lightning
- Native Union DOCK for Apple Watch
- Hitcase Pro+ Action Pack and Snap for iPhone 6/6s
- Urban Armor Gear Trooper for iPhone 6/6s
- NEBO CaseBrite for iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 8.4 + Apple Music
- CE Week 2015: IK Multimedia, Monowear’s Apple Watch bands + More
- Live From CE Week 2015: Brand New iPad, iPhone + Mac Accessories!