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.

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