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The News Channel Global View allows you to look at news topics geographically

The detailed view of the Wii News Channel gives the reader the impression he is reading a newspaper
Nintendo's newest update adds an interactive news channel

Early this morning Nintendo quietly launched its long awaited Wii News Channel.  The channel was slated for a January 27, 2007 launch, but it appears those who have the console can already use the software.

The news feed only posts articles via the Associated Press and only a few categories are currently supported: National News, International News, Sports, Arts/Entertainment, Business, Science/Health and Technology.

The feed also features a "SlideShow" mode that allows users to watch as article headlines and leadlines zip past while outlining the dateline location on a map. 

The feature that sets Wii News Channel apart from a generic AP news feed is the "Globe" function.  By clicking this option in the lower right hand corner, each article becomes an icon on an interactive globe.  You can use the pointer to move the cursor around, zoom, tilt  or rotate the globe. When there are multiple articles in a single region, the articles stack on top of each other.

There is no ability to include alternate or additional feeds for the News Channel yet. The Nintendo Wii Forecast Channel went live on December 22, 2006.

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Why I still wish the Wii had HD output...
By CKDragon on 1/26/2007 9:16:32 AM , Rating: 5
OK, I hope this doesn't start a flame war or anything because trust me, my fiance and I both LOVE our Wii, but these peripheral features are exactly why I wish the Wii was capable of HD output.

I haven't had the chance to use the news channel yet, but I'm speaking from my experience with the Opera browser channel. I have a Samsung 56" DLP HDTV and I would really like the ability to do some minor net surfing from my couch without having to constantly zoom in whenever I wanted to be able to read text.

Hopefully, considering these news stories are ONLY text that they will be presented on the screen without the need for zooming.

I can absolutely live with the fact that the games may never go above 720x480p, but why can't I browse the web, read news stories, or use the channel menus in general in (at least) 720p?

By Canizorro on 1/26/2007 9:47:18 AM , Rating: 2
That's a great idea. Allow the operating system to run in HD, since it won't need great graphics power to display web pages and the Wii channels, and then let the games stay in SD. I wonder if they could do an update that would enable a higher resolution like Microsoft did with the 360?

RE: Why I still wish the Wii had HD output...
By tenguman on 1/26/2007 11:14:30 AM , Rating: 2
Am I the only one who thinks this is useless? Seriously though, if you have a Wii hooked up to the Internet, chances are you have a computer hooked up as well. So why the hell would you want to "read" the news on your Wii when you could get it 100x faster on you PC? That goes the same for the Wii Weather channel. I simply don't get it.

By Josh7289 on 1/26/2007 12:00:00 PM , Rating: 2
This coming from a Nintendo fan, I don't see the point of it, either. I tried browsing on my TV with the Dreamcast. it didn't work then, and basically the same thing still doesn't work on Wii. The weather channel only has major cities. (Why not just turn on The Weather Channel (TV Station)?) I haven't tried the news channel yet, but as you said, doing anything on the Internet on a PC is much faster and far easier.

And the Wii itself...I was sold on it the moment it was announced, but after actually playing it, I'm not so sure. I haven't played a game on it yet that has really felt intuitive or natural, and having to keep the Remote positioned correctly and all that jazz is a bit tiring and really doesn't feel worth it. I know some people didn't like the DS at first (even though I did), but it seems like everyone loves the Wii right away (unlike me...).

By sprockkets on 1/26/2007 12:29:36 PM , Rating: 1
Trust me, output of 720x480p from my computer is MUCH easier to read than squinting when it outputs 1920x1080 at 60hz. DLP may be better, but I have a CRT, and it NATIVELY shows 1080i.

I will also add using the component cable helps. I bought a cheap one off ebay, screw the $60 cost from like best buy.

By kinnoch on 1/26/2007 1:31:24 PM , Rating: 2
The news channel isn't like the web browser at all. It is very easy to read. Even if you enlarge the font you won't ever have to scroll left or right. However, I can't see myself using this feature.

By Shlong on 1/26/2007 3:42:08 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think it looks that bad. I bought those cheap $9 component cables from play-asia & its looks decent at 480p on my samsung 56" dlp & looks even better on my 32" lcd. But yeah I wish they would at least have 1280x720 but I don't think it'll be possible.

I'll admit it, I chuckled at the image
By Chris Peredun on 1/26/2007 8:39:01 AM , Rating: 5
A "Coming Soon" article for the PS3 ... on the Wii browser. Clever.

