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Summary:

It’s about time! Nintendo is developing a video-on-demand service for its hit Wii game consoles, it said today in a joint announcement with Dentsu, the Japanese advertising company. However, the service will only be available in Japan starting this spring; according to reports, no international expansion […]

goofywiishotIt’s about time! Nintendo is developing a video-on-demand service for its hit Wii game consoles, it said today in a joint announcement with Dentsu, the Japanese advertising company. However, the service will only be available in Japan starting this spring; according to reports, no international expansion plans have been specified.

The disappointments (at least for this user) don’t stop there. Called Wiinoma Channel (reportedly playing on the Japanese “chanoma,” or “living room”), the service will focus on content created specially for the Wii. Which I guess is fine, given that content tailored for the social and technical possibilities of its delivery environment can be vastly more satisfying than the typical couch potato fare. But…initial reports indicate there won’t be any attempt at an exhaustive library à la Xbox and Netflix , or added help to access content that’s already available on the web.

Rather, Nintendo is aiming to offer a walled garden of “family-friendly” videos as well as original content that utilizes the environment of Wii watchers/users. Wiinoma will be completely advertiser-sponsored until this summer, when paid programming will be added, according to reports.

What Nintendo should be doing is improving the Wii’s access to video in general. We’ve suggested many times (and our commenters vociferously agree) that with a few tweaks (namely, STORAGE), the hugely popular Wii and its gesture-driven Wiimote could be the ultimate living room TV device.

Nintendo has sold 34.55 million Wiis globally, and it says 40 percent of them are connected to the Internet. In the meantime, startups like ffwd and StumbleUpon have pioneered Wii versions of their video recommendation services that hint at the future. But dealing with outdated versions of Flash and other quirks of the Wii have held them back.

At the same time, outside groups, such as a partnership of Japanese broadcasting companies, have also announced they plan to bring video to the Wii next year. So we could just read this official Nintendo VOD initiative as the first step towards something more significant.

  1. Joost is a Dentsu partner and Dentsu manage the advertising for Nippon.TV on Joost so it will be interesting to see if Joost is involved with this venture in any way http://press.joost.com/2008/12/joost_partners_with_nippon_tv.html

    There have been plenty of cries that Joost Should be on the Wii inluding NewTeeVee’s own Janko Roettgers http://newteevee.com/2008/01/19/five-ways-to-save-joost/ So if Joost and others dont provide content on the Wii Im sure others like HULU will step up and gladly seize the opportunity

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  2. [...] offer both free (ad-supported) and subscription-based shows, though no specific series were named. NewTeeVee reports that the VOD feature, tentatively named the Wiinoma Channel, may not appeal to console owners that [...]

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  3. Great article I love Nintendo Wii! And my favourite is the Wii Fit that is why I have my own blog about it.

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  4. I can watch any web video on my WII using reeplay.it, kind of del.icio.us but with the transcoding optimized for the wii (which, btw, is suboptimal…)

    best of all, once I bookmark the video, I can download it and sync via iTunes with my iPod and AppleTV using the RSS feed that is generated form my playlists. worth giving it a try, IMHO

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  5. Oh no. This sounds like it will be full of Donkey Kong and Mario shows!

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  6. james braselton Friday, November 20, 2009

    HI THERE FINALY A FLASH BASED TIVO DVR PVR WITH OUT A HARD DRIVE THATS THE ONLY REASON I AM STAYING WITH NINTENDO ALWAYS USES FASTER FLASH MEMORY UNLIKE XBOX 360 AND PS3 AND MAY BE MICROSOFT WILL PERSUE A FLASH MEMORY XBOX 360 THEY SAY THE 2010 XBOX 360 WILL HAVE A 32 GB SSD FOR GAMING ALL I CARE ABOUT IS PURE SPEED NOT CAPACITY OR THE CHEAPEAST PRICE

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  7. [...] streaming. Nintendo, on the other hand, has been slow to react. It initially only planed to bring Wii-specific, family friendly-content to the console. And when it finally did start to explore regular VOD, it restricted its partnership [...]

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