Find a new use for your Wii. If your motion-controlled console collects more dust than high scores don’t worry: you can easily teach it new tricks.
The Wii, and every game console, is basically a computer hooked up to your television. By default this doesn’t mean much – you can only use the Wii to do things Nintendo intends – but with a little imagination and (occasionally) a little bit of Non-Nintendo-approved code you can do anything from watch your digital video collection to controlling your PC using VNC.
You’ll need to use LetterBomb to jailbreak your Wii for most of these ideas, but don’t panic: the process is simply and mostly safe.
There’s a lot you can do with your Wii; here’s a short list.
1. Turn Your Wii Into A Media Center
Your Wii is constantly connected to your television; your computer probably isn’t. It makes sense, then, to use your Wii to play videos on your TV – it’s why Netflix is increasingly the main thing people use their Wii for.
You can also use your Wii to play your personal collection of digital music and movies. WiiMC is the best media center software for the Wii, and it’s only a click or two away if you already have the Homebrew Browser set up.
Lean back and browse. WiiMC can browse media shared over a network or stored on a SD card or USB hard drive. and also play DVDs!
2. Use Your Wii to Play DVDs
Another thing about WiiMC, outlined above: it can play DVDs. This will not work on newer Wiis, but if you bought your Wii early on you’ve got yourself a DVD player.
3. Control Your PC with WiiVNC
You know about VNC: it’s the simplest way for one computer to completely control another, mouse keyboard and everything.
It’s not just limited to computers, however: you can also install VNC on your Wii. What you do with this is up to you, but it’s a quick way to put what’s on your computer onto your TV. It also allows you to control your computer with your WiiMote without messing with Bluetooth.
4. Explore The World With WiiEarth
Love exploring the world using software like Google Earth? With WiiEarth you can do the same thing from your couch, using only your WiiMote.
This service uses map data from both Google Maps and Bing; press the 2 button on your WiiMote to cycle between your options if something isn’t working. It’s a great way to quickly show someone directions to to simply explore what your town looks like from the sky.
5. Install Emulators To Play Classic Games
Virtual Console means Wii users already have access to a vast library of classic console and arcade games, but the catalog can be occasionally underwhelming. Don’t worry: with a little work you can get much more working than that.
I’ve shown you great emulators you can run on your Wii; follow that tutorial and you’ll be able to emulate all of the classic console from Genesis to NES to Game Boy Advanced.
If you prefer point-and-click PC adventures you should try ScummVM for Wii. The Wiimote is perfect for these games, so there’s no reason to not try them on your Wii. Relive some of gaming’s best adventures!
6. Run DOS Software On Your Wii
Speaking of reliving some of gaming’s best adventures: DOS! Just the word brings to mind a plethora of classic games from the 90s.
You’ll need a USB keyboard to get anything working, and a working knowledge of DOS commands will help a great deal.
But wait…there’s more! Here are a few other homebrew programs that can give you something new to do with your
- Use your Wii as a metronome
- Use your Wii as an alarm clock
- Use your Wii as a whiteboard
- Use your Wii as a karoke player
This is only a sample of what your Wii can do, of course: there is a lot more quality homebrew software out there, and if you know what you’re doing as a programmer you could probably make more. The only real limit is imagination.
Have ideas, or software to share? Speak up in the comments below!