Up to date information about children’s entertainment – film, TV, DVD and more…. from founder and president of KIDS FIRST! Ranny Levy

This Week’s News – Wii in Hotels, National Library Week coming up

Nintendo’s Wii has maintained its lead as the hot item in videogaming. Wii, which is pronounced like the English word “we,” tells you who this console is for — all of us, everyone. I’ve talked with everyone from grandparents to kids and it’s their game of choice these days. When Nintendo company set out to to dramatically improve the interface for video games, they came up with the Wii. So, what makes it different from other next-generation consoles. I went to “How Stuff Works” to find out.

“If you look at the controllers for the Xbox, the Playstation 2 and the GameCube, you’ll notice that they are nearly identical… Nintendo’s designers got outside of the box and innovated. The Wii controller looks like the remote control for a TV and it has no joystick. Instead, the primary control is the controller itself. The controller contains solid-state accelerometers and gyroscopes that let it sense movement. The controller’s most-talked-about feature is the capacity to track its own relative motion. This enables players to do things like steer a car by twisting the remote in the air or moving a game character by tilting the remote down or up.”

Hotels are the latest to capitalize on the Wii’s success. According to USA Today, the fitness center at Manhattan’s Le Parker Meridien offers guests Wii rentals at $50 an hour. Westin Hotels have announced plans to offer Wii for guests at their 150 locations and resorts. For hotels, offering their customers the Wii is helps maintain their up-to-date image and appeals to their guests who are seeking a new experience. At Wii’s price point ($250-300), it’s much less costly than installing flat-screen TVs or other add-ons.

And, hey – for the public, it’s a great way to try out a new technology while you’re on vacation or a business trip.

Next week, April 13 – 19 marks the American Library Association’s 50th anniversary of National Library Week. “Join the circle of knowledge at your national library,” is this year’s them. Honorary chair is actress and author, Julie Andrews, who is featured in a series of TV and radio Public service Announcements celebrating the week. Each year on the Thursday of National Library Week is Support Teen Literature Day, sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association. Teen Read Week 2008 will be celebrated, October 12-18.

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