Nintendo Makes Opera Wii Web Browser Free

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?

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • bige420
    I dont have a wii....
  • itrendslave
    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.
  • TheViper
    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.
  • acecombat
    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 :(
  • radiowars
    I like it. It's good for looking up cheats/FAQS. Glad to get my 5 bucks back too :D
  • Major7up
    Wii web browsing is great for my grandparents, who find it easier to use.
  • beehew
    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.
  • spacepirate
    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?
  • matt87_50
    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....
  • asdf634
    "meaning that you can low go into the Wii"