Six months after launch, the BBC has finally got around to redesigning its version of iPlayer for the Nintendo Wii games console to make it more suited to being operated from the couch. Initially taking a ‘keep it simple, get it out fast’ approach, explains the Beeb’s Anthony Rose, the original Wii version of the public broadcaster’s seven day TV catch-up service made do with the 2 foot user interface designed for the PC. “The new Wii version has a simplified user interface that presents just a few options on screen at a time and nice big chunky controls – easy to aim at with a Wiimote.”
Rose also takes the opportunity to defend the BBC’s original decision to build a Wii version of iPlayer rather than one for Sony’s PlayStation 3. “The reason is simple: there are twice as many Wii units in the UK than PS3s”. Additionally, the original PS3 web browser had “some odd quirks which have increased development time”, says Rose. In other words, a PS3 version is still in the works.
… we’re not quite there yet as the PS3 uses a slightly older version of Flash which doesn’t support some of the features used in our media player, and the very promising Flash 9 update now available on PS3 has some compatibility issues. Our Flash developers are working on it – stay tuned for updates.