You can surf the Internet using your Nintendo Wii simply by downloading and installing the WiiWare application called Internet Channel. You must first connect your Nintendo Wii to the Internet. The Internet Channel costs about 500 Wii points on the Wii Shop Channel, which translates to about $5 in US currency.
The Nintendo Wii Internet Channel is powered by the Opera Internet browser. Opera browsers have been around for quite a number of years. They first hit the Internet in the mid 1990’s, but never really gained the popularity on the desktop like Internet Explorer or Firefox. However, if you browse the Internet with your mobile device, other than an iPhone, then you may already have used Opera. Because of its lightweight profile, the browser is used quite extensively for smaller devices like cell phones and mobile computers. The browser is produced by Norwegian based company called Opera Software.
Many web formats are supported by Opera such as: CSS, Java Script, Ajax, RSS, Adobe Flash 7, and Widgets. The Nintendo Wii Internet Channel browser will work best with a high speed Internet connection. Since the Nintendo Wii is always connected to the Internet and has decent internal memory, the Opera browser is fast at rendering web pages. In addition, viewing text on the larger screen of your living room can be a little easier on your eyes, provided you have a larger screened television.
Only support for Flash 7 is available, so many flash based web pages will not display properly. Once a software kit is made available to the Opera developers, the capability to render higher versions of flashed based pages will be available. There is also no support for sites that use Java applets.
Since the Nintendo Wii is geared mainly towards kids, the lack of the latest Flash and Java support for the Internet Channel is a real drawback. This is because most of the arcade style web games that most kids like to play in the Internet are based on Flash and Java. There are a few sites that are cropping up that have reverted back to Flash 7 and are geared toward the Nintendo Wii. For example you can try these pair of sites that offer arcade style play for the Nintendo Wii like WiiCade and WiiPlayable.
Another drawback to the Nintendo Wii Internet Channel Opera browser is that there is no support for many video and audio formats like .wmv and .mp3. Video sites like YouTube will work with the Internet Channel.
Navigating the web is done solely through your Nintendo Wii remote. Just point it at the screen and move the Wii remote like you would a regular mouse. To make an on-screen selection press the A button. When you are playing web based arcade games, you will find that there is an advantage to using the Nintendo Wii remote over a regular computer mouse.