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Wii Weather Channel Tells Weather, Gamers Complain

posted on December 20th, 2006 by matt

…And I’m going to be one of those complainers. What? I can’t help it. What with the powers of blogging, and all.

Anyway, after updating my Wii (which never takes as long as those other guys), my forecast channel finally greeted me up on the main screen. I’m starting to like how the main screen is turning out, what with those blank boxes starting to disappear. Still makes me wonder, though, won’t we max out the available channels by the time Wii’s successor shows up? 48 channels may sound like a lot, but five years down the line? I’m not too sure about that.

After setting up my Forecast Channel by telling the Wii which city you live in or near, you finally get to see what we’ve been missing since launch. Sorry to say, not that much.

It’s not like it isn’t great. The thing is pretty damn cool. Reminds me of Civilization IV’s Earth interface, but there’s not much to it. You get to spin the globe to whatever destination you want to see, and check on its weather forecast. It gives you the UV Rating, the current temp, today’s and tomorrow’s predicted, and the 5-day forecast. Last I checked, the South Pole was at 3 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s pretty cool, and damn accurate, but aside from that, it’s pretty basic. Some cities don’t even give you the 5-day.

The 3D globe feature is probably the best thing about it. You get to zoom in/out, and scroll around the whole thing. Closer you get in, the more cities pop up. The city I live in wasn’t included, which is surprising, seeing as how it’s a fairly big city for the area, but I just picked the next closest one. The biggest problem I’ve found is the lack of detail you get when zooming in. My area on the map didn’t even show the Hudson River, which is nearly a mile wide where I live. It just showed a grassy area. And that was for the entire state. The thing is a major staple of NY’s landscape and Nintendo can’t even put in a small blue line? For shame!

Amazingly, though, the star formations that are viewable when you zoom out are in their correct positions, based on real data. That’s all well and good, but I wants me my river!

Even though these are seriously bad nitpicking issues, there is one thing that I’m seeing a legitimate problem with. With Nintendo trying to make the Wii accessible to non-gamers, the fact that you need to load a channel before viewing it is somewhat of a problem. Xbox Live is right in your face, but the Wii’s Channels seem counter-intuitive to me. Do they really expect people to keep coming back and loading everything all the time? It makes the system very disjointed in my opinion.

But I have to give major props on the menu music. It’s… ethereal. Nintendo is doing a bang-up job in the music department with the Wii. My personal favorite is still the Virtual Console menu music, but if they keep doing what they’re doing, I’m gonna need an OST soon.

5 Comments

  1. jay said on December 20, 2006:

    I went through a range of emotions when I found out this service was ready. First, who gives a shit? I have a television with the weather channel and I have internet with…the weather channel. Why would I ever waste my time booting up then loading the weather on my Wii?

     

    Then I saw the channel and heard the nice music and I briefly liked it a lot. The 3D globe is cool and just playing around with it is pretty amusing. Then I checked London’s 5 day forecast since I’ll be going there soon for vacation. But there was no 5 day forecast. Now I don’t care if Nintendo has no 5 day for somewhere shitty, like Texas, but it’s not like London is a backwoods area with a weatherman deficiency. I now dislike the Wii’s Weather Channel again. 

  2. Matt said on December 20, 2006:

    Yeah, I was a little upset to see Nuuk, Iceland get a 5-day and not London. I’m a big fan of Nuuk, but London rates a little higher on the "I want to go there before I die" meter.

  3. Stefan said on December 21, 2006:

    I have amused myself to no end in about 5-minute chunks every morning checking the weather before I leave for work.  I have to say, I really do like being able to toss the globe around with a flick of my wrist.As for the detail, I agree, although in all fairness they leased their imagry from NASA…it looks like they really only have one level of detail, and aren’t actually going to more detailed sattelite imagry as you get closer in…probably cheaper and not too big a deal in day to day use, but it does take away from my tendancy to explore on the map. 

  4. tony said on December 21, 2006:

    I don’t see what the big deal is.  It’s nice to have a channel that you can flip on and check the weather without having to navigate to a webpage and view a dozen pop up ads (cough* weather.com *cough).  This is just another one of those practically useless add-ons platforms throw in to make you think you’re getting a more "world-aware" console.  Like the ability to see what my friends are playing on XBox Live.  Why the hell do I need this?  If they’re not playing in a game with me I could care less what they’ve got loaded.  Or like the ability to transfer pictures back and forth from the PS3/360 to an iPod or camera.  Not sure how many people are using their iPods as mobile picture viewers, and since there’s no software yet to manipulate the photos (a la Photoshop) on consoles, what’s the use?
    There’s one thing that I could see weather info being used for.  I read a rumor that games like Madden will use the real-time weather reports to mimic what it would be like to be playing in a certain stadium at that exact moment.  Time of day, precipitation, wind speed … again, not necessary, but pretty cool nonetheless.

  5. Matt said on December 21, 2006:

    I think many people are disappointed with it because it’s being showcased by itself right now. If the channel released when the Wii did, it would look a little more enticing, see as how there are so many other things left to try out. But now, we’re used to everything, and it’s all by itself. I still like it, but its only good for about 2 minutes. Oh, and Tony, you can mess around with photos from phones, cameras on Wii’s Photo channel. 

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