Nintendo Updates Internet Channel: Free to Download, NES Rebate, and More
One of the long-running problems with attempting to browse the internet with the Wii's Opera browser was the limited ability for it to implement Flash content, but with the latest update, that would seem to be a thing of the past-- at least, until Flash updates and we have to wait for a new Wii update.
The other item of significant note with this update is that, "as Nintendo encourages all customers and their families to enjoy browsing the internet from their sofas, the Internet Channel can now be downloaded for free." Previously, the Internet Channel was a 500 Wii Point download.
"Now wait just a cotton-pickin' minute here!" you might be saying. "I came in to the Wii party a little late and had to pay 500 Wii Points, why do these Johnny-Come-Lately types get a freebie, while I get the shaft?" Well, that's where the good news comes in.
Those who were too late to partake in the trial run of the browser and found themselves spending 500 Wii Points to surf from the comfort of their couch will be able to partake in a special sort of "refund" offer from Nintendo, which will run from late-October until the end of December. During that period of time, they can download an NES Virtual Console game (of the 500 Point variety, natch) for free.
Specifics as to the time period will become available closer to the time of the promotion via the Wii Message Board and Nintendo.com.
"Wii has truly changed the way people play games, but it is more than just a game console," said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America's Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, in a press release. "Wii owners have access to a wealth of fun entertainment, information and practical tools like the Internet Channel, which is another great way for the whole family to enjoy their consoles with no additional costs involved."
Unfortunately, it seems that the update comes with something of a downside as well. Via GoNintendo, Weeman's Industry Perspective blog reports that the new update disables support for the BBC iPlayer, which "cannot stream video or audio content but it still allows you to browse content." No word yet on any other problems, though it leads one to wonder what other difficulties may be encountered.
Finally, Andriasang has word of an interesting promotion related to the Internet Channel going on in Japan. Since March 26th this year, Nintendo of Japan has been actively encouraging people to help get their fellow Wii owners active online.
Their reward? 500 Wii Points, which isn't too shabby at all, though it could max out at 20 people helped and 10,000 Wii Points for the helpful party.
Now, they seem to be adjusting the promotion. As of October 21st, those who help 10 people get online will earn the title of "Helper Master 10," which comes with free access to the entirety of Virtual Console Famicom (NES) software bearing the Nintendo brand. Make it to 20, and you become a "Helper Master 20," and you not only get the Famicom access, but Super Famicom and Nintendo 64 as well.
Just one more little thing to curse about under your breath as we all wonder why we can't have a promotion as cool as that. And they have more titles to choose from, to boot.