Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Using Wii Remote on a PC

Thanks to my impulse buying, I spent Php 1395.00 (around $32) for a Wii Remote. That’s only for the remote, sans the nunchuck accessory and the MotionPlus upgrade. I’ve been dying to try the Wii Remote on my personal computer and use it just like any gamer would on the real console. On the PC, I will need to use the Nintendo Wii and Gamecube emulator, Dolphin. As it turned out, their instructions was misleading; the remote, along with a Bluetooth dongle, is not sufficient enough to make it fully functional on the computer. Simply put, an infrared sensor bar is still needed for the movement reading.

According to the official support page of Dolphin, you only need at least one Wiimote and a Bluetooth adapter or dongle. You then configure the emulator to detect the Wiimote. As per their instructions, I successfully connected the device and used it on Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. The problem is, it failed to move the crosshair pointer on the screen.

After much searching in the Dolphin forum, the sensor bar is indeed crucial, especially on games like the one I mentioned above. Granted, the sensor bar was mentioned in the support page, but the way it was referred made it seem like unnecessary for emulated play on PC.

So now I’m stuck using the Wii remote just like a classic controller. I’m still saving for the nunchuk accessory, and if I really have to, for the MotionPlus. On the other hand, I have already ordered a third-party sensor bar online. Sadly, the wait is two to three weeks. Even if my impulse buying was to force me, I still had no choice but to wait. The sensor bar is difficult to find and expensive to buy here in the Philippines. So it’s a $4.00 third-party add-on plus a three week wait over a possibly yet another shelling out of $30 and exhausting search for the genuine thing.

On the other hand, this gives me some time to experiment with… guess what? Candle sensors! Check it out:

Improvised Wii remote sensor using candles

Or perhaps learn Korean from the included Korean-only manual. :P

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