BBC iPlayer launches Wii channel

iPlayer Wii Channel
iPlayer Wii Channel
Well it finally happened. It was hinted at long ago when the Beeb first made the iPlayer available for the Wii via its internet browser, but now it seems that there will be a dedicated channel on the Wii.

I’m glad that it finally came along. After the recent Internet Channel update, the iPlayer hasn’t been working. Seeing as there is a supposed Flash upgrade in the update, it seemed daft that it would be disabled.

Hopefully the new channel will stream the video more smoothly. It’s been over a year in the making…

Read more at BBC iPlayer launches Wii channel.

BBC iPlayer on Wii!

Well, I’m very excited.

The Beeb have made it possible for Wii users to watch streaming video with the iPlayer.

Right now, UK Wii owners who use the Internet Channel (£3.50 to you squire) can visit the iPlayer website and watch TV right now.

There are also hints that an iPlayer channel for the Wii will be available some time in the future (hopefully for free, but likely to be bundled with the Internet Channel).

This is great for that media convergent home. Ironically, the Wii is the console least likely to be touted as a multimedia center – and yet it’s the first of the current generation of consoles to be able to play the content.

Word is that the Playstation 3 will not be far behind – but Microsoft’s XBox360 will be unlikely to take part unless a deal can be made between MS and BBC.

I think that if the iPlayer Channel does manifest itself – I’ll be spending much more time on the Wii. Potentially, this could knock out a whole load of the Sky+ box’s usefulness along with it.

Wii Wii

I bought Claire and me a Nintendo Wii last month. I’ve found the console extremely enjoyable. I’ve had the standard fare of games such as Wii Sports and Wii Play. I managed to add a couple of games to the collection, too.

What I find greatly appealing about the Wii is that there is no doubt that it is targetting casual gamers.  I haven’t owned a games console since I had a SNES in my teens.

I think that it is a fair assessment to say that if I was a hardcore gamer who wanted to perfect every single game, I’d have opted for an XBox, or the mortgage-busting PS3. I think it’s fair to say that the PS3 priced itself out of the game any. The XBox wouls have probably been my choice of console.

Retro-gaming is Fun

One of the nice features of the Wii is the access of the Virtual Console store. Just for a bit of fun, I downloaded Sonic 2 and completed that over the period of a few half-hour sessions. I had forgetten how easy the game is.

Then I treated myself to Mario 64 this Easter. What a joyful surprise playing this game was. I’ve only just completed it with the 70 stars, but I feel compelled to crack on and go for all 120 stars. Mario moves well, and the whole motion is slick. “I feel like I missed out 10 years ago,” I told Steve while evangelically raving about a game he played on the N64 all that time ago.

Gamecube Bongos

One of the other neat things about the Wii is that it is 100% Gamecube compatible. We splurged on eBay by buying a Gamecube with 4 Bongos, Donkey Konga 1 & 2, a couple of controllers and a few other games.

Obviously, the Gamecube is immaterial to me, but over Christmas a colleague of Claire’s brought a pair of bongos and Donkey Konga around to our house. We had a great time, and I knew that I’d like to have a bit more of that!

I took the bongos up to Yorkshire and we played 4-way Donkey Konga and had a great time. It’s a cool party-piece. Probably more so than any Wii party games.

Cool Controller Stuff

One thing that really has got me excited (although I haven’t tried any of these things) is the extra stuff that you can do with a WiiMote. Johnny Chung Lee’s website has a number of projects that use the WiiMote for 3D headtracking (which is incredible), Minority Report-style finger controls and a makeshift interactive whiteboard. If you have a Wii (or even if you don’t) you should take a look.

So Where to?

I’ve been enjoying playing the thing. It will be interesting to see if I still play it in a year’s time. I’ve read on various gaming forums that people see it more as a fad than a real console. I’ve been more engaged by the drop-in/drop-out idea of playing games, so I think this fits quite nicely with me.