News Article

Wii Internet Channel Now Free!

Posted by Sean Aaron

Nintendo backtrack on it's "Internet Channel" making the latest version free (again) and includes an updated version of Flash.

Nintendo has released a long-awaited update to the Internet Channel; best of all it's free again, just as it was when it was first released. To compensate those who may have purchased it a free NES game on the Virtual Console is being offered (apparently in October) which is the equivalent value of the Internet Channel selling price.

It's presently been confirmed as updated in Europe, but indications from the press release are that this is happening world-wide. If you already have it simply re-download it from the Wii Shop. Users should also be getting a message from Nintendo with details (don't forget to turn on Wii Connect 24 to get your Nintendo mail!). If you're a fan of BBC iPlayer via the Internet Channel some caution is advised as users in the Nintendo Life forum are reporting that the updated version of Flash is apparently incompatible with the BBC iPlayer -- hopefully Auntie will get that sorted pronto.

Whilst not all content is supported, there is greater online video support being reported than in past releases, though this update doesn't include desired features like cut-and-paste or tabbed browsing. It does come in at a smaller size as NL member invmat reports a block size of 218 now rather than the old 254 -- not too shabby!

Here is the full press release for your enjoyment:

Wii INTERNET CHANNEL NOW FREE!

1st September, 2009 – From today, anyone can now access the Wii Internet Channel for free*, allowing many more households to get online via their Wii.

By connecting Wii to the internet, you are opening your living room up to a world of possibilities! The Wii-specialised web browser enables people to connect wirelessly to the internet to surf the internet, do their internet shopping and even watch online catch-up TV services via their console.

The fast-booting internet browser will create a new relationship between the family, the TV, and the internet. This Channel uses the full internet browser from Opera Software, which also supports Adobe Flash.

Surfing the web with the Wii Remote is simple for the whole family. It lets you zoom in on areas of interest with ease and browse your favourite websites at leisure.

The Wii Internet Channel previously required 500 Wii Points. For those Wii owners who have already spent 500 Wii Points on the Wii Internet Channel, Nintendo will be offering a NES title from Virtual Console worth 500 Wii Points and will be launched in late October.

Further details on how to get the channel will be announced on the Wii Message Board and on the Nintendo website.

This update has been rolled out across the world, your Wii should be glowing blue right about now. For those web-developers who are interested in the new Flash runtime, we've been told it's running Flash Lite 3.1 which reports itself as a Flash 9 compatible player, meaning it should work with a lot more flash based websites.

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User Comments (92)

Toddr

#2

Toddr said:

Nintendo has sent me the message to update, and I live in Canada, so they have started doing it wordwide.

Roopa132

#3

Roopa132 said:

Nice thing from Nintendo. It was stupid of them to make it cost something in the first place but nice that it's free again and especially nice that all those people who bought it get a game :)

Strofan7

#4

Strofan7 said:

AWESOME! Too bad i got it the first time it was free or I'd love an NES game in return haha. Either way I'm glad there is a better flash player...the last browser was hardly worth using IMO.

calculon

#6

calculon said:

It's a good job its free. Worst peice of software on the system and this update really doesn't make that much of a difference.

If you really do use the Internet Channel don't expect it to work with much outside of YouTube. What gets me is how it took so long to put out such a cruddy update. Another pat on the back for wasting people's time Nintendo.

longtimegamer

#7

longtimegamer said:

The version I got I thought was even smaller. I tried to watch outer limits and startrek on youtube, I got to a commercual this time (Further than with the old IC,. After the commercial It wouldn't show the video, just got a message.

VGM

#9

VGM said:

Awesome,I'm glad I bought the Internet Channel,NES Game for me! :)

WolfRamHeart

#10

WolfRamHeart said:

YES! Nintendo is giving me back a NES game! I was upset at the fact that I had to actually pay for the Internet Channel but now that Nintendo is compensating me for purchasing it I am one happy camper! Thank you Nintendo!:)

Cheezy

#11

Cheezy said:

I should probably state that in the US, the new block size is only 203, compared to Europe's 218 ;)

MattL

#12

MattL said:

This is great as we use the browser a lot in our house (mostly for the BBC iPlayer which works brilliantly anyway). But it'll be interesting to see how much more content can be viewed with the browser.

