Nintendo Picks Opera Browser for Next Game Console

Gamers using Nintendo’s next generation Wii console will be able to surf the Internet using a browser from Opera Software, the companies said Wednesday.

Opera isn’t revealing specific capabilities of the Wii browser, which is still in development, but said it will be a full-featured browser.

While many current game consoles are connected to the Internet to support multiplayer gaming, few of them allow full Web browsing. Some consoles, such as Microsoft’s Xbox 360, don’t come with browsers, but users can download limited functionality browsers to the console.

Wii customers will browse the Internet using the same controllers they play games with, the companies said. Nintendo unveiled some details of the controllers, which can sense motion and translate that motion into action in the game, this week.

The browser may play a hand in incorporating Web technology into games, an Opera spokeswoman said.

The announcement that Opera’s browser will feature on the Wii console follows the news that Opera is also supplying a browser for Nintendo’s handheld DS gaming device. Nintendo won’t build the browser into the Nintendo DS, but the software will be sold like a game cartridge in Japan in July. The companies have not announced plans to sell that browser in other markets, the Opera spokeswoman said.

Nintendo said it will start selling Wii around the world in the fourth quarter.

-Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service

For related news coverage, read Opera Debuts Public Beta of New Web Browser.

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