Wii Controller IME review
Control your Android phone using a Nintendo Wii Remote
Verdict: Finally, the Android platform gets the perfect interface method for good old-fashioned retro gaming
Pros: Easy to setup and perfect for retro gaming on the Android
Cons: Requires a Wii Remote to function
Publisher: Ryan Frawley
More Info: N/A
One of the most pressing issues surrounding Android hardware is that not all Google phones are created equal. While many manufacturers still subscribe to the popular “slide-out” keyboard design, a growing number are instead following the iPhone route, where physical keys are abandoned in favour of touchscreen interfaces.
This is all very well when it comes to creating a sleek and sexy handset but there are some activities which require actual buttons – playing retro games being a prime example.
Phones like the Motorola DEXT and Droid offer wonderful control interfaces but other devices – such as the HTC Desire and Google Nexus One – are confined entirely to their touchscreens. This means that users of those phones struggle to enjoy the various emulators which are currently available on the Android Market; retro gaming calls for actual buttons, not imprecise touchscreens and virtual controls.
Thankfully, the resourceful nature of the Android development community has found a way around this problem, and it not only solves the woes of touch-screen Android owners but also offers an even better control system for those who own keyboard-packing handsets.
Wii Controller IME allows you to connect a Nintendo Wii Remote to your Android phone via a Bluetooth connection. Once the two are linked you can then use the Wii controller to replicate inputs on your Android’s virtual keyboard, and thereby play a wide range of games.
Setting up the connection is a breeze – in fact it uses the exact same method as linking a controller to a standard Wii console. First you have to enable the Wii Controller IME input in your phone’s keyboard menu. Then, after pressing the 1 and 2 buttons on the Wii Remote, you simply select “Connect Controller”. After a few seconds the app will acknowledge the link and you’re ready to get some serious gaming done.
In terms of options there are plenty of things to tinker with; you can connect up to four different controllers so multiplayer is possible. You can even re-map all of the keys to ensure you’ve got the set-up you desire.
Once you load up one of the many excellent retro emulators available for Android then the useless of this app becomes glaringly apparent. The Wii Remote boasts a fantastic D-pad and this makes playing each game an absolute joy. There’s no latency between your inputs and the on-screen action, either.
Obviously at this point there are limitations – the number of buttons on a Wii Remote isn’t enough to play Nintendo Super NES titles, but the developer has gone on the record to confirm that Classic Controller support is coming. For those of you that aren’t aware, the Classic Controller is an extension which plugs into the Wii Remote and gives an even better degree of control.
Given the astonishing success of the Nintendo Wii there’s an excellent chance you have at least one Wii Remote lying around somewhere, and this app is the perfect opportunity to put it to good use. If you’ve downloaded all of the available retro emulators and hanker for pixel-perfect control then your prayers will be well and truly answered by this excellent piece of software.