The trial version of the Opera Browser for the Nintendo Wii is now available. The browser is available from the Wii Shop Channel, and as promised, currently costs 0 points. The browser takes up around 280 blocks of memory for the Wii and downloads within a minutes. Overall, the browsing experience on the Wii is fairly good; most websites work correctly, including AJAX sites like GMail and others. Flash support seems hit or miss, some sites work correctly and others say that the user needs to upgrade their Flash version. Hopefully the Flash engine will be updated by the time the browser fully releases this spring.
The web browser has a default view that scales web page output to fit the 480i/p screen, but users can zoom in to get a cleaner view of the page, and there is an alternate rendering mode to allow slightly better text rendering at the cost of re-organizing the page. Users can scroll up and down using the “B” trigger on the Wiimote, and the “A” button selects links. The virtual keyboard works surprisingly well, and the Wiimote does an excellent job of acting as a mouse. Overall, the experience appears to be vastly better than the portable browser released for the DS; one could actually do some light Internet browsing and e-mail on the Wii, something that is pretty painful for the DS.
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Opera Software announced that gamers with Nintendo’s Wii console will be able to download the Opera Browser from the “Wii Shop Channel” for free until July 2007. After this point, the browser will be available for a currently undetermined amount of Wii points. Opera also confirmed that Flash and AJAX support would be included in the browser, allowing gamers access to many of the client-based applications developed for the world wide web. Opera’s press release implies that the browser will be available at launch, but this would obviously also be dependent on the availability of Nintendo’s “Wii Shop Channel.”
The full press release continues below.
For anyone not currently running a build of Windows Vista, the new Internet Explorer 7 RC1 has been released for your personal enjoyment. This version automatically uninstalls any previous versions of Internet Explorer, so you don’t have to, including older IE7 betas. Even better, it will detect add-ons that might be incompatible or have stability issues, allowing you to get an update if available. With the Release Candidate being made available, we can expect no more major changes to IE7 until after it ships. Vista users can expect an update to Internet Explorer 7+ when the Vista RC drops. Internet Explorer 7 RC1 is compatible with Windows XP SP2, Windows XP x64, and Windows Server 2003 SP1.