Wii Downloading

The throbbing blue slit when I woke up tipped me off that the Opera beta for the Wii was released this morning. I downloaded it this morning, and it’s an interesting concept. The ridiculous intuitiveness of the Wiimote has the potential to finally make the web a living room activity, accessible to even the most Luddite grandmother.

There is a ways to go, however, mostly because of the content. The mental vision in our brain for how the web is supposed to work has been deeply tainted by a mouse/keyboard paradigm, perhaps irrevocably so. Televisions - even with so-called high definition - are very low-resolution, and tend to be viewed from tens of feet away rather than tens of inches. The information density on such a display has to be lower in order to not overwhelm the senses.

However, this post is really about the Wii download screen, specifically the progress meter. It seems that, in an attempt to be funny or clever, some user interface numskull has replaced the normal filling bar with Mario collecting coins and hitting blocks. I could try and describe how it works, but it will be faster if you just watch the video.

As you can see, this is a terrible idea, in both idea and execution.

  1. It is almost impossible to figure out what’s going on.
  2. Even if you figure out what’s going on, the information portrayed is inaccurate, at best.
  3. There are whole generations of people who have never even seen the original Super Mario Bros, and will be utterly confused.
  4. It is so freaking annoying! The urge to put my face into a box with glue and nails is almost overwhelming.

Please, Nintendo, fix the Wii download screen.