8 things every Wii owner should know

The Wii is deceptively simple. Inside of that cheery white box lie many important features -- here's how to tap into them.

The Wii is simple but deep. Here are eight ways to get the most out of Nintendo's newest system, with tips straight from the experts at GamePro.

- No DVD playback! In a somewhat surprising move, the Wii isn't compatible with standard movie DVDs, so you can't watch flicks on your Wii. This is an important point if you were planning to make your Wii a centerpiece in your living room. On the plus side, Nintendo could always add DVD support down the line through a firmware update. And recently, a user-made program has hacked in support for DVD movie playback on the Wii, though this hack remains unsupported by Nintendo and could cause problems. In a nutshell, media is not the Wii's strong suit. Gaming is!

- Wi-Fi never sleeps! If you see that you're Nintendo Wii console is blinking with a blue light from its disk drive after you've turned it off, don't worry: this just means that your Wii is connecting to the internet, receiving messages from friends, and downloading software updates.

- Fun with Friend Codes! Wii owners often ask where they can find their Wii's unique Friend Code so they can play with friends online. Each Wii has a unique 16 digit number specific to its console, and that can be found on your Wii Message Board in your Address Book. Friend Codes are notoriously unpopular with Wii players, and more game developers are working around Friend Codes to provide an easier way to play online with friends.

- Channels and updates! Nintendo is constantly updating the Wii's Channels, from the popular Everybody Votes channel to the Mii Channel. These channels require internet connectivity, but allow you to interact with people from across the globe.

- Backwards compatibility! Not only can your Nintendo Wii play older GameCube discs, but you can plug GameCube controllers into the top of your Wii console, or use the wireless Wavebird. The GameCube controller is also compatible with a number of current Wii games, such as Super Smash Bros. Melee.

- Keep your Sensor Bar properly placed! For your console to recognize your Wii Remote, your Sensor Bar has to be in plain sight - either centered on top of your television set, or centered beneath it. If you change the position of the Sensor Bar, be sure to re-calibrate the Wii Remote with the proper settings under the Wii Settings menu (on the main menu). Either way, make sure you sync up your controller with your system before you jump headfirst into Resident Evil 4 or Mario Galaxy.

- Keep your Wii Remote charged! Wii Remotes take two AA batteries a piece, and while these last a reasonably long time, it's an unnecessary expense. Consider buying a set of rechargeable batteries to stay green (and save some green, too). To check how much juice your current batteries have left, press the Home button on your Wii remote and look for the battery-shaped icon that will show you how many bars you have left.

- Upload your photos! The Wii uses an optional SD memory card to hold extra data, which means that you can plug in your memory card from your digital camera. Once you have the SD memory card installed, you can take your photos into the Photo Channel, draw on them, add stickers, and them e-mail them back and forth to your friends via the Wii Message Board. Silly, maybe, but fun.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags games consolesgameswii

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

GamePro staff

GamePro
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?