Hacking your Wii for Homebrew Software

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No, this is not going to be a post about playing pirated games on the Wii. But it’s kind of what the Jailbreak does for the iPhone: it allows you to play homebrew software, of which there is quite a lot.

If found an excellent guide on Lifehacker, and it worked like a charm.

The most surprising part was when I started the channel for the first time and it went on line and downloaded a large catalog of downloadable games, kind of the Homebrew App Store. Way cool!

Next project on my list: Install the USB Loader Channel. Then I can finally let the kids switch games without fearing that they’ll destroy the precious DVDs in the process…

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YouTube betas new version for the Wii

Lifehacker reports that YouTube has a new version that is designed to work better on TVs.

I immediately went and pointed my Wii Browser to http://youtube.com/tv – WOW!

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The start screen tells me to update my Wii – maybe they ran it on a different version, my Wii is already on the latest release.

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The start page has 4 sections: Most Views, Best Rating, Recommended and New.

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“My Videos” will bring you to your subscriptions, all with easy to use buttins and no scrolling. Very nice.

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Playing a video is also a lot easier. Again, no scrolling.

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The full screen player also pops up controls on demand.

This a a huge step forward. Add YouTube’s trand to HD video, and the Wii is a lot more useful in the living room. Liking it. A lot.

Now bring on the new version of the Opera browser, please!

Forget Wii Fit – here comes IKEA Fit!

I got a great idea for a new fitness programme, I had the opportunity to try it myself yesterday:

  1. Ask your wife to write down/email you 10 arbitrary IKEA product names
  2. Enter your nearest IKEA store and search them, one after another

This excercise should be the equivalent of a 5 mile walk, including dodging obstacles. No comparison to waving in front of a TV screen ;)

Looking for advice: New home cinema setup

The plan for the new year is to completely re-do our living room technology. Right now, we have a big fat 16:9 tube TV, a Panasonic DVD 5.1 kit, a Nintendo Wii and a digital cable receiver.

The main goal is to go completely digital, i.e. get rid of CDs and DVDs in the living room by moving them onto a hard drive, and to get rid of lots of cables in the process.

The easy part is picking a new TV. Right now I’m looking at a LG 37LC51.

In terms of amp and speakers, I’m thinking of the Yamaha YSP-1000. It got great reviews, and it’s certainly the best way to get rid of cable clutter.

Then it gets difficult. My wife mentions that she’s like to pop in a plain old CD or DVD now and then, which would ruin my hard drive approach. But I guess I could always have a backup DVD drive somewhere.

One way to store media is the Apple TV. As all my MP3 are in iTunes anyway, and I’m a die hard iPod user, this doesn’t sound bad. Then again, it would require me to convert all my DVDs to MP4. I also don’t need the YouTube stuff, as this can be covered through the Wii.

There’s a multitude of multimedia hard drives, i.e. external USB drive enclosures that allow media playback on a TV. One of the more interesting ones is the TViX M-4100SH. It will play just about any kind of media you throw at it, and it can even host a TV module and act as a PVR.

So, that’s the current idea. What does your setup look like. Any other alternatives I should be considering? What about a good remote control?

Wii Opera SDK released

The Wii comes with the Opera browser, which is great for watching Youtube videos on the TV screen.

I have always wondered why nobody created sites targeted at Wii users, like a video podcast player, for example.

I just found out about the Wii Opera SDK – maybe now we’ll see more Wii specific sites.

“Easily add useful functionality to your games and Web applications for the Wii’s Internet Channel.

* Wii Remote detection – Remote Demo, 2 Player Ship Demo
Receive status Wii Remote buttons, pointer coordinates, sensor bar distance, and Z-axis roll.
* 3D rotations – Cube Demo
Rotate polygons in 3D space then translate them to z-sorted 2D to add that extra dimension to graphics.
* Drawing effects – Ship Demo, Wall Demo, Floor Demo
Draw lines, circles, rectangles, tiles, texture-mapped walls, and more.
* Multiuser Communication
Allow multiple players/users to take part in the same of software.”

FIFA 08 for the Wii

It seems my favourite game will be available on the Wii this year.

Wii Insider has a gallery with screenshots as well as in game videos.

It seems the game will be making good use of the Wii remote. I haven’t yet figured out how moving your players and shooting will be done, but maybe that we’ll find out in one of the next videos to be released.

On my shopping list – definitely.