I stayed up ‘til 1am this morning waiting for the new Nintendo Channel to appear on the Wii Shop. Sadly it wasn’t there and had to go to bed so I wouldn’t be late for work later on. When I arrived home I spotted my Wii glowing which obviously meant I had a message from Nintendo to inform me that the channel was now live and indeed after checking my Wii mail this was the case. Having spent a good part of the morning taking a look at it all I thought let you what I thought about it.
After agreeing to the terms and conditions and letting Nintendo collect anonymous usage data I was presented with a list of videos to watch. When you click on a video a fairly big viewing window appears in the centre of the screen, after a couple of seconds of initial downloading the video starts to stream, at any time you can pause or shrink the video at anytime if you so wish.
Currently there isn’t a huge list of Wii streaming videos but this is likely to change once the service is up and running. Apart from trailers for current and upcoming titles, the main highlights so far include an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto discussing Wii Fit, footage of the Wii Fit Launch, as well as the Mario Kart Grand Wii contest (that I attended) and also some clips from the Wii Ware media summit. The good news though is that all of the videos streamed really well and I encountered no buffering issues at all, considering the quality and video size (about 3 times bigger than the default on YouTube) this is really impressive.
Of course the main reason for the Nintendo Channel as far as I am concerned is the ability to download free DS demos via the Wii. I chose to download the original Brain Training and was pleasantly surprised to find that it took less than a minute which is pretty nippy. Currently there are seven to choose from and these are:
- Big Brain Academy
- Brain Training
- 42 All Time Classics (only one minigame in the demo though)
- Mario Kart DS
- Maths Training
- Sight Training
- Picross DS
The demo remains in the DS’s memory until you either reset or turn the unit off, you can then head back onto the Wii Nintendo Channel and download another. Brilliant! Overall I’m pretty impressed, in some ways I think this channel could and should’ve been installed on the Wii from launch, but its here now and that’s all that matters, if your Wii is online then I recommend heading to the Wii Shop Channel and downloading it as soon as you can, it’s free remember!