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Final Wii browser released

Internet!

Nintendo has released the final version of the Opera web browser for Wii, improving start-up, scroll and zoom speeds, adding built-in Google and Yahoo search tools, and implementing various parental controls for fans of the "Internet Channel".

The new version will be available to download once you've grabbed a small system update, and is free for everyone to download until June, after which newcomers will have to pay 500 Wii points to grab it.

The Wii browser originally launched in trial form on 22nd December last year, but users came up against some irritating limitations. The final version promises increased speed, better bookmarking facilities, clearer fonts and buttons that allow you to introduce things like "www." and ".com" to your URLs without having to faff around with an on-screen keyboard. You'll also be able to use more than one Wiimote as a pointer.

Will you use any of it? Who can say, but the fact that it's there has caught the attention of various companies, with the UK's Virgin Radio this week announcing that its website is fully compatible with the Wii and PlayStation 3 web browsers, allowing surfers to listen to its music through their console.