By the way, I downloaded this on original release for free but have since gifted it to my girlfriend for 500 points. Do you think that means I'll get the NES game or she will? Just wondering with it registering the internet channel on her Nintendo account. :)

Machu

#13

Machu said:

I'm yet to go surfing on it but am eager to see what works (and what doesn't). I hope BBC can catch up soon, I can't even 'listen again' to radio shows. :( I heard rumour some time ago about a BBCiplayer channel, I'm still very excited about that possibility, but need Ninty and the BBC to get friendly. Considering the big N didn't warn the BBC about this update, I doubt it will happen.

iplayer not working, still waiting for something official.

On a more positive note, the smaller file size and increased speed are welcome. :)

longtimegamer

#14

longtimegamer said:

Well, I got to play some of yoink or no yoink. Couldn't do that before, but quit it cause it seemed to not go anywhere after I chose No Yoink.

OldBoy

#15

OldBoy said:

Woo hoo. I think the only reason I might download this is because it takes up less room on my precious internal memory. The browser sucks and it sounds like this update dosen't make it any less sucky. I know it's free but honestly why bother when it's this badly done.

Syr

#17

Syr said:

Uhm.. what "online catch-up TV services" are they talking about if Hulu and justin.tv still don't work..
Are there any worthwhile sites that now work, besides thatguywiththeglasses.com?

Machu

#19

Machu said:

@Luigi78: Dude, when you update it, go to orisinal and play some games with your wii-mote. ;) Throw-away, but lots of fun.

My faves are Starry Night & Deep Blue Sea. Addictive!

JoeDiddley

#21

JoeDiddley said:

I bought the internet channel when I was getting my laptop repaired. I only planned to use it for iplayer now so I hope this works soon.
Gonna get Kid Icarus or Mega Man 2 I think in October :)

Incognito_D

#22

Incognito_D said:

As long as it's a NES game of your choice and not something like Volleyball or whatever, then I'm happy.

hobbes

#23

hobbes said:

I now have to debate what game I am going to get as my refund :) I already have Zelda and Zelda 2 and Megaman 1 2 and 3 on compilation disks... I'm thinking Super Mario Bros. 1 or 3 or Metroid. I guess its time to hit the VC reviews for NES games.

Egg_miester

#24

Egg_miester said:

woooo hoooo i can finally watch videos on sites other then youtube
but there still seems to have bugs in the system on ign i get a black screen.

to bad it has to be a nes game right now i really want phantasy star

Starwolf_UK

#25

Starwolf_UK said:

Thankfully, Nintendo gives you a lot of time to decide which NES game you'll get (why is the refund over a month later?).

I might just try it out, once the iplayer support is back. Surely, it can't play videos back worse than my computer (its not so much the computer but flash player being rubbish)

motang

#26

motang said:

Over the weekend I was wondering when it was going to be updated as Opera 10 is out I believe, and looks like Nintendo heard me. ;)

Cashman3000

#29

Cashman3000 said:

What a worthless update for the Nintendo Internet Channel. A Flash Player 9 compatible update was desperately needed. Not Flash Player 8 compatible. I award Nintendo no points for this update and may God have mercy on their souls.

ejamer

#31

ejamer said:

Hmmm... improved functionality at no cost? Cool, I'm excited about this. The old browser was limited because Flash is so widely used, but still fun to use once in a while. This patch will only improve the situation.

TanookiMike

#32

TanookiMike said:

Can somebody tell me, what if you gifted this game to someone else? Can the buyer still get one free?

Machu

#34

Machu said:

@LTG: I've been playing those for a couple of years now, was just pointing the monkey toward something he might be unaware of. And fortunately, they still work. :)

Klapaucius

#35

Klapaucius said:

I only use the Internet Channel to watch BBC iPlayer... it's going to be pretty much useless without being able to access that. I wonder if we can get the free NES game without downloading the new Internet Channel?

accc

#36

accc said:

Cool news, I'll probably download one of the Adventures of Lolo games. Which one should I go for - 1 or 2?

Machu

#37

Machu said:

Yeah people be warned, YOU CANNOT REGRESS TO THE PREVIOUS VERSION. I hope they fix iplayer soon. :(

Objection

#38

Objection said:

It kinda sounds like you dont get a choice, as if you get some NES game that is launching in October. Updates are nice, but I'm not convinced that any Nintendo browser will ever be comparable to the basics of IE and the like.

steelface

#40

steelface said:

Wait lets get this straight I got the internet channel before 500 points was added to the internet channel does that mean no nes that sucks everone should have 500 free points at least do something nintendo ps3 and xbox360 get loads of free stuff=D

madgear

#41

madgear said:

Excellent - the internet channel gets lots of use from me. I love just sitting on my sofa flicking through youtube - with updated Flash I'm not just limited to there now.

Though I guess now the original announcement of an Internet Channel update back in December actually was a hoax. Why would anyone hoax that? It has to be the stupidest "joke" ever. I mean fake announcing an Internet channel update is hardly along the same lines as "OMG Metal Gear Solid 6 Wii Exclusive!!111!!" now is it?

Sean_Aaron

#42

Sean_Aaron said:

Well, I paid for the channel originally, so I'm happy to have the free update and the game as compensation whatever it turns out to be. I only use it to browse when the wife has the computer and I desperately feel the need to update this site which is almost never, but it's nice to have nonetheless.

vakama94

#43

vakama94 said:

mmm, well i downloaded the internet channel when you had to pay for it, i dont know how to get the NES game though

Starwolf_UK

#45

Starwolf_UK said:

@motang. Ironically I think the Wii Opera is still Opera 9 for Wii. Thanks for reminding me that Opera 10 was out I went and updated :)

Sneaker13

#46

Sneaker13 said:

I'm really excited about this. I don't use the Wii Browser that much, but getting my money back in the form of a NES game is awesome and a great service from Nintendo. I was convinced that I was going to get Kid Icarus, but now that I went through the NES VC list I'm also in doubt about Punch-Out and Ninja Gaiden and anything interesting that Nintendo decide to release the coming weeks for NES (if any).

vherub

#47

vherub said:

wow, didn't expect an update, better re-download the internet channel

SuperMarioFan1995

#48

SuperMarioFan1995 said:

I woke up early this morning & I have got rid of my Internet Channel & downloaded it again for free!

Yes. I have downloaded this Internet before. Then I got this again for free. :)

AVahne

#49

AVahne said:

finally an update,and now i can get my money back in the form of an NES game,i wished that they would just give back 500 points so we could spend it on anything

FantasiaWHT

#50

FantasiaWHT said:

Nintendo backtrack on it's "Internet Channel" making the latest version free (again) and includes an updated version of Flash.

Do you even have editors on staff?

Starwolf_UK

#53

Starwolf_UK said:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/

Britain (and Northern Ireland, I think) only. If it is true they had to encode a special version of the videos for the Wii (lower flash version as well as lower bitrate) it could be a few weeks before we see it working again. But if it is able to work with the PC versions it should take only a few days.

Ristar42

#55

Ristar42 said:

They need to fix iplayer, I welcome the update but this sucks - doesn't seem to add much and I cant watch the BBC... Wish I read the story properly before I downloaded this! Live and learn I guess...

PopeReal

#57

PopeReal said:

You get to choose.

:)

Not sure what I will pick, 80+ choices and I only have a few NES games.

jorenmartijn

#59

jorenmartijn said:

That's very cool! I'm just sad I didn't pay 500 Points for it since I got it when it was free in the first place. No NES game for me then (not that I'm not gonna try and see if I can get one, though :P)
By the way, are there any good guidelines somewhere on creating websites specifically for Wii Opera?

Twilight_Crow

#61

Twilight_Crow said:

This update is great, I use the Wii browser everyday to check on this site, Backloggery and watch YouTube videos (i'm on it right now, and the blue light is already on ;)). I expect to be able to see other video websites. I hope they fix the IPlayer you guys are talking about, wouldn't mind watching some BBC.
I got the internet channel when it was free, but who knows, maybe Nintendo would make no difference and I get a free NES game ;).

madgear

#62

madgear said:

By the way - can someone recommend a good NES game for me? I already have Ninja Turtles and all the Mario games. I've never owned a NES so wondering what the true classics are (Megaman, Castlevania?)

astarisborn94

#63

astarisborn94 said:

It's cool to hear that the Internet Channel is finally getting an upadate. Is this worldwide? If so, do I have to download the channel in order to receive my free NES game? Because I previously spent 500 Wii Points on the channel, got rid of the channel, re-downloaded it for free, and deleted it again. Do I need to re-download it again in order to receive my free NES game?

Please answer as soon as possible.

bro2dragons

#64

bro2dragons said:

SWEET! free NES game! whoo hoo!

seriously, though... there's so many... i won't know what to pick... anybody have any suggestions for me?

Sean_Aaron

#69

Sean_Aaron said:

@SSBF1999: I think it suffices to just download it; I have no idea if it's required to get the NES game, but it's possible that's the case -- you can download it to SD card if space is your concern...

Egg_miester

#70

Egg_miester said:

@ssbf1999 if your wii is set with your nintendo account then it keep tracks of your dl games and channels but really nintendo hasn't said anything it will be a few weeks if not next month that we get any details so no one really knows what to expect on free game i don't think nintendo put that much thought into it

LinktotheFuture

#71

LinktotheFuture said:

You can now watch videos on NBC.com, I watched a preview for the new season of the Office. Sadly, Hulu didn't work, but maybe other network websites will.

The_Cow

#72

The_Cow said:

My only question that I want answered; which I'm concerned about is this:

What about if you had the Internet Channel since launch back in 2006; and only had to update it back then instead of paying 500 points?!
Would you get the free 500 NES game if you didn't have to use 500 Points on the Channel as intended?!

That's because I already have had my Internet Channel since updated long before this new update!

Please answer me; because I want an honest straight answer if it's possible to still get the free game!

Bass_X0

#73

Bass_X0 said:

Nintendo wants the Internet Channel to be free to everyone. So if you've paid 500 points for it before, you get the 500 points "refunded" in the form of a NES game.

If you were able to download the Internet Channel for free before then there is no need for Nintendo to refund you.

vherub

#76

vherub said:

old internet browser was 233 blocks (for me), nice to gain 30 blocks, but oddly I had to delete the old one first to make room
surprised they updated,glad to see flash is back

abe8812

#77

abe8812 said:

I hope Final Fantasy gets released by October so I can get it as a free game.

SmaMan

#78

SmaMan said:

I'm still wondering, like a few other people are, about gifting. I gifted the Internet Channel after it hit 500 points and thus, I payed for it. So who would get the points? Or would either of us get the points? He actually sold his Wii about a year after I gave him the gift, so I wonder what would happen then?

Either way, this seems like a great VC stimulus package!

ShadowFlame76

#80

ShadowFlame76 said:

I updated the browser on my Wii, and now even youtube videos don't even work, they just crash with some long error message.. thanks Nintendo!!

WolfLink22

#81

WolfLink22 said:

It is great that those who bought the IC get the free NES Game.But what about those who gifted it or bought it free the first time around?

RedYoshi999

#82

RedYoshi999 said:

Awesome!!!!!! Now I have to debate what NES game to get! Maybe Mario Bros 1 or 2...(I have 3)

Klapaucius

#83

Klapaucius said:

I'd rather keep this internet channel that I know works, than have a 'free' NES game. I'll wait until I hear that BBCiPlayer works on the new version, or Nintendo forcibly makes the old version unusable, before I update.

MattL

#84

MattL said:

I can't see it being too long before the problem with the iPlayer is resolved. Hopefully anyway, we use it on an almost-daily basis.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#85

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Hmmmm. Mario Bros 1 (but I already have 3) or Kirby's Adventure? I already have Link to the Past so that's out.

ICEknight

#86

ICEknight said:

MegaMan 3 for me. =P

...Or perhaps Devil World. Gotta love obscure first-party titles.

MattL

#87

MattL said:

@87: Same here with Devil World. Been trying to convince myself for a while to get that, but then end up talking myself out of it! Don't know why! :D

Jolted85

#90

Jolted85 said:

Now all I have to do is decide which NES game I want to get, how will Nintendo do that though?

retro_player_22

#91

retro_player_22 said:

Not sure about the free NES game that Nintendo will give user, will it be an old VC NES game that is already released or will it be a new release? Also why can't we refund it for a new Sega Master game instead, I really like to download Phantasy Star with those refund.

xCapt

#92

xCapt said:

the nintendo internet channel should have been free anyhow! why does nintendo deny their customers the decision of how to spend their reimbursement of 500 ($5.00) points? i know its only $5.00, but i want my $5.00 back. there are other games on other platforms worth 500 pts., and whos to say that we couldnt just add 500 pts. to our current wii pts. and get whatever we want. somehow, being offered only a nes title just doesnt cut it. 500 points for 500 points, fair and square, no strings attached. speaking of strings attached, why wasnt the lan adaptor (min. requirement for internet) included w/ the wii. it seems that with nintendo its just one thing after another... oh, and i might add that altered beast used to be 800 points and now costs 1000 pts. am i wrong? is anyone else getting ticked off?

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