The Photo Channel assumes that the Wii is the kind of thing a person might have in their living room and would turn on to share their photos friends and family. The presence of the Forecast Channel suggests that the designers at Nintendo wanted the Wii to be the kind of hardware that people turn on in the morning like they would sit down at a computer. The same can be inferred by the News Channel, which was added a couple of months after the Wii's launch and was clearly a part of their original design plan for Channels. Nintendo did not just want a media hub like the video and audio streaming Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but rather they sought to encourage people to integrate play into their daily habits and their daily habits into play.
The News Channel is actually quite a pleasurable experience that stands apart from other methods of news delivery. For one, it isn't plastered with overlays, scrolling graphics, and ads. Instead, it uses large fonts, minimal colors, and plays a typical soothing Wii tune while browsing. The opening screen is a menu of "sections" as seen in print newspapers and print-emulating websites. These sections include national news, international news, sports, arts/entertainment, business, science/health, and technology. Selecting a section brings up a list of headlines, clicking on a headline brings up an AP story taking up 3/4 of the screen and a satellite image of the globe flashing the related location. The user (player?) can increase or decrease the font size, which is rendered nicely for high-def televisions, go back to the list of headlines, or choose to use the globe as an interface for browsing stories by location.
Browsing in the Globe view is one of the more satisfying experiences on the Wii. You can use the hand icon to click on a part of the Earth and drag/pull the planet around. There is a nice tactile feeling associated with this action and I dare anyone not to spin the planet around like they did a globe back in elementary school. News events show up on the map as either little newspaper icons or as photos pulled from the stories. Clicking on them brings up a list of regional headlines. You can also zoom in and out on the map to refine regions. When I zoomed out as far as I could I noticed that almost all the United States stories get lumped into "Chicago Area", but rotating it a bit causes "Chicago" stories to be populated in a US city more close to the center of my television. This seemingly insignifcant sorting algorithm actually illustrates the complicated nature of geocentric news.
While certainlly not a news game, the News Channel is one of the best examples available of a gaming company thinking about how a game platform can be used to deliver information. Had this just been a series of menus and some multimedia, it would have been disappointing. Instead, it makes good use of the Wiis pointing and motion controls and presents the news in a simple and appealing way.