By ObscureCaucasian on 1/26/2007 5:16:29 PM , Rating: 2
Was it PGR..... I mean GT:HD

RE: I'll admit it, I chuckled at the image
By jtesoro on 1/27/2007 5:21:44 AM , Rating: 2
What are those lights reflecting off the TV? Someone still have their Christmas lights up? :)

By KristopherKubicki on 1/28/2007 4:58:27 AM , Rating: 2
Too busy running DailyTech to take down my lights... or get a good camera :-P

Need More Functional Web Browser
By dwelve on 1/26/2007 2:48:11 PM , Rating: 2
All the Wii needs is a more functional Web Browser and then you wouldn't need all these other "features". The Weather and News Channel is all fine and dandy, but I get a lot more mileage with simple RSS/XML/ATOM/etc. Feeds -- for example, just logging into my Google Homepage alone gives me most of the information I need/want in terms of News/Weather/E-mail/Calendar/etc.

Just imagine if Nintendo opened up it's Developer Toolkit to the average Joe... so many possibilities...!

RE: Need More Functional Web Browser
By Phynaz on 1/26/2007 4:24:35 PM , Rating: 2
More functional than Opera?
What browser would that be?

RE: Need More Functional Web Browser
By dwelve on 1/26/2007 11:26:18 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not saying Opera for PC/OSX/Linux is not functional, but Opera BETA for Wii still needs a lot of work. Plus higher-resolution support, as a previous commenter has stated.

Nice feature
By GreenEnvt on 1/26/2007 8:08:30 AM , Rating: 2
It's a cool idea, especially the globe you can circle around to find stories in a country you want.
I doubt I'll use it much, as I am the type who just uses my Wii for games, and making comical Mii's of my friends and family.

RE: Nice feature
By darkdemyze on 1/26/2007 8:34:17 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, but I do like to use the forecast channel now and again to just play with and see what the weather is like around the world in an easy-to-use interface. It seems to be more of a novelty than anything else, same with the browser channel - I would rather just jump on the computer than deal with the cumbersome interface but it can be fun to show friends.

Need parental control
By borowki on 1/26/2007 9:59:16 AM , Rating: 2
A good feature I think is some kind of enforced system where by you can only play a game after reading the news. For instance, you get 10 min of playing time for spending 2 min on a news article.

RE: Need parental control
By bunnyfubbles on 1/27/2007 3:39:21 AM , Rating: 2
Pointless without a quiz system, nothing is to prevent browsing of the news channel without reading any of the articles.

Simple solution, if you want your kids to read make them read and quiz them yourself (talk about it) and then let them play.

This is off topic
By Dalceon on 1/26/2007 3:50:23 PM , Rating: 2
but does the term "wii" actually mean something specific?

RE: This is off topic
By Xavian on 1/26/2007 6:00:10 PM , Rating: 2
From Nintendo (although the page which had it on, doesn't exist anymore), of course the codename for Wii was Revolution:

introducing … Wii.

As in “we.”

While the code-name “Revolution” expressed our direction, Wii represents the answer.

Wii will break down that wall that separates video game players from everybody else.

Wii will put people more in touch with their games … and each other. But you’re probably asking: What does the name mean?

Wii sounds like “we,” which emphasizes this console is for everyone.

Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii.

Wii has a distinctive “ii” spelling that symbolizes both the unique controllers and the image of people gathering to play.

And Wii, as a name and a console, brings something revolutionary to the world of video games that sets it apart from the crowd.

So that’s Wii. But now Nintendo needs you.

Because, it’s really not about you or me.

It’s about Wii.

And together, Wii will change everything.

Agree and Disagree
By Holytrinity on 1/26/2007 7:55:53 PM , Rating: 2
I sort of agree and disagree with the arguments that people have brought up regarding this new channel. Speaking from first hand experience (I own a Wii and have used the channel), I can understand why some people say its too cumbersome to use or that there's no point for it considering most people can get this information from the internet using a PC. And I agree, on a personal level. However, for those not so 'computer literate' as us (ie, my parents) this is a great service. It puts all the world's news into a neat little channel that's easy to navigate through and eliminates the need to have to go search it out on the internet. Sure, it's 100x faster for *us* to find the news we want on the net, but my parents (as an example) would take 100x longer to find the broad range of information that is displayed on the news channel on the internet. I can actually see them using this channel (my dad has already expressed interest), whereas there is no way in hell I can see either of them using the internet to track down news or weather updates. It just wouldn't work. They'd get frustrated and quit within 5 minutes. They'd get to the desktop and say "OK, so what do I do now?" and in my opinion, I'd be bold enough to say that there are a lot of 50+ yr old people out there that are just like my parents where this new channel would really appeal to them. To the rest of us though, yeah, what's the point...

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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