The Wii Online Service Opens Up a Whole New World to Your Wii Console

Nintendo has an internet service especially for the Wii. This Wii online service opens up a whole new world of features and entertainment for your console.

Here are all the great things you can do with the Wii internet service...

  • WiiConnect24 is a 24 hour connection to the internet. WiiConnect24 keeps your console connected to the net even when your Wii is turned off. You can download games, software updates and messages from friends without having to leave your console switched on all the time.
  • The Wii Shop Channel is where you buy and download games and new Wii channels (see further down the page to find out what Wii channels are). Nintendo have done a great job of making classic Nintendo games from previous consoles available on the Wii. You simply buy games from the Wii Shop using Wii points, store them on your console, and play them whenever you want.
  • Online Gaming lets you play Wii games against people all over the world. This is done over the internet, and there are usually lots of people playing the same game together. Games like Mario Kart Wii let up to 12 people play together through the Nintendo Wii online service.
  • Miis are the little characters that you create on your console. Your Miis can be as zany as you like and lots of Wii games let use your Mii characters in the game, which adds to the fun.

    A really cool feature is the Mii Plaza. Mii Plaza is where all the Miis you've created mingle and meet. Because your Nintendo Wii is online even when your console is switched off, your Miis go out onto the internet and visit other people's Mii Plazas. This means that other people see your Mii on their Wii console! Visit the Mii Plaza on your Wii and see other people's Miis when they come to visit you. It's a quirky and fun feature of the Wii online service.

  • The Wii Internet Channel is a special Wii web browser that lets you surf the web from the comfort of your television. Instead of sitting on your computer to surf the net, you can simply do it using your Wii console.
  • Create an online friends list and send messages and share photos with friends around the world through the Wii online message boards. When friends send you messages, your Wii lights up with a glowing blue light around the CD slot to let you know there's a message waiting.
  • Download software updates for your Wii console whenever Nintendo make these available. As Nintendo come up with bright new ideas and features for the Wii, they give all Wii owners a chance to enjoy them by updating the Wii's software over the internet.

When you turn on your Wii, the main menu screen (called the Wii Menu) has a number of blocks called "Wii Channels". Each channel is a program that you can go into and use. The Wii console comes with the Wii Shop, Mii Channel, Weather Channel and News Channel ready to use. Other channels can be downloaded from the Wii Shop. Some channels are free, but other channels you'll have to buy.

Some of the free channels that you can download from the Wii Shop are the Nintendo Channel, the Everybody Votes Channel, and the Check Mii Out Channel.

The Wii web browser (called the Wii Internet Channel) used to cost 500 points, but is now also available as a free channel. So if you want to surf the net on your Wii console, simply download it from the Wii Shop.

The Wii can connect to the internet wirelessly. This wireless function comes built into the console. If you have wireless internet at home, you should be able to connect your Wii online instantly, without buying anything extra.

If you have the internet but you need to connect to it using a cable, you'll have to connect your Wii console to the internet using the specific Wii LAN Adaptor cable. The Wii LAN Adaptor cable doesn't come with the Wii, so you'll need to buy it separately. The official Nintendo cable is around $24.99 in the US and £17.99 in the UK. Wii LAN Adaptor cables from third party companies (meaning they're not made by Nintendo) are a little bit cheaper than the official Nintendo cable, so think about buying one of these instead.

To set up your Wii's wireless internet connection is really easy to do…

  1. The first thing to do is to dig out the password key that came with your wireless internet router. You'll need to type this password into your Wii console in one of the later steps.
  2. Click the "Wii" circle in the bottom left corner of the Wii Menu screen (this is the Wii Options button)
  3. Click on the "Wii Settings" box (don't click on Data Management).
  4. A new menu screen appears. Click the arrow in the middle right of the screen to go to the next page
  5. On the next page, click the "Internet" bar.
  6. In the Internet menu, click the "Connection Settings" bar.
  7. Click the "Connection 1" menu bar to enter your connection settings.
  8. Click the "Wireless Connection" menu bar.
  9. Click the "Search for an Access Point" menu bar, and your Wii will search for a wireless internet signal in your area.
  10. When the screen shows the words Choose the access points you want to connect to, click "OK".
  11. Find your wireless router from the list that comes up on the screen. Every wireless internet connection has its own name so you should be able to identify your wireless connection in the list.
  12. You'll need to enter the password key that came with your wireless router in order to connect the console to the router and get your Wii online. If you don't have this password you won't be able to get onto the internet.
  13. When you see the words Do you want to save these settings?, click "OK".
  14. Click "OK" to test your internet connection.
  15. If your internet connection test was successful, you'll be offered a chance to update the software on your console; click "Yes". If your internet connection test failed make sure you have typed the password key in correctly. If you have, then check to make sure your wireless router is plugged in and your internet isn't down.
  16. Click "I Accept" to start the software download.

To get your Wii online using the Wii LAN Adaptor cable…

  1. Follow steps 2-7 above, and then…
  2. Click the "Wired Connection" menu bar.
  3. When the words Initiating connection test appear, click "OK"
  4. If your internet connection test was successful, you'll be offered a chance to update the software on your console; click "Yes". If your internet connection test failed, make sure that your internet modem is plugged in and that your internet isn't down.
  5. Click "I Accept" to start the software download.

Taking your Wii online is a great way to explore all the features of the Wii console. Whether you're creating new Miis, sending messages to friends, or playing games with people around the world, going online adds a lot of fun to the Wii experience.

The Wii online features are only one part of the total Wii experience. You can learn more about the Wii in the Wii Explained section.

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