Nintendo 's Wii just got an even greater leg up in the climb to the top of the console tree when it was announced that a version of the Opera web browser will be available for download from Friday.

The trial version of the software will be free until June, after which it will cost 500 points in the Wii online shop. Opera plans to have the final build ready from March, assuming there are no hitches with this beta version. Typically for Opera, the press release takes the form of a colourful comic, which speaks clearly to the Wii demographic.

The Wii version of Opera appears to be as full-featured as that on the desktop PC, with support for Flash videos coming high on the agenda. The release also makes it a near certainty that the Wii will be getting a keyboard attachment before long, as anyone who's used an onscreen keyboard will testify to the experience being about as much fun as dental surgery. J Mark Lytle