News Article

Nintendo To Launch Wii Video Service Next Year

Posted by Corbie Dillard

We've already seen Sony and Microsoft dip their toes into video distribution on their Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles, so it seems only natural to see Nintendo following suit.

Starting in the Spring of 2009, Nintendo will kick off its own brand of video distribution in Japan. But instead of offering movies and television shows, as Sony and Microsoft have done, Nintendo will instead offer cartoons and more "family-friendly" programming on their Wii console. Many of these offerings will even be created especially for the Wii video service.

While some video offerings will come with a fee, some will be made available using advertising to cover the actual costs of the offerings.

Nintendo hasn't announced a specific date for the service outside of Japan, but they have stated that the Wii video service will expand worldwide at a "later" date.

We'll keep you posted on any new developments with the upcoming Wii video service as they become available. It should be interesting to see what Nintendo has in store for Wii owners with this new service next year.

Source: Kotaku

From the web

User Comments (62)



wesleyh said:

Err, why limit to "family friendly"? If I want to see an R rated movie i should be able to.



Wiiloveit said:

Sounds good. Now if only Ninty could allow it to live up to the channel's potential...

@wesleyh: Or, you could check out one of many other "legal" video streaming services, several of which work on the Wii's internet channel.



Kevin said:

I don't know what to think of this yet. There's not enough info. too excited me about it so far.



timp29 said:

If nintendo can get like naruto or bleach exclusive to wii with subtitles, they really could corner the anime market, although its all free to air in japan. Nintendo needs to team up with Viz or something. Porn on the Wii would be a worry though - perhaps they could corner the golden shower market.

Oh and @#1 you forgot.... Denny Crane!



shadows262 said:

why “family friendly”?
cant nintendo just grow up a bit!
If they have anime shows on there like Cowboy Bebop and Full Metal Alchemist then I wont mind too much.
I hope they get movies and TV shows on there.



Twilight_Crow said:

Not interested, I can watch anything I want on my computer, and remember the storage problem, if they upload the videos in HD, you're gonna have to clean all the fridge in order to see anything and then save it to an SD card, which will take a lot of time, and transfer your games all over again. I hope this service will make them finally fix the problem.



Cheezy said:

I do like how they're trying to do something different, but I'm getting tired of all the "family friendly" stuff!



Dathcha said:

Not likely the videos will be in HD quality though is it?
Considering the Wii gives 480p at best I would expect the videos to not be TOO huge, but it would still fill up the measely 512Mb fast yeah



Bulan said:

There will be no storage problem because the videos will be streamed of course!



RADE said:

Yeah, it's a clever idea but why not expand beyond the norm of 'family friendly'.



blackknight77 said:

I think the Homestarr runner stuff would be a good fit for the new service. Also how about putting the old Nintendo cartoons like Captain N, Super Mario and Zelda on the service. yes I know they are super cheesy but it would fit the theme.



SilentJ said:

I'm sure I'll never use it if we get it. I don't usually watch movies through any consoles anyway but the whole "family-friendly" thing is a definite turn off! I really don't understand why Nintendo can't seem to cater to both children and more mature players. It's ok that they provide soooo much family friendly content but where's the love for the rest of us? Anyway, I'm gonna shut up now. I feel like I'm just kicking a dead horse.



Adam said:

I don't understand how anyone can be surprised that it's family friendly. The Wii's success has largely been determined by how accessible it is to everyone. If Nintendo start offering services only available to certain age groups, they divide or narrow the audience rather than broaden it as their strategy has been since its launch (and somewhat before).

Personally, I think the free streaming model is much more logical and should be convenient for those of us without a Tivo, and hopefully the exclusive content is good (can't say I'm optimistic). I have a PS3 and don't understand why anyone would want to purchase individual episodes that you will be forced to watch only on the TV that system is on. The lack of any indication that downloaded content will be transferable to the inevitable PS4 is also worrisome.



Twilight_Crow said:

If the HD is prejudicial because of the space, most probable the videos will be in HD .

Well that's worse, I'm not paying for a streamed video for sure, my internet connection ain't very good and I'd be paying to se a video little by little, and if their servers fail or are too crowded then I won't be able to watch the video I already paid for again, no thank you. Besides what if that means you're gonna pay to see the video only once, that sucks.

Sorry Nintendo but when it comes to videos I'm staying with my computer.



DJGOYO said:



Merry christmas for all people in WII WARE WORLD

(sorry, but i from spain and my english is very bad)



AlexSays said:

Wait, isn't the Wii supposed to be a game console?

