I’d vaguely seen a few gadget-blog headlines around about using a Wii remote to control PC applications, but not paid too much attention. Then, you know how it goes, you’re sitting around one evening with a USB bluetooth dongle, a Wii remote, a pot of marmalade and half a sliced loaf, and you think to yourself… “I really fancy some toast and marmalade. Oh, and I wonder how easy it is to actually get the Wii remote recognised by the PC.”
Turns out, it’s a piece of cake (getting the Wiimote working, that is. The toast and marmalade isn’t a piece of cake, that would be weird. Unless you’d made bread and butter pudding with it, or something, but then that’s more pudding than cake, surely?) Just follow this handy guide (though it seems to be in reverse order, start with 9 and work back), and the splendid WiinRemote and/or GlovePIE can translate your frantic waggling into PC input! I couldn’t be bothered to drag the sensor bar over (or light a couple of candles on top of the PC monitor, despite that clearly being a flawless plan) so didn’t try the IR sensor/pointer, but the motion sensors and nunchuck joystick certainly worked.
If you have a PC connected to a television, the Wii remote could be a handy wireless pointer, and it might be interesting trying PC games with it, but what really prompted me to give it a try was the closer-looming release of Guitar Hero 3 for the Wii (or the further-away-looming release for us Europeans, as various online stores release predictions move from the end of October to early, mid and/or late November). As the Wii remote slots into the guitar, hopefully the inputs can be picked up for Frets on Fire, for extra rocking-type fun! (I tried Frets on Fire a while back, after having to hand back Guitar Hero, but it turns out it’s far easier to believe yourself to be the reincarnation of Jimi Hendrix when standing, legs akimbo, pressing buttons on a small plastic guitar than sitting at a PC pressing F1-F5 on a keyboard…)