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BBC to launch iPlayer Wii Channel

If you still haven't found a good reason to buy a Wii (and most of us here haven't), here's something to help: on 18 November, it's getting a proper BBC iPlayer application

If you still haven't found a good reason to buy a Wii (and most of us here haven't), here's something to help: on 18 November, it's getting a proper BBC iPlayer application. Forget messing about with a Web browser, this is a fully fledged native app built with Adobe Flash.

And, better still, it won't cost a bean. From 12:01am on 18 November you can download the application for free from the Wii store, and install it as a dedicated Wii Channel. The new look and feel is designed specifically for big screens, and for navigation with the Wii's controllers.

The BBC has worked with Nintendo to develop the new service, which promises to offer a richer experience for watching on-demand TV and radio. Although it appears live streams won't be available.

"We have used the rumble feature on the controller to give feedback," the Beeb's Rahul Chakkara said in a blog posting, "[and] a search feature allows you to find the content easily."

"The technical challenges were many," he continued. "The technical teams had to optimise and innovate in every part of the technical chain to make iPlayer work on an embedded device. Due to the limited processing power and memory available on these types of devices, most of the effort went into optimising data requests, reducing network traffic and balancing the remaining processing power available for video decoding with interface and interaction features."

There's still no word on iPlayer for Xbox 360, sadly. Though you can at least get live Sky TV if you want to pay for it. That'll do for now, we suppose.

Excited, Wiiers? Thoughts go in the comments.