What happened in the last year of your life that you completely missed every gaming console looking at video distribution?



vherub said:

the video quality of trailers shown on the nintendo channel is rather poor, interesting idea, but depends on quality, price and selection



Objection said:

I currently can't see how they can successfully pull this off. If its a download-there's the hard drive problem. If it's streamed, well, we've already seen the Nintendo and Internet Channels fail at that, at least from my experience. Even if neither is a problem, I doubt I ill want to watch "kid-friendly only" content. I'll stick to Youtube and my DVDs if I want to watch things.



AlexSays said:

Yeah this isn't a great idea.
Even if it works, why would anyone want to use it?



PHANTOM93 said:

I think I know why nintendo is only offering cartoons and not full movies. I did a little experiment with the internet channel a while ago and found that it could only play a 50 minute video before it ran out of memory. Because most movies are more than 50 minutes long they probably just kept to cartoons. Why they don't split larger films into multiple parts is beyond me, but I guess Ninty doesn't want to ruin its "family friendly" status by putting non-family friendly content on the service.



shadows262 said:

If Nintendo wants to do something stupid like this please leave it in Japan. I mean who wants to watch Pokemon anyways!?
The whole “Family Oriented/Friendly” truely threw me out the window.



Draygone said:

"so it seems only natural to see Nintendo following suit."

Since when?

"But instead of..."

I rest my case.



Wario4mom said:

At shadows 262: Hey I do!!!
Oh and I dont think they'll launch this till wii 2 comes out.



Draygone said:

Oh, to add to the "family-friendly" complaints, what about the parental controls, Nintendo? Have you really forgotten it existed? Surely you could put ratings into the downloads that can be prevented by parental controls restricting anything that isn't family-friendly enough for the user. And shouldn't that be what matters, what the user wants?



shadows262 said:

Okay you do sorry.
They`re not gunna release it until Wii 2 for two reasons
1: its coming out in Japan early `09 and that means it`ll be here in mid `09
2: there is no Wii 2 plain and simple.(dont anyone give me links to websites sayin` “Wii 2 is coming in 2011!”. Its fake and Nintendo didn`t announce it anyway!)

you still forgetting the storage problem



Objection said:

@shadows262- "2: there is no Wii 2 plain and simple.(dont anyone give me links to websites sayin` “Wii 2 is coming in 2011!”. Its fake and Nintendo didn`t announce it anyway!)"
Sure the Wii 2 hasn't been named or announced. It may never be called that, but the successor to the Wii has been in development for some time already because that's how they do it in this industry. They run on a development cycle, usually of 5 years. So it probably will come out in 2011 since the Wii came out in 2006. Anyway, just because the wii2, etc. hasn't been announced doesn't mean they would or wouldn't save this feature (or its succeeding version, which may actually work with the Wii2's likely hard drive that doesn't suck) for later or for other platforms. Now, I doubt they would, since they announced it now, I'm just saying your claim is a little silly.



shadows262 said:


looking at the wiis success you wouldnt think they would...but on the other hand on the hardware side(no HD graphics and cruddy hard drive) you`d think they would. The whole “5 year cycle” you were talking about isn`t true because the Wii hasnt been in development for no 5 years and I dont think Nintendo would jump right to their next console like that.
This Wii TV channel is not even funny. They`re better off with out it.



Virus said:

Hmmm, seems kinda stupid to me, but if they offer GOOD free shows, I won't complain. Still, it all appears pointless considering Wii doesn't support HD. Oh well, who knows what Nintendo knows?



Ricardo91 said:

"..'Family Friendly' programming."

So this means I don't get to watch South Park on my Wii? Dammit.



maclay said:

OR they could give us a version of Flash from THIS century and go into business with or some other business that already exists



WeeGee said:

Oh my god!!!! This is great news. Now not only will I get to watch Spongebob on my downstairs television, but on my UPSTAIRS television also.

Looks like I'm going all-microsoft!



indenmark said:

Why all the hatred for families? Are all of you people vagabond gypsy bastards or something?




Wiiloveit said:

Wait, isn't the Wii supposed to be a game console?
That's what they said about the PlayStation 2. And then the PlayStation Portable. And then the PlayStation 3. And then the Xbox 360.
The Wii already has the internet channel, forecast channel, news channel, everybody votes channel and photo channel, so I wouldn't point this out now.

@maclay: That would be better, especially since here in the UK we're already due to get the BBC iPlayer (which we can currently access anyway via the internet channel).



gameking23 said:

I do not car about a TV channel when I can easily switch my Tv back to satelite. So if it comes here eventualy I'm okay with it, but if it does not I do not care.



Wiiloveit said:

@gameking: wait... you can do that on your telly? Holy sh- ... What next? Being able to watch an assortment of unique videos on the internet for free? Wow.



ness said:

@ DarkAkatosh: It's a stream service, so it can't have a big affect on it.

@ Wiiloveit: I can't remember that Sony point out that the PS3 is a pure game console .

@ News: If the service is for free, why not?



Terra said:

It does seem like a natural move for Nintendo. They are (Unfortunately) falling behind the Xbox 360 and the PS3, so they need to step up. I just wish that they'd already release the Digicam print channel and hope that the Fortune Telling channel is released. Not that i neccesarily want them, cause i might do but it would be nice to have the option already.

The Channel isn't free. If this is that "Everyone's Theatre" channel, which it probably is, then it will cost 500 points to download, with prices for the content differing between 100-400 points based on what the content is. I'd just watch the stuff online, except for films. I'd watch them through the "On Demand" service on my TV or buy the DVD. If it's a TV series, i'd watch it online. I did recently with an Anime series as well on Youtube. It was Death note, which explains why my new avatar is L. Didn't watch through the Wii though and i probably won't do in the near future.

Also, For those of you who haven't seen, Japan are getting a food delivery channel. It's starting to get ridiculous.



SmaMan said:

So it's supposed to be "Everyone's Theatre"? While I know I'm adding to the long list of "Why family friendly content only" comments, wouldn't everyone mean...well, everyone? And not just 7 year olds and grandmas? (No offence to the elderly out there)

The Wii has great parental why don't they use them dangit! Even better, they could list the movie/TV ratings on the side in nice, big, bold print so you can't miss them!

C'mon Nintendo! You've been playing this game with us almost 20 years ago! Why can't you grow up and truly be "everyone's" console? This is just like YouTube's stupid "A YouTube for All of Us" bull...



Wiiloveit said:

The only way that they could really differentiate who is of the appropriate age to watch a program would be to link your Club Nintendo account - however since you can only do this with one account per console, Nintendo have realised that since the console is probably going to be shared amongst a family, using one Club Nintendo account won't suit everyone... so they might as well forget about the whooooole idea.

@Terranigma: Not really "getting" the new avatar.
Also: I'd use a food delivery channel. Why not?!?

Next up: Cinema ticket booking channel



Terra said:

I guess if you wanted/needed to use a food delivery service, it'd be useful but i myself wouldn't bother with it and go for something else, unless the prices are good.

As for the avatar, if you watch or read Death Note, you'd understand better. Next week is a Castlevania avatar of one of the Belmont family



MarkyVigoroth said:

Well, I read that Nintendo was starting to go to anime.

Also, after that Conker fiasco, I bet Nintendo wanted to go back to the safe route. (If only Conker stayed kiddie-yet-Erated...)



Kenryoku_Maxis said:

Sony is already trying to corner the market for Media based (movie) entertainment. Not that their systems this gen weren't already leaning towards that with the PS3 touting its Blu-Ray player over its gaming ability and especially the PSP with its various MP3, streaming and movie features over its games. But now, with the lack of software sales and Blu-Ray having recently taken over, there's no question why Sony will push to make themselves to 'Movie Media Oriented' company with the PS3/PSP. As all of their commercials recently have featured just advertising for major Blu Ray video releases such as The Dark Knight or Death Race, and not even one game.

In this respects, it might be good for Nintendo to not try and become the 'jack of all trades' system like the other two. Having to struggle to be a movie player, game developer, online powerhouse, super computer, cheese grater, all in one. But if Nintendo just stuck with what it knows, and yes, Nintendo does publish and even own the rights to more than a few Anime/Movies, it can probably do what its always done. Put stuff on the Wii for much cheaper than its competitors. Drawing some more attention to the Wii (as if they needed to). However, this isn't a feature that will be a system seller.



Kaeobais said:

I just hope it's actual cartoons and not the crap you see on Teletoon in the morning ... unless its sonic underground or Gargoyles.



StarDust4Ever said:

I have an XP notebook and an Intel MiniMac for my internet, a DVD player for movies, a Cowon A3 digital media player that I can take on the go and rip my CDs and DVDs to, and a 1st gen DS and a Wii for playing games. I don't need to use my Wii to surf the internet and watch movies. In fact, people who use their Wiis to surf the internet will be very sad when in another several years or so, all of that internet channel usage has worn out the internal flash memory and causes the Wii to fail. That is exactly why I will never download the Internet channel. Ditto to those equally unfortunate souls who wore out the drives on their old PS2s by using them to watch DVDs.

There is absolutely no reason for people to attempt to turn their Game Consoles into