These control input and output between the code running on the main processor the PowerPC "Broadway" processor and the Wii's hardware features that did not exist on the GameCube , which can only be accessed via the ARM. Instead, it gets installed in addition to any current IOS versions. All native Wii software including games distributed on Nintendo optical discs , the System Menu itself, Virtual Console games, WiiWare , and Wii Channels , with the exception of certain homebrew applications, have the IOS version hardcoded into the software.
When the software is run, the IOS that is hardcoded gets loaded by the Wii, which then loads the software itself. If that IOS does not exist on the Wii, in the case of disc-based software, it gets installed automatically after the user is prompted. With downloaded software, this should not theoretically happen, as the user cannot access the shop to download software unless the player has all the IOS versions that they require.
However, if homebrew is used to forcefully install or run a piece of software when the required IOS does not exist, the user is brought back to the system menu. Nintendo created this system so that new updates would not unintentionally break compatibility with older games, but it does have the side effect that it uses up space on the Wii's internal NAND Flash memory. IOSes are referred to by their number, which can theoretically be between 0 and , although many numbers are skipped, presumably being development versions that were never completed.
Only one IOS version can run at any given time. All games run directly on the Broadway processor, and either directly interface with the hardware for the hardware common to the Wii and GameCube , or interface with IOS running on the ARM architecture processor for Wii-specific hardware. This means that while a piece of software is running, everything seen on the screen comes from that software, and not from any operating system or firmware.
Therefore, the version number reported by the Wii is actually only the version number of the System Menu. This is why some updates do not result in a change of the version number: As a side effect, this means it is impossible for Nintendo to implement any functions that would affect the games themselves, for example an in-game system menu similar to the Xbox 's in-game Dashboard or the PlayStation 3 's in-game XMB.
Similar to many other video game consoles , the Wii is not only about games. For example, it is possible to install applications such as Netflix to stream media without requiring a disc on the Wii. The Wii Menu let users access both game and no-game functions through built-in applications called Channels, which are designed to represent television channels.
There are six primary channels: Some of the functions provided by these Channels on the Wii used to limited to a computer , such as a full-featured web browser and digital photo viewer. Users can also use Channels to create and share cartoon-like digital avatars called Miis and download new games and Channels directly from the Wii Shop Channel.
Separate Channels are graphically displayed in a grid and can be navigated using the pointer capability of the Wii Remote. This connectivity allows players to use the Nintendo DS microphone and touch screen as inputs for Wii games.
Nintendo later released the Nintendo Channel for the Wii allowing its users to download game demos or additional data to their Nintendo DS. Like many other video game consoles , the Wii console is able to connect to the Internet , although this is not required for the Wii system itself to function.
Each Wii has its own unique digit Wii Code for use with Wii's non-game features. With Internet connection enabled users are able to access the established Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service. The service has a few features for the console, including the Virtual Console , WiiConnect24 and several Channels.
The Wii console can also communicate and connect with other Wii systems through a self-generated wireless LAN, enabling local wireless multiplayer on different television sets. The system also implements console-based software, including the Wii Message Board. One can connect to the Internet with third-party devices as well. It is meant to be a convenient way to access the web on the television screen, although it is far from offering a comfortable user interface compared with modern Internet browsers.
A virtual keyboard pops up when needed for input, and the Wii Remote acts like a mouse, making it possible to click anywhere on the screen and navigate though web links. However, the browser cannot always handle all the features of most normal web pages, although it does support Adobe Flash , thus capable of playing Flash games. This was because the Wii hardware had ports for both GameCube memory cards, and peripherals and its slot-loading drive was able to accept and read the previous console's discs.
GameCube games work with the Wii without any additional configuration, but a GameCube controller is required to play GameCube titles; neither the Wii Remote nor the Classic Controller functions in this capacity. The Wii supports progressive-scan output in p-enabled GameCube titles. Peripherals can be connected via a set of four GameCube controller sockets and two Memory Card slots concealed by removable flip-open panels.
There are also a few limitations in the backward compatibility. The console also lacks the GameCube footprint and high-speed port needed for Game Boy Player support. This is due to the fact that the Wii's internal memory would not save GameCube data. Because of the original device's backward compatibility with earlier Nintendo products players can enjoy a massive selection of older games on the console in addition to hundreds of newer Wii game titles. However, South Korean units lack GameCube backward compatibility.
List of additional Channels[ edit ] This is a list of new Wii Channels released beyond the four initial Channels i. The News Channel and the Forecast Channel were released as part of system updates so separate downloads were not required.