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the Wii channels’ perfect imperfections

December 17, 2006
by

CVG goes into detail on how the Wii channels could try, just a little bit harder.

Slow Shop Channel
“For a console that’s supposed to be connected to the internet 24/7, we were greatly disappointed with how slow the navigation of the online Shop Channel is.

If the Wii is constantly connected to the internet, we wonder why it takes 30-or-so seconds to ‘connect’ to the Wii Shop channel.

Navigating through the different sections of the shop and browsing the games sees tedious three-second delays between each page. It’s okay now but it’ll be a nightmare when there’re hundreds of games on the Virtual Console to browse through.”

No list option for VC games
“The channel system is great, but the way they handle downloaded Virtual Console games is not ideal. Each and every VC game you download is given its own channel thumbnail. Again, while there are only a few games available to download, it’s not a big problem.

But we plan to download dozens and dozens of games in the near future. How will we keep track of them all? How easily locatable will they be? What happens when we fill all 48 channels with VC games – do we have to start backing them up?”

Photo Channel restrictions
“You can’t save your edited pictures on the SD card and put them onto your PC. And although you can send emails to a PC from your Wii, you can’t send photos.

The pictures also seem to undergo some serious quality-downgrading compression before they reach your TV screen, but we guess that’s to reduce read times from the SD card. Still, it’s not a desirable trait.”

Tight email restrictions
“Just a small one – being able to send emails to any email account from your Wii is a nice bonus feature but messages are restricted to four lines.

Obviously, the lack of a real keyboard means typing messages on the Wii is much slower than normal (although faster than a control-pad-operated system) and you won’t ever want to spend an hour writing 800-word emails, but it would be nice to have the option. Or at least a less-restrictive limit than just four lines.”

Mii editing is too basic
“We appreciate Nintendo’s notion of simplicity with Wii, being a console designed to appeal to new gamers. But when it comes to the Mii Channel, this simplicity amounts to overly basic system that hardly ever flexible enough to create the person you want to.

The main problem is the body profile settings. Even on the fattest setting, your Mii will boast nothing more than a slight bulk so it’s impossible to make a fat person. Hair styles are not at all adaptive [tell me about it — Rollin], there aren’t enough facial feature options to make suitable look-alikes, there are only three types of facial hair, and absolutely no clothing options. The colour of your Mii’s top changes with the favourite colour you select for them, but that’s it.

We’re not particularly huge fans of the overly fastidious create-a-character options usually found in EA’s sports games – we always just hammer the Start button to skip all that rigmarole and get straight into the action. But when you consider the extensive use you will get out of your Mii over the next five years – playing as them in every Mii-compatible game, sending them in messages and whatever else Nintendo cooks up – it’s in this case more than ever before when we’d actually be willing to spend a few hours tweaking individual bones in the Mii’s nose, cheeks and jaw – as some EA games let you do – for the perfect Mii.

What’s more, you can’t edit Miis that you didn’t create on your Wii. So when a friend sends you a Mii that you may think is not quite right, the prospect of making any adjustments is ruled out.”

Great points, brit brotherhood. As much as i dig that Wii, it takes forever to sign on to the shop channel. With this low-end tech that’s sposedly twice a GameCube, wifi-connected 24 hours a day, and with Nintendo touting load times since inception, what’s this about? They better cram an upgrade for this onto the system’s small memory, which is another shortcoming and also probably the reason it takes so long for some things to load, including games. Why can’t i use a thumb/harddrive in those USB slots for storage? Eventually, those VC and Wii Ware downloads that take up individual channels will add up.

The system’s OS is so incomplete, it feels naked.

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. rashadlogic permalink
    December 17, 2006 10:37 pm

    It’ll only get worse, before it gets better.

  2. frisby permalink
    December 18, 2006 12:07 am

    Just to correct the WiiConnect24 hoopla. It signs on to my computer every 5 minutes. So it should be called the WiiConnectevery5minutesorso.

  3. December 18, 2006 12:57 am

    …So naked, in fact, that i feel wrong looking at it. Like catching at bum dropping a deuce in plain sight.

  4. December 18, 2006 2:42 pm

    There are other little things lacking that I might add:

    – Why can’t we “e-mail” more than one friend at a time? I have to type in the same message several times if I want to tell something to more than one person (or did I miss a feature there somewhere?)

    – In the Photo Channel, why can’t I start the “All MP3s” play mode from any MP3 in my SD card, just like I can start the slideshow from any picture?

    I don’t believe these features, and most of the ones Rollin mentioned, have to do with the hardware’s limitation, or even with the software getting too complicated… These are choices that were not well-thought in advance. Hopefully we will see a system upgrade that will give us a little more functionality.

    The connection speed, though, that one worries me… I think it has to do with the way each person connects. I am connecting with a USB dongle, the one I use for my DS, and the connection is kind of unreliable. It works for now, but I don’t see that working for online gameplay of the kind you see in Xbox LIVE, where you need to be truly connected all the time with the other players.

  5. December 18, 2006 3:20 pm

    That’s what makes it so irritating. We know Wii can handle these things, but we wait and wait for firmware updates.

    I also worry about connection speeds with actual online multiplayer software. Animal Crossing and Prime 3 have to be spotless during wifi, that’s all i know.

  6. Leon permalink
    December 19, 2006 9:16 pm

    Am I the only one who doesn’t have this slow problem? I thought it was just people with their own problems blaming the Wii, but I seem to be the only one. 30 secs to connect to shop channel? As soon as I hit the button in the Wiishop Channel, the round thing circles and I’m taken to it in 5 seconds or less. When in the Wii Shop, navigating through pages and menus is instant. I’m sure I’m not the only one NOT getting screwed over.

  7. December 20, 2006 3:12 am

    Must be case-by-case, i do borrow wifi from a neighbor.

    Nevertheless, lots of people have the slow problem. And mine varies from fast to slow with the shop channel, so it’s shaky still. Considering.

  8. December 20, 2006 2:10 pm

    Sorry, I should have been more specific: my problem is not so much speed connection as it is reliability in the connection! Yes, I can get connected pretty quickly, and I do get connected about 85% of the time, but 85% doesn’t cut it for online gaming. With Xbox LIVE, I connect EVERY time, and almost always at a pretty good speed. I think I don’t get a connection once or twice a year! With the Nintendo Wi-Fi, I get “no connection” status about once a week.

    I use the USB Wi-Fi dongle, by the way…

    Granted, this could be a problem with my setup, since using the dongle means that the connection is shared and managed within Windows XP in my computer, rather than from the router. Or, it could just be NIntendo’s birthing pains of starting a new level of their online service. (I did have frequent problems with Xbox LIVE in its first six months or so.)

  9. adam connelley permalink
    December 28, 2006 4:50 am

    For everything new and wonderful there are always the detractors, your borrowing wifi from a neighbor and you are wondering why it takes 30secs to connect, I actually use my own connection through a fully compatible router and it connects in 3-4 seconds, everything else is at full speed and when i am doing anything like on the net browser it never drops out, although it does disconnect when not in use, sounds pretty smart to me. It also sounds like you want to change this dog into a cat, no matter how hard you try that cat will be the worst dog you ever had

  10. frisby permalink
    December 28, 2006 9:54 am

    thats some philosophical shit right there AC.

  11. December 28, 2006 12:12 pm

    That explains me, but my case isn’t common and the majority still have the same problems. Most of the people with wifi complaints just have wifi troubles with their own rigs not complying. That’s my reason for piggybacking another sig, my router won’t get picked up.

    So in all, good for you and your spec by spec abidance of Nintendo’s tedious wifi recommendations, but if you need this specific router with that specific brand and these specific settings, the whole “ease of use” and simplicity thing goes down the drain.

    Connecting to Wii Opera is lots quicker for me than the Shop. The Shop channel speeds vary between 4 and 30 secs. For me, that’s the case, as well as many many more out there. I didn’t write the source article, dude. One guy has a solid experience and he thinks any complaint can only come from a hater.

  12. December 28, 2006 1:45 pm

    Lately I’ve been noticing that the connection reliance is getting better… I probably was right in my suspicions that Nintendo is still making adjustments to their online service based on actual user feedback, which makes perfect sense.

    Rollin, thanks for being our “field tester” for “borrowed” Wi-Fi signals!

    😉

  13. Linxdev Aero permalink
    December 28, 2006 9:16 pm

    I changed my wireless router from channle 6 to channel 1 per Nintendo’s and other’s recommendation. That made everything much faster.

    I bought this Wii mainly for Virtual Console. Currently there is not much there I want but am waiting for the good stuff. Like Mario Cart 64.

  14. Tony permalink
    January 11, 2007 11:18 am

    InvisibleMan wrote:

    – In the Photo Channel, why can’t I start the “All MP3s” play mode from any MP3 in my SD card, just like I can start the slideshow from any picture?

    I’m having problems with this. I want to play an entire collection of MP3s. Do you mean that you have to flick through a few songs before the option to play “all mp3’s” comes up?

  15. Tony permalink
    January 11, 2007 11:32 am

    I think I misunderstood you. In the UK, my Wii doesn’t have an “All MP3s” mode listed under my list of songs. It’s extremely annoying.

  16. January 11, 2007 3:36 pm

    No, no,…. It is there! Scroll past your personal list of MP3s, and sandwiched between your MP3s and the already included songs in the console is the “All MP3s” option…

    Don’t scroll too fast or you’ll miss it! It is easier if you go all the way down and scroll slowly from the bottom.

  17. Tony permalink
    January 12, 2007 6:04 am

    Trust me, it’s not. There are plenty of people on the UK Wii forums saying the same thing. I think I may have to update the firmware.

  18. Nara permalink
    July 29, 2007 5:06 pm

    I got a Wii for Christmas and just recently I figured that I should get Internet on it (I’m not that big into technology, but I am REALLY good with it for my age and experience) Anywho, I had my Aunt, who works for a computer company and knows a lot about computers, help me set up a wireless router I had lying around the house from a while ago and get the Internet connection on the Wii. It works and all, but loading the Shop Channel hasn’t even happened yet! And I’ve tried several times! (I’ve only had it hooked up for a day) So I was wondering if anyone knew if this was normal or not and how I can fix it.

    Thanks! 😀
    -Nara

  19. Nara permalink
    July 31, 2007 7:27 pm

    Never mind I got it to work!!!! Sorry for randomly posting on this thread!!

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