Nintendo Channel Impressions!!!…. Well Maybe Not


     Well I was quite excited about being able to do an easy “impressions” post today but it appears the gaming gods didn’t like that idea; either that or Nintendo is just screwing with me. You see I was really excited to hear about the launch of the Wii’s “Nintendo Channel” today and I couldn’t wait to get home from work, but alas I’ve yet to try the Nintendo Channel; however I assure you it is not do to a lack of trying. Read on to find out more.    

     My guess is, that if you went through the trouble of finding this blog than you already know what the Nintendo Channel is, so I’ll spare you the introduction. Now what does become important however is to note how long I, and every other American Wii owner, have been waiting to finally get this feature stateside. You see Japan has had this channel since late November of last year, while we on the other side of the pond have been itching to get our grubby hands on it, often looking up every video of the japanese version available on the internet, just to get a taste of what it would offer. So tell me why it is that just about every lame, useless Wii Channel like the “Everybody Votes” Channel all got nearly worldwide releases on the same day, but the only channel that adds some useful functionality to the system takes half a year to make the jump? Was it really that hard to localize? Maybe I’m just ignorant to the way these things work but it still seems a bit off.

     Now since the channel has finally made it stateside I can put that all behind me and start downloading some demos to my DS… right? Doesn’t seem that way unfortunately because I’ve have had one hell of a time getting the channel to work. 

     Now before I go any further, I do want to note that I understand that the launch of anything like this tends not to go flawlessly, and server problems are an extremely regular occurrence; however that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. And I would also like to state that the Wii is not alone in its online problems. For example my friends and I spent the entirety of the Halo 3 launch day trying to connect to a server while playing Wii sports to kill the time. But I would also like to note that the previously mentioned channels, which I deem useless, worked without problem for me on their respective launch days. Now from this point on I’m going to be jumping in and out of narrative… why? you ask, well because it’s funnier that way.

     When I finally got home from work today I had a one track mind, geared only towards turning on the Wii and finally downloading the “Nintendo Channel” I waited so long for. I pulled my Wii-motes of the charger and fired up the little white box, ready to start downloading some demos.

     First things first, I’ve gotta see how many blocks it’s going to take up. Load up the shop channel…. Connection error “051330”… damn what’s wrong. Ok i’ll look up the code online. The Wii can’t find an access point? that’s odd my routers working just fine. Alright maybe it was a fluke, I’ll try again. Fire up the Wii again, load the shop channel… Success! Maybe it was just a fluke. Okay so how many blocks am I looking at here? 123… Well I have 33 left, guess it’s time to clean out the fridge.

     Let’s see what am I not playing right now… Sin & Punishment, score 287 blocks! I guess I’ll transfer it to the SD card since the shop channel has been acting weird. Okay, copying… and copying… this is gonna take a while isn’t it? guess I’ll just watch some TV while I wait. Courage the Cowardly Dog… sweet!

3 minutes later

     Should be done transferring by now… What! still copying; Alright no problem I’ll just wait a little bit longer.

1 minute later

     Finally done transferring. Now I’ve got over 300 blocks to work with… god I’m not looking forward to WiiWare cleaning time.

     Alright. time to get my Nintendo Channel on. Load up the shop channel… error code “051330”? Not you again. Maybe it’s just another fluke… I’ll try turning off the Wii and trying again. Okay loading the Wii back up, launch the Wii Shop… another error? Maybe the servers just clogged.

     I’ll try the internet channel to make sure my connections working. Okay back to the Wii Menu, launch internet channel, go to favorites, GoNintendo… loads just fine? But if The internet channel works than my connection is fine… why would I be getting an error that says it can’t find an access point then?

     At this point I’m starting to get a little frustrated, but again I understand the servers going to be a bit clogged so I do the old internet connection check, try then retry. Eventually after about 4 tries and various error codes I finally get into the Wii Shop again.

     Look at that the Nintedno Channel is right on the front page again, no waiting on loading for me. I am ready to download. I know my younger brother said his took 2 minutes to download so mine should take about the same right? I thought I’d find out for sure, I take out my iPhone (An iPod touch with a Samsung A900 duct taped to the back) and turn on the stop watch.

     In good old shop channel fashion big Mario pops on the screen and starts collecting coins, meanwhile I start the clock.

2 minutes in

     Well Mario’s still collecting coins, but box #1 is still rearing its ugly, question marked face at me. Oh well it is a pretty big download and the channel has to be packed right now.

 Exactly 4 minutes and 32.4 seconds into download

     ERROR CODE ” 204038″…. WHAT? Okay calm down, I know what’s going on it’s the server again. It’s no big deal that I just wasted nearly 5 minutes for nothing, I’ll try again.

     What’s this? Little Mario… well maybe that explains it. After mario grabbed his last coin and went on that ill fated trip to the other side of the screen he must have fallen down a hole and died… yeah that’s it. Okay well this time it’s going to be different, I can feel it.

 3 minutes and 7 seconds into 2nd download attempt

     Ha! first block down and only 2 more to go. I have a good feeling about this time. That second block though sure is taking a while, and my bladder sure is getting full from this Dr. Pepper I’m drinking… and they do say a watched pot never boils… time for a bathroom break. 

7 minutes and 35 seconds into 2nd download attempt… after bathroom break

     Oh No! Not again! Error code “204038”… but we made it for nearly 8 minutes Mario, how could you fail me while I wasn’t even looking.

     Okay last time and I’m not leaving this spot. I’m going to sit here watching every move that plumber makes. 

3 minutes and 7 seconds into 3rd download attempt

     Yeah! that’s more like it, Fire mario this time around and he’s cooking. We’re 2 blocks down and counting…. and counting…. and counting… and we’re done. 8 minutes and 31.6 seconds final download time.

      Time to give this baby a run… but what is that tantalizing aroma. Dammit, it’s already dinner time and I smell BBQ chicken… I’ll be back Nintendo Channel.

     After returning from my delicious meal (My mom’s an awesome cook) I am eager to get going with this thing and more importantly get those impressions going. Let’s just load up the channel.

     Hm… the floating bubbles are a nice touch… this sure is taking a while, I wonder what it’s doing, WHAT…. another error… NO… We’ve come too far… ughhh. Is this some kind of sick joke? Is some smug little IT guy at Nintendo just laughing at my pain right now? How could anybody be so cruel?

Then again maybe I’m overreacting.  Maybe it’s just not meant to be, I guess I’ll just have to return tomorrow… time to play some more Mario Kart I guess… 

ughh… Stupid Blue shells

     Narrative aside I am ultimately very frustrated with how hard this process was, almost 20 minutes was spent simply downloading the file and then I can’t use it yet. I tried multiple times and it just won’t connect. Again though I guess it’s just an issue they are going to have to work out. Maybe this is just a problem for me, My little brother didn’t have any trouble though and he’s using the same router so I strongly believe I’m not alone in this frustration. Hopefully this all is fixed by tomorrow and I’ll be able to offer up some impressions… or at least something a little more coherent for that matter.


* Update:  Well still no luck today on the Nintendo Channel, but I’m guessing by now anybody reading this has already tried it anyways so I’m just not going to worry about it at this time. Anyways tune in later tonight (it’s 2 a.m. for me now) for some hot, sexy WiiWare talk… ok so maybe some regular WiiWare talk instead…




3 Responses to “Nintendo Channel Impressions!!!…. Well Maybe Not”

  1. superdave7006 Says:

    Man I feel ya! I was the same way, so excited to finally have the Nintendo Channel Stateside, but all I get is a stupid error code 051330. It downloaded fine, just took forever, but still two days later, still doesn’t work.

  2. gamewhisperer Says:

    Yeah, it’s a bit of a pain.
    I still haven’t gotten it to work properly on my Wii but luckily my little Bro got it working on his so I finally got to download the Ninja Gaiden Demo!!

  3. smae problem since i got my wii back from the repair centre

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