Finally, you can get your weather and news through a Wii emulator

Wii Forecast Channel
(Image credit: Nintendo)

If you've been thinking that just typing 'weather' or 'news' into your browser is far too convenient a way to get information, I've got good news: the Dolphin emulator now supports the Wii's old informational apps.

The Wii had a number of unique online features to help cement its place as the living room box of the mid-to-late 2000s, including apps like the Forecast Channel and News Channel. As advertised, those apps would let you get the news and weather through thoroughly Nintendo-like interfaces complete with globes you could spin around to find regional forecasts and reports.

All this was handled through a service called WiiConnect24, which was shut down back in 2013. Fans soon started to work on a project called RiiConnect24, which provides many of the same features through fan-maintained services that can be used on a hacked Wii console using homebrew software. Real Wii consoles have been able to make use of RiiConnect24 for years, and now it's supported through the Dolphin emulator, too.

You can read a big breakdown on how it was implemented as part of the latest Dolphin progress report, but the short version is that there were a ton of technical challenges that the developers had to overcome to get the services supported in the emulator. While I'm (mostly) joking about the usefulness of the news and weather reports here, it's absolutely fantastic to continue to see community developers preserving these sorts of niche console features through emulation.

RiiConnect24 also offers support for things like the Everybody Votes Channel (where users are polled on random topics), the Check Mii Out Channel (where you basically play 'hot or not' with miis), and the Nintendo Channel (which offers a large assortment of often-bizarre videos produced by Nintendo).

A big update earlier this year made it easy to install GameCube and Wii graphics mods through Dolphin, so maybe it's time to revisit some of the best Wii games of all time.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.