After an seemingly endless series of false starts and short shipments, I finally have my Nintendo Wii. It arrived on Friday via Canada Post, a full 4 days after the guaranteed delivery date, just as panic was starting to set in. I had images of Future Shop employees or delivery men gleefully playing my Wii in their basement as I constantly reloaded Canada Post’s useless package tracking webpage. I was pleasantly surprised on Friday morning when I received a nice large delivery at work — just in time for me to leave town for Christmas Holidays and Krista’s birthday.
In any case, Krista and I spent a drunken few hours on Friday night setting it up and giggling as we created our Miis, then promptly getting my ass kicked at bowling. One thing is initially clear: I desperately need a second controller. The brilliance of Nintendo systems (I bought a GameCube shortly after release just to play Super Monkey Ball and Mario Party with my friends) is the social aspect of the party games. Passing the single remote between two people playing Golf or Bowling is fun but there’s an unfulfilled promise of multiplayer tennis and baseball. My second remote (and a copy of Zelda) are currently trapped in the bowels of Christmas package delivery hell, and probably won’t see the light of day until the new year.
Unboxing the Wii was a dream. Nintendo has clearly made a great effort in this regard, and everything is well labelled and easy to set up. Within minutes I was connected to my wireless network, and after a quick system update we were giggling again. It’s a happy feeling knowing that 50% of the electronics in my living room are connected to the internet and willing to tell me what the weather is like outside. Helpful, since it’s unlikely I’ll be seeing “outside” for quite some time.
I also had a chance try test out the Wii’s “trial version” of the Opera browser. I love Opera’s non-PC browsers. I won’t touch their PC version as I’m not fond of the UI, and you’d have to pry Firefox (and it’s add-on system) out of my cold, dead hands, but between Opera Mini and Opera Wii they’ve got the alternative-browser-on-an-alternative-device market locked up.
Opera Wii (Wopera?) is fast, makes excellent use of the Wii’s navigation, and renders this site flawlessly. The auto-completion on the on-screen keyboard makes typing URLs rather less painful than it could be, although at 480i (still waiting for my component cables) the default text is an unreadable mush. You can zoom, making things legible, but you have to re-zoom on every page load. Hopefully this will be fixed in the final release.
All in all, I can’t wait for Mario Party 8, a bottle of rye, and someone to buy me enough remotes for a 4-way drunken orgy of ridiculousness.