While Nintendo added partial USB keyboard support in the last Wii firmware update a couple of months ago, the feature went largely unnoticed because it was missing from where it would be most useful: the internet browser. That finally changed yesterday when Nintendo released Wii Firmware Update 3.1
, allowing users to use any USB keyboard to enter text in the Wii's Opera-powered internet browser.
In addition to the keyboard support the updated browser has a "send to a friend" option to easily send links to friends, copy-and-paste support, nine new ‘favorites’ slots, and the ability to use the Wii Remote B button as a shift key. Lastly, the "Everybody Votes" channel has been updated, now allowing users to input questions with the keyboard.
Unlike the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the Wii does not force firmware updates, so to actually receive these enhancements users must download the upgrade by going to Wii system settings and choosing the option "update console".
On a related note, Logitech also announced its Wii friendly Classic Keyboard 200
, which should be available in Europe and the US come November.