All entries for April 2007

April 21, 2007

You know you're still bored when…

A friend of mine recently acquired the funds and the stock availability to get himself a Wii. He doesn’t have a wireless router, so we were discussing the practicalities of the wired option.

Anyway, that’s not what this is about; during the conversation he mentioned that, since you can’t turn it off-off, he unplugs it at night to save electricity. This is fair enough at the moment since he can’t get it online, so isn’t losing anything, but it got me thinking about how much power a Wii actually uses. I knew it has the smallest power requirement of the current generation, but how much is not a lot?

I couldn’t find any clues on the power supply or the box (it’s a nice box, so I kept it, ok?) but even if it said, it probably wouldn’t give me standby power.

So, a quick trip to eBay, and about £10 total, got me an electricity meter (similar in appearance and use to the timers that switch appliances on and off to let burglars know you’re on holiday); as I said in the title, I was bored…

So, I now know the power consumption for most of the mains-powered appliances in the house. So here’s a summary:

  • Wii (on) 18W
  • Wii (orange standby) 10W
  • Wii (red standby) 1-2W
  • TV (on) 60W (it was either 50, 60, or 70; I can’t remember which; I was expecting 100s, though…)
  • TV (standby) 1W
  • Kettle 2kW ish
  • Henry 300W ish
  • Sky+ (on) 25W
  • Sky+ (standby) 20W then drops to about 15W after a minute or so of not recording
  • Fridge-Freezer 0W most of the time, but I can’t remember if the compressor was 10s or 100s

So, there we are; it costs roughly 1p to boil the kettle, about £1 to leave the telly on standby for a year, and approximately 5p to play on the Wii for a whole day… asuming my maths is right; either way the Wii doesn’t use much power…

April 18, 2007

Power Station

Follow-up to Heatseeker: Blackhand Edition from The randomness of tomorrow, today!

Having now used the Power Station (more specifically the batteries), I can now confirm that the batteries have as much life as the normal AAs; the bonus being they're rechargeable, of course. It's just a shame it's only "supports" two Wiimotes; still, it's enough for me for the moment.

April 12, 2007

Oh, yes. One other thing…

Follow-up to Wii Internet Channel from The randomness of tomorrow, today!

Scrolling is a lot better, too. In the trial version, Up and Down cycled through links, but now they scroll. There are also B+Direction shortcuts to Favourites, Refresh, etc. And they've added built-in Google and Yahoo! searching.

I also really love the Automatic zoom option - point at a large box and it will zoom appropriately for the large box; point at a small box and it will zoom in further. I can't remember if this is an update, but it's still good either way...

Heatseeker: Blackhand Edition

While I'm on the subject of New Things and the Wii, I recently bought The Godfather: Blackhand Edition and Heatseeker.

The Godfather: Blackhand Edition is fantastic. It's a heck of a lot of fun (I can spend hours extorting businesses, taking over rackets, and strangling rival mobsters) and it's a fantastic way to get my GTA fix, although I think I prefer it to San Andreas (the only GTA I've actually played). While I can't summon Harrier Jump Jets (Triangle, Triangle, Square, Circle, X, L1, L1, Down, Up) in Godfather, I don't believe you can strangle people in GTA:SA and it certainly doesn't have motion-controlled hand-to-hand...

Speaking of jets... Heatseeker's good, too. Not that any jets (I believe) have VTOL; it's just a useful segue. I quite like their idea of the Impact Cam - as the guy in a preview video said, it makes it just that little bit more interesting that Lock Onto Radar Blip, Destroy Radar Blip.

Ah yes, one other thing: I also bought Joytech's "Power Station", which is very good. The battery life seems decent enough (considering the Wiimote eats batteries for breakfast, brunch, lunch, tiffin, dinner, supper, and any other meals it can squeeze in), but since it's rechargeable (which is the point) it doesn't matter too much. It would have been better if it could have housed 4 Wiimotes, since that's how many the Wii can take, but still; one improvement, however, is it's now powered by a dongle placed inline with the power supply - rather than by the USB port as it was when I first heard about it.

Wii Internet Channel

Nintendo and Opera have just released the full version of the Wii Internet Channel, and it is a huge improvement over the trial version. Aside from the fact that it seems to load quicker, one of the best things about it is that you can hide the toolbar; it had always annoyed me that the damned toolbar was cutting down on the usable space, and now it doesn't!

So, now all Nintendo need to do (in relation to web browsing) is release a keyboard attachment for the Wiimote...

April 2007

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