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Nintendo Makes Opera Wii Web Browser Free

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 39 comments

It's frii.

Shortly after the Nintendo Wii launched, so too did a beta version of an Internet Channel that allowed users to browse the Web for free using Opera. The download was free for all Wii owners until the last day of June 2007, after which it ran for $5 or 500 Wii Points.

Starting today, however, Nintendo is now making the web free for all, meaning that you can low go into the Wii Shop and purchase the Internet browser channel for free. This, of course, might sting if you have already paid 500 Wii Points for the browser; but Nintendo is going to try to make things better by offering all those who have purchased the channel a free NES, Super NES or Nintendo 64 Virtual Console game for free.

Do any of you actually use your Wii to browse the web? How do things look in 480p?

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  • 5 Hide
    itrendslave , September 1, 2009 10:36 PM
    The web browsing on the Wii is handy if you don't have any other method of doing it... but mostly it's just a hassle, unless you have a real keyboard for it. Maybe a quick glance at a nice rack (for guns, of course) between Mario Kart races would be nice.
  • 1 Hide
    TheViper , September 1, 2009 10:42 PM
    The browser has a very clever zooming system which makes 480i/p Internet browsing much more bearable that one would suspect.

    While not the greatest browser I've ever used, it has served as a back up several times while working on my desktop.

    This new update makes the app take up less space than before, it operates much faster and supports Flash Lite 3.0 which is based on Flash 8 allowing it to view most online videos now.

    The free game is certainly a nice way to give back to those who paid for the app after Dec 31, 2007.
  • 1 Hide
    acecombat , September 1, 2009 10:50 PM
    Sounds like Nintendo want users to get the free browser, which requires updated Wii software to access the shop now, which also coincidently stops access to running homebrew :( 
  • 3 Hide
    radiowars , September 1, 2009 10:55 PM
    I like it. It's good for looking up cheats/FAQS. Glad to get my 5 bucks back too :D 
  • 1 Hide
    Major7up , September 1, 2009 10:58 PM
    Wii web browsing is great for my grandparents, who find it easier to use.
  • 4 Hide
    beehew , September 1, 2009 10:58 PM
    Downloaded the browser a year ago with the intent of watching Hulu on my TV with it. It needed a flash plug-in that was only available to IE or FF. Have not used it since. If they've updated the browser, I might look at using it again.
  • 0 Hide
    spacepirate , September 1, 2009 11:12 PM
    A recent update allowed it to work with a USB keyboard. I've got a cheap wireless dongle attached, which makes it almost usable. Unfortunately, caching to it's flash memory is very slow, and so streaming youtube videos (the only thing that this is any good for) is pretty much a no-go.

    Maybe this is paving the road for a future update?
  • -6 Hide
    matt87_50 , September 1, 2009 11:33 PM
    wow, nintendo was charging money for a lower quality product than what you get on the PS3 (and i can only assume the xbox) for FREE?

    nah, nintendo doesn't rip people off....
  • -4 Hide
    asdf634 , September 1, 2009 11:39 PM
    "meaning that you can low go into the Wii"
  • -1 Hide
    asdf634 , September 1, 2009 11:50 PM
    Quote:
    low go into the Wii


    New phrase for the Geek Dictionary ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    AMDnoob , September 1, 2009 11:56 PM
    Matt87_50wow, nintendo was charging money for a lower quality product than what you get on the PS3 (and i can only assume the xbox) for FREE?nah, nintendo doesn't rip people off....


    well i dont know if you caught the memo (aka this article) but now it's free and they're reimbursing those (through a game) that had to purchase it. And anyways i got mine during the free period. It's a capable browser, i was surprised when it stated playing youtube videos, i was like "whoo" this could go somewhere. and actual input though is slow, it's like hunt and peck typing. but i was able to get my wireless microsoft keyboard to work w/ it (a god send) so now it's really cool
  • 2 Hide
    skora , September 2, 2009 12:26 AM
    I can't believe Matt87 said that nintendo rips people off when the system itself (compared to all the other launches) did so for half the cost. That's short sighted.

    I think this will be worth a look now. Load up the browser in side by side pic on my big screen and look up hockey stats while watching the Red Wings make another run for the CUP.
  • 1 Hide
    ThisIsMe , September 2, 2009 12:30 AM
    and to add to the above comment...

    I've used the browser on the PS3 and it sucks. The browser is a little slow on the Wii, but the browser on the PS3 takes forever when tying to few pages that have multiple flash objects. At least on the Wii it just doesn't show what it can't. The PS3 just tries to show everything, even if it takes 5 minutes to process each page. Bad implementation on Sony's part.
  • 0 Hide
    megamanx00 , September 2, 2009 12:47 AM
    Even since I tried to use the browser on the Dream Cast I realized that gaming systems aren't meant to be web browsers :D . No I'll stick to my computer thank you.
  • 1 Hide
    TheViper , September 2, 2009 1:10 AM
    Matt87_50wow, nintendo was charging money for a lower quality product than what you get on the PS3 (and i can only assume the xbox) for FREE?nah, nintendo doesn't rip people off....

    The PS3 browser is free (though slow to use) and the Xbox 360 does not offer a web browser at all. Not to forget hat the Wii web browser was offered to for while in beta form to anyone prior to Jan 01, 2008.

    I'd advise that you get your facts in order next time before attempting to demean a product.
  • 0 Hide
    amnotanoobie , September 2, 2009 4:33 AM
    thisismeI've used the browser on the PS3 and it sucks. The browser is a little slow on the Wii, but the browser on the PS3 takes forever when tying to few pages that have multiple flash objects. At least on the Wii it just doesn't show what it can't. The PS3 just tries to show everything, even if it takes 5 minutes to process each page. Bad implementation on Sony's part.


    The PS3/PSP browser was made by NetFront and not in-house. I have yet to see a NetFront browser that didn't suck.
  • -2 Hide
    matt87_50 , September 2, 2009 4:54 AM
    ok, I think I write poorly my comment before...

    What I was trying to say was: on the ps3 you get the browser for free, then Nintendo had the nerve to try and make people pay for a browser on the wii?

    However, if the browser is higher quality, I suppose it could have been justified.

    BUT Nintendo do rip people off!
    The Wii was half the price of the other consoles at launch? maybe so, but it probably costs about 1/4 what the ps3 costs to build, even the xbox. Hardware wise it is a very incremental upgrade to the gamecube. so much so they were originally just going to release the motion controllers for the game cube, but they decided to release it all as a 'new' console instead. AND IT HASN'T DROPPED A CENT! you can get the xbox for cheaper than it now! and the DSi is EVEN WORSE! its basically the same thing! just a slightly beefed up DS with some novelties like the cameras. the ds came out in 2004! and you can get a brand new iTouch for the SAME PRICE!

    You know you're ripping people off if an APPLE product is a good deal by comparison!
  • -1 Hide
    anamaniac , September 2, 2009 6:22 AM
    Marcus YamHow do things look in 480p?


    I already hate it from that comment alone. =D
  • 0 Hide
    IzzyCraft , September 2, 2009 7:18 AM
    Give it flash 9 at least so it can run most flash things and then it will be usefull
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