Rather than wallow in the misery that’s become the Cubs game tonight, I decided to play with my recently-acquired Wii (formerly owned by Duke) a bit, and I realized just how cool it is to have a functioning web browser on my television. I pulled up Twitter Election ’08 and caught reaction to the Senate version of the bailout (which passed) as it scrolled by in real-time. The Election site is already cool, but having that on my television was even cooler.
The Wii fascinates me. It can’t play DVDs without a hack, but yet it can run — and run quite well, I say — rich websites. (I also like the Forecast Channel for obvious reasons. :)) The Wii is quite a powerful little box and I’m looking to experimenting with it more.
I think devices like the Wii stress the importance of embracing Web standards and a strong commitment to testing sites on multiple platforms, including Opera. Opera’s a nifty little browser; few people use it on their PC, but it’s literally everywhere else, whether it be in the Wii or on portable devices (many BlackBerry users, including myself, use Opera for the Web instead of the built-in RIM browser). Its share on traditional desktop machines may be low, but anything outside of it and you’ll run into Opera. It’s increasingly in any developer’s best interest to ensure that a site they create is accessible not just by computer but by mobile devices and other specialty devices like the Wii; anytime those devices fail to work, that’s lost audience. It’s easy to do this, too! Coding to standards usually will do the trick, as properly-written, semantic HTML with style sheets for layout will gracefully degrade if the need arises, making your content — the most important thing on your site — as accessible as it would be as if it were on a computer.