Nintendo: HTML5 support for Wii U browser, but no Flash

Microsoft’s latest dashboard update for the Xbox 360 introduced the ability to browse the web via Internet Explorer, but web browsing on games consoles isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. Nintendo’s Wii, for example, offered this facility over five years ago via The Internet Channel (essentially a customised version of the Opera browser), and the company’s next-generation console, the Wii U, will also offer access to websites.

Nintendo has revealed a few details about the console’s browser, which is based on the NetFront Browser engine, used for embedded browsing in a vast range of devices such as smart TVs, set-top boxes, public information terminals and gaming devices, including Nintendo’s own 3DS handheld.

Unsurprisingly, the Wii U’s browser won’t support Adobe Flash – or any other plug-ins for that matter – but it does support current HTML5 standards. The browser achieved a reputable, if not remarkable, score of 323+8 (out of a possible 500 points) via HTML5Test.com; by comparison, the Xbox 360’s Internet Explorer 9 browser achieved a comparatively poor score of 120+8.

However, while the Xbox 360 includes multitouch browsing support via the new Xbox SmartGlass apps – allowing users to navigate and browse the web on the console using gestures such as pinch-to-zoom on a compatible smartphone or tablet – the Wii U gamepad does not support multitouch inputs.

The Wii U will launch across North America on 18 November, and in Europe on 30 November.

Source and image: Nintendo

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22 Comments

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Since YouTube stopped needing Flash, I actually don't think this is a big deal. A company is having a greater problem today if their page still uses Flash...

"the Wii U gamepad does not support multitouch inputs."

Do we need multitouch for browsing? What's the advantage here, really?

joep1984 said,
"the Wii U gamepad does not support multitouch inputs."

Do we need multitouch for browsing? What's the advantage here, really?

zooming in and out...

spy beef said,

zooming in and out...

However zooming with multitouch is a PITA and most of the time double click is more than enough.

thartist said,
No more opera? 12.10 RC is doing awesome

I think Webkit is probably cheaper than Opera to deploy. From a business perspective, Opera makes no sense at all.

thartist said,
No more opera? 12.10 RC is doing awesome
I feel opera is a bit behind in the browser war compared to even IE. Pages like YouTube don't even work properly.

spy beef said,
I rather buy Xbox 360 and use IE 10 instead

Unfortunately, the IE from the 360 is 9. I can bet that IE 10 will come either next year or with the next gen console.

jmc15john said,
Someone will find an exploit to install Flash I'm sure. Maybe even Java.

True true, heck they did it with the old wii, but turns out the hardware was too slow for it to be practical. Let's see what wii-u is capable of once it's done ;3