Nintendo gives rollout schedule for Wii Channels

Posted by Mark Raby

Redmond (WA) - The Nintendo Wii Channels, the backbone of the console's online services, will not all be available right at launch. Instead, channels that already have been confirmed by Nintendo, are going to be spread out between the Sunday launch and next January, according to Gamespot.

Wii Channels are specific Web-enabled services that allow users to check weather reports, get the latest headlines, and browse the Internet, much like the graphical user interface (GUI) offered in the first version of AOL. However, the early adopters who pick up a Wii when it goes on sale this Sunday will not have access to all these originally promised channels.

The Forecast Channel, which provides users forecasts and current conditions anywhere in the world, using a 3D globe interface, will go live on the Wii online service on December 20, by which time the second shipment of Wii consoles should have already hit stores. After the holiday shopping season, users will be able to tap into Wii News, streaming news feeds from the Associated Press, beginning January 27.

The Wii Shop Channel - you guessed it - will be up and running from day one. This channel lets users purchase digital content for the Wii using Wii Points, which will be sold at retailers across the country. The most anticipated downloads are classic Nintendo games ranging from the NES to the N64, as well as games from Sega and other publishers.