When I first saw the Illuminated Message Board, I wondered who could need such a showy product. Then I thought of all the businessmen who could use some extra attention-getter for their small shops, and I began to see a market for it.
You will notice that I didn’t say who would want the LED Illuminated Message Board. The idea of owning a board that I could write glowing messages and pictures is a never-granted wish plucked from my own childhood. Sadly, the luminescent pics are not forever, but they do last 50,000 hours. All in all, it sounds like a good deal, as you should be able to get it at Chinavision for about $20.
Earlier today, the Wii received a firmware update that closed the Wii Shop for several hours. Now that’s it’s back up, it’s readily apparent that the Shop was the main beneficiary. It now sports a search feature and lists the most popular games, among other things. There was a variety of other, smaller changes that have been documented on NeoGAF.
- Digital Clock added to the Wii Menu right under the channel bar
- Forecast Channel now displays the current condition (cloudy, raining, etc.) directly in the Wii Menu in the Forecast Channel box
- News Channel can now show 2 scrolling headlines at a time in the Wii Menu, 3 when you click on the button (supposedly this requires occasional downloading of the headlines to keep the ticker updated)
- Message Board now has the “Today’s Accomplishments” message as a white message which allows it to stand out from other messages
- Address Book entries can now be shifted around using A+B (supposed to be a launch feature) but only to empty spaces. Not too convenient.
- Calendar in Message Board no longer shows “Today’s Accomplishment” only days as having messages
- Scrolling messages in the Message Board now uses a different sound
- Today’s Accomplishments in Message Boards now includes the names of people to whom messages were sent out
Wii Shop Channel Overhauled: (Visual aesthetic is the same, changes made to organization and browsing methods mostly)
- New Welcome screen detailing 4 Recommended Titles and the points they cost (gone is the title screen bar that had linkable games). The title bar can be clicked on to bring up a list of 20 recommended games.
- Titles You’ve Downloaded was moved to the main shop menu
- New ways to browse
- Popular Titles (2 pages of 10 and includes launch games so not only based on recent info)
- Newest Additions remains the same
- Search for a title which can use partial names
- Search by Category
- System shows the different systems and how many titles have been released under each
- Publisher showing different publishers and amount of titles released (Nice logos!)
- Genre (different genres listed and amount of titles under each)
- Load times in interchannel loading has supposedly decreased
- Password fields filled in using the keyboard (like on the Internet Channel) now display
- Warning added pre-system update detailing that technically modified consoles may cease to function upon being updated. Also the only way to not accept an update is to power down the console by holding the button for 4 seconds (the user can’t back out of hitting I Accept w/o powering down)
- Ability to quickly scroll the different options pages using the +,- keys
- Blue disc light lights up when inserting or removing a game
- Light also comes on when starting the Forecast or News Channels
Read More | NeoGAF
In a recently released “Iwata Asks!” interview, Nintendo delves into the decisions that went into making the Wii Message Board and discusses some interesting features. The one that might raise the most eyebrows, though, is Iwata’s discussion of the “Play History”, a feature which automatically collects information on what games you’ve been playing and for how long and, currently, it can’t be erased.
The idea behind this functionality came from Iwata wanting parents to get more involved with their children’s play-time and being able to keep track of how much time they spend on the system.
I thought constantly about what we could do to stop games being regarded with hostility in the family. So I came up with a suggestion, perhaps a rather outlandish one! (laughs) What I thought was that if a parent said that their child was only allowed to play games for one hour a day, how about making it so the console actually turns itself off after an hour? I realise the head of a games company shouldn’t think things like that! (laughs)
Fortunately, the Wii won’t be turning off automatically on you, but your Mom, Dad, or spouse will be able to find out if you’ve been logging serious hours on Princess Peach’s Erotic Journey (hey, Nintendo said they weren’t going to shy away from M-rated titles this generation!)
Read More | Nintendo of Europe