The new version of the Internet Channel for Wii is now available, featuring support for USB keyboards along with new and enhanced ways to communicate online.

“We believe this new version of the Internet Channel is even more engaging and delightful for the users around the world than its predecessor,” said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO at Opera, the company behind the Internet Channel software. “Nintendo has always brought a new perspective, fresh ideas and unwavering enthusiasm to our partnership. And today, our combined efforts have given users more satisfaction.”

The new channel supports most keyboards plugged into one of the Wii’s two USB ports, and also offers new keyboard-specific shortcuts to facilitate simpler text input. The browser also enables users to send current or bookmarked websites to other friends on the Wii Network along with conventional instant messages. Text on web pages can be highlighted and searched for with either Google or Yahoo!, and the total number of stored favorite websites has been increased to up to 56.

The new software is available as a free upgrade for existing Internet Channel subscribers, while new users can download the software from the Wii Shop Channel for 500 Wii Points.

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