Along with all the other news coming out at E3 2006, Opera have announced that their web browser will run on the Nintendo Wii.
This is interesting from a rendering point of view – most people are concerned about how web sites will look as resolutions increase, not decrease, for example see Dave Hyatt’s (lead engineer on Apple Safari) post on High DPI Web Sites. Remembering that the Wii does not support high-definition TV, Opera will have to render websites onto traditional telly screens which have 525 lines on NTSC, 576 visible lines on PAL and around 625 lines in SECAM (there are other variables, but I think this is close enough).
My home PC is connected to my TV, but it’s only really possible to use things like web browsers when I change the resolution down to 640×480, but you find that almost no web sites are designed with that in mind and so they’re much harder to use. Typical mobile clients have things like CSS disabling or the server sends a mobile-specific version based on, for example, the User-Agent string. It’ll be interesting to see if Opera use their small-screen rendering technique on the Wii or whether it just renders straight to screen as per normal.
In the last 12 months Opera have really been picking up speed in getting their software onto all kinds of devices (except, notably, into Nokia phones, which use a version of KHTML, which also powers Safari). This is great for Opera, but it does mean that lowly web developers like me need to be more aware of this powerful little browser which I think most people I know thought was on its way out.