Wii Channels on the tube

[Wii] Console starts to flex its multimedia muscle

Even though Nintendo's trying to convince us that the future of gaming is all about simplicity, it's still loading Wii full of new, multimedia features. When you power up the console on November 19, the easy-to-use Wii Channels menu will greet you and your whole family (or roommates... or lonely couch) with open arms.

Each channel is represented by a small thumbnail image that represents the kind of content you're about to access. Overall, the idea behind the Wii Channel system is that anyone who fiddles with the console long enough will want to cave in and try a game. Literally, everyone - from Grandma to Auntie Sue, Nintendo wants 'em all playing Wii on launch day. So, what kind of goodies are you getting?

Disc Channel

Basically, the first channel is whatever's already inside the Wii's disc reader. That could be the newest game or one of the 500-plus GameCube games.

Mii Channel

Here you can create a little digital dude who looks like the cartoony characters in Wii Sports (who, in turn, look like Playmobil toys). You'll be able to adjust skin color, eyes, hair, nose, mouth and plenty of other choice areas. Once the Mii is created, you can store it on your Wii remote and plop them on another console. What they'll do on someone else's Wii wasn't revealed, but it could perhaps be some kind of low-rent Animal Crossing. The Miis can also be put into actual gameplay in Wii Sports or Wario Ware: Smooth Moves. Nintendo thinks this create-a-character mode will entice non-gamers to see their creations in real games - we're still not sure that'll be the case.

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