The last few days there have been some nice new additions to the Wii. Yesterday they finally added the Forecast Channel. I think it is kind of fun, though I think some base functionality that had been planned has been taken out. I remember during some press events that the press were talking about how you could move your remote forward to zoom in and back to zoom out. I had thought these were really cool ways to use the remote functionality in programs you wouldn’t first think could use them. However, they must not have worked well because they aren’t there anymore.
Be that as it may, the forecast works as a forecast should. It gives current conditions, today’s forecast, and a 5 day forecast. It also has wind speed and UV rating. It is also kind of fun to zoom out, spin the world and stop it to see what the weather is like in some random area. However, there aren’t a ton of cities included. There are perhaps 7 or 8 cities in the state of Wisconsin, mine is included so it is no problem. But if you want to take a trip to a more remote area you might be SOL. Though this may not be a huge deal as a lot of remote places have no weather report anyway. I also would have liked some other info like Wind Chill, maybe a history of the previous day or two so you could know how much snow or rain might have come the day before.
I also don’t think it makes predictions as to how much we might expect in the future. It just says it may rain or snow, not how much other than flurries, or mild or other such word descriptions. As odd as it seems, probably the nicest feature on the channel is that when you first click on the channel in the menu, it will give you the current conditions screen without even going in which is kind of nice if you are planning on going out, you can access that info quickly.
The browser was also added today. I think it is a beta version however, I don’t mind. It works like a dream. I can’t tell you how fun it is to surf on the web. It isn’t perfect, but it’s not bad. Typing is a little horrible on the on screen keypad, but you don’t have to type in more than say google, to go to google. no http, no .com, nothin. Even so, you will be adding sites fairly quickly to your favorites list if you go there a lot. The favorites list is set up very nicely too…. it appears in the same small picture of the site that you see from the main menu on the wii so there is some cohesiveness there.
However one knock I have on it is that unlike the Wii Menu where you can click A & B to drag stuff around and reposition everything, you can’t do this on the Favorites view. You have to go to an edit screen, click a move button, then click what you want to move, then click whereto. It is much more work, but i think they made it this way to add a delete and rename feature to the list. I think it would have been better to drag and drop however, and maybe it will release by the time it hits official release.
There is a bunch of other stuff I don’t like about it, scrolling seems unintuitive. I like that they tried to incorporate the control for it, you have to hold down b while moving the remote up down or left and right, but it seems odd not to use the control pad for this which seems much more natural. I also wish there was a button to bring up the address bar so that I wouldn’t have to return to the homepage to go to a new site. I’d like to see a button to hide and show the bottom toolbar. Other than that, I actually really like the browser and will probably buy it when it comes time to pay.
I hope they fix it, add more functionality and all that though. It isn’t exactly natural to browse the web on the internet but it does allow some nice ways to send pictures and stuff from the wii to other people. It also is nice to watch YouTube on the TV, it seems more natural there.
Overall, not a bad start for either. I like em both and look forward to the release of the News Channel in a month.