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News Channel goes live

Friday, January 26, 2007

Wii owners can now, after a system update, finally access the other system channel that has been taking up placeholder space on their Wii Menu all this time—the News Channel.

The News Channel has headlines provided by the Associated Press, and uses the same globe feature as the previously-released Forecast Channel—except instead of weather graphics, the News Channel puts photos and news icons for the news that is datelined at each location. Locations with lots of stories (such as Washington, D.C.) will show larger "stacks" of news when the globe is tilted away.

The location feature is not perfect. For example, this morning, many stories outside Nintendo's own key sales regions of the United States were not associated with any location on the globe, making the news-rich Middle East region look strangely quiet. Presumably, this is due to imperfect matching of story datelines to geographic locations, and will improve as the quality of data Nintendo serves up improves.

The News Channel is the last "extra" channel Nintendo had announced prior to Wii's launch. Whether further channels are in the pipeline is speculation at this point.