Wii News Channel is a new online news service featuring top worldwide news stories and photos in multiple languages such as English, French, Spanish, Dutch, German, and Swiss-German, provided primarily by The Associated Press in US, or a variety of sources in Japanese through a feed from Internet portal Goo in Japan, for Nintendo popular and family-friendly Wii game console. Wii News Channel service is accessible from the Wii’s main menu after downloading a software update and refresh. To use the service to access latest news on Wii, a broadband connection via WiiConnect24 is needed to keeps the console always connected to the Internet to download updates automatically. Wii games and users will also need Opera web browser which the trial available for download.


Once the Wii firmware is been upgraded, a button for the news channel will be displayed alongside with other Wii online features such as Wii Weather Forecast Channel and the Wii Shop Channel. There are a few ways to filter and get the news you want to read on Wii. At main menu, the AP news contents are sorted into a few categories, namely National, International, Sports, Arts, Entertainment, Business, Science, Health, and Technology news. Beside, news can also be navigated and displayed through an interactive map with a globe, which users can navigate with the Wii’s wireless controller to sort and filter the news by region or ares of the world. When Will enthusiasts scroll through the globe, icons will pop up next to cities that with the number of stories that relate to the city. Or Wii gamers can also use the “slide show” feature which displays news ticker at the bottom of the screen with corresponding images and story locations show up on the globe. Users can always zoom in and out to increase or decrease text size or picture size in an article.

iTWire (link dead) has a first impression review on Wii News Channel and concludes that the “Wii concept of channels has born new fruit with the introduction of the News Channel to the Nintendo game console. The News Channel gives you the same ability to jet set around and select stories, stacked like piles of paper of differing sizes depending on zoom level and available content. It is a simple interface using the Wii-mote to select, zoom and scroll through news. It works elegantly. As it stands at the moment, I see the News Channel as a “nice to have” (especially for free – apart from data download) but not compelling feature. This is the same statement you could say about Weather channel on the Wii, but taken as a whole, the Wii concept is a winner and provides a convenient further option in today’s fast paced information age.”

Ars Technica reviews Wii News Channel and concludes that News Channel is a nice addition to the Wii’s growing list of functionality. It’s simple, easy to use and attractive: all the key assets that Nintendo hopes will suck in the non-gamer. Is it perfect? No. But as far as RSS readers go, this one sure is nice. Let’s just hope they find some way to integrate this data into a game to extend its purpose.