Officials from Nintendo have announced that the final version of the Wii Internet Channel, which features a customized version of the Opera Web browser, is now available for free download, featuring a number of new features and improvements over the earlier beta version.
The full version of the Internet Channel features a manual zoom, in addition to the automatic mode available in the previous version. Text clarity is also improved at all zoom levels, along with improved scrolling, collapsible toolbars, new on-screen cursors and buttons to instantly type common phrases such as “www” and “.com”.
The Internet Channel now also features a built-in search function on the Start page and an in-built function allowing users to query terms without having to go to a search engine. As well as a general performance upgrade - increasing performance and start-up times - it is now also possible to hide the toolbar from view while browsing.
The browser also comes with a number of pre-loaded bookmarks, including one for the Astaro Wii Content Filtering Portal. The Astaro portal is a parental control system specifically created for the Wii and will be available from May 7th, 2007.
The final version of the Internet Channel is available for free download from today, until 30th June 2007. After this date it will cost 500 Wii Points ($5). Once downloaded, the Internet Channel is free for the lifetime of the system.
Laurent Fischer, European marketing director of Nintendo Europe commented: “We are thrilled to be able to offer Wii owners an improved, simple and safe internet service through the Opera Browser. The new version of the Internet Channel will allow the whole family to experience the Internet from the comfort of their couch in a safe and secure environment.”