News Article

Wii Controller App For Android Goes Live

Posted by Damien McFerran

We put the new app through its paces in an exclusive video

Last week we reported that developer Ryan Frawley had released a "proof of concept" demo which allowed Android phone users to interact with a Nintendo Wii Remote.

There's barely been enough time to get fully excited about this tantalising prospect because Frawley has launched the real deal in the shape of the brilliant Wii Controller IME application.

Available now on the Android Market for $3.99, the app allows you to connect up to four Wii Remotes via a Bluetooth connection and then use them to interact with the Android phone.

The controls on the pad are mapped as keys on the Android phone's virtual (or physical) keyboard, which means you can use the Wii Remote for anything which accepts keyboard commands - and for us dedicated retro enthusiasts, that means emulators.

We've created a short video which shows the app in action, working alongside a wide range of brilliant Android-based retro emulators such as Gensoid, Nesoid, SNesoid and Game Boid.

Frawley has already updated the app a couple of times to make it more stable and user-friendly (and will no doubt update it again when he notices a minor spelling error in one of the main menus - see if you can spot it in the video) and he has already confirmed that Classic Controller support is on its way. This is great news because at the moment the app struggles with SNES emulators due to the fact that there simply aren't enough buttons on the Wii Remote.

If you have an Android phone then this really is a must-have download. If you don't believe us, feast your eyes on the video evidence below.

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User Comments (42)



maka said:

While it is pretty cool, it defeats the purpose of a portable system... carrying a wiimote around doesn't seem that great, and if you're going to play at home you can do the same using a similar app for the computer... Anyway... if it works with an Android-based tablet then it's something else



V8_Ninja said:

"If you have an Android phone then this really is a must-have download. If you don't believe us, feast your eyes on the video evidence below."

Is Nintendolife encouraging piracy with this sentence?



Damo said:

V8 Ninja - Care to explain exactly how we're encouraging piracy? I own all of the games I have ROMs for. You assume too much, my friend.



sykotek said:

Cool, I've been thinking of switching to Android lately. As for the program, I'd never use it for emulation, but I'd hope it would allow controller support for other mobile games released.

The only thing that truly intrigues me about this article, the program claims support for up to 4 players.

I don't think my friends and I will ever be desperate enough to huddle around a tiny cellphone screen. I mean, can you picture going shoulder to shoulder with 3 of your buddies...?



Damo said:

sykotek - Many of the upcoming Android phones feature TV-out support via an HDMI cable.



JebbyDeringer said:

How does an app that allows you to use the Wiimote condoning piracy? They are talking about downloading the app for wiimote control not emulators & roms.



WildPidgeyAppears said:

I don't know if I should care enough. On my Droid, I cannot get SNES ROMs to work at all. Of course that's using the free version, but...would it really be worth it for emulators that might not work for everyone?



Damo said:

What kinds of problems are you having with your Droid? By the sound of things the ROMs you're using might not be compatible with SNesoid (assuming that's the emulator you're currently using).



sykotek said:

@Damo: OMG, TV-out, that is awesome news! Now the 4 player multi makes more sense. I retract my emulation statement in that case too, I currently use my WiiMote on my girlfriend's Macbook, but portable MK/SF, Turtles in Time and The Alien Wars with a few friends = win. Before anyone asks, yes, I own the games. Hopefully, all that won't be a huge drain on the battery. Once they implement CC support, it becomes a must buy and sounds like the author is progressing quickly.

Anyways, I've been thinking about getting the Nexus One for the last few weeks and I had settled on getting that phone about 3 days ago. If you ever look up that phone though, the same ads for it will show up everywhere you go online. Its kinda funny, I had never experienced that before online.



Damo said:

sykotek - I can highly recommend the Nexus One. Fantastic phone.



V8_Ninja said:

@Damo Like what lz said, whether or not you own the game, it's still illegal to do it. And since there are basically no other apps that are considered "Games That Need A Controller" (to my recollection), the whole Wiimote app is almost exclusively meant for the emulators.



sykotek said:

I'm no expert, but a quick Google search found the following when it came to legality of ROMs and Emulators,

Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc. v. Nintendo of America, Inc. 964 F.2d 965 (9th Cir. 1992)

Paraphrasing: Under fair use, if you have a physical copy and you're entitled to a digital version, does not necessarily need to be a "copy of your original," can be a "dumped" version.

So, at the very least, in the US, where some posters are saying it is illegal, it should be legal as long as you have a legit physical copy, but hey, I'm no lawyer.



Juampi said:

"...whether you have an authentic game or not, or whether you have possession of a Nintendo ROM for a limited amount of time, i.e. 24 hours, it is illegal to download and play a Nintendo ROM from the Internet."




pixelman said:

Looks awesome and relatively easy to use. If only I had an Android... and an iPhone... and a million dollars.



Damo said:

The whole emulation/ROM debate is very much a grey area. This news post was to illustrate how Nintendo tech is being used for interesting purposes, not to highlight the whole ROM argument - which has been done to death, let's face it.



jbrodack said:

How come stuff like this is ok but anything about homebrew on the wii isn't? unless of course its how nintendo is fighting the "horrible pirates"?



aaronsullivan said:

@23. mastersworddude
Kidding or something? I suppose it's possible you haven't heard of Virtual Console. Or maybe willfully blind?



Token_Girl said:

They do make money of VC with SNES games though. Also, I think this app does exist for iphone, if you jailbreak it.



WildPidgeyAppears said:

@Damo, 11: On my Droid, when I download a ROM and try to open it in SNESoid, it tells me it's an invalid file or something. I dunno what I'm doing wrong.



Tasuki said:

Hmm I just tried to download the app on my android phone and its nowhere to be found. Did Nintendo make them remove it??



Damo said:

Are you on Android 1.6 or above? I don't think the app supports 1.5.



LittleIrves said:

Also: Love the Boards of Canada music. If anyone dug that background tune, check out their stuff, it's chilly and ambien-tastic.



Tasuki said:

@ Damo: I am not sure I just got the phone last week and the wife picked it up for me from T mobile. I guess I will have to check the book to see if its a 1.6 or what.



Tasuki said:

I am not sure since I have only seen ZSNES for windows and Mac operating systems. Androids use a google OS, so unless ZSNES has one for a google OS than probably not. Not sure about RockNES since I never heard of it. I have used ZSNES to play super nes games I own but cant play due to the fact that I dont own a snes anymore.



JaredJ said:

Are Android and Droid the same thing? Or is the Droid a different phone from the Android? If so do they run the same apps?



Damo said:

JJ - Android is Google's operating system, which the Motorola Droid runs. They all technically run the same apps, although the different OS version numbers - ranging from 1.6 to 2.1 - mean that some apps will only work on more recent phones.



Tasuki said:

How can you tell what version your android phone is?? Is there a list somewhere???



Tottalrockage said:

well the droid does but y so much? its supposed to be a phone not a computer no matter how cool it is



Tasuki said:

@ Tottalrockage: So than according to you people shouldnt use webcams or programs like Ventrillo or Teamspeak on their computers to talk to people, cause its suppose to be a computer and not a phone????



Rally said:

lol epic 42. anyway, this is an interesting app. the background song was cool, too.



Doamino41 said:

I tried this app ( it was the demo ) on an EVO 4G but got an error when I tried to connect the controller. Said it wasnt compatable with HTC devices using Sense UI . Is there anyway around that or is there another app I can use?



Rally said:

Whoa, crap. Did I really talk like that back then? Geez, I don't like seeing people who did that, I prefer to act mature over the internet... And Boards of Canada is amazing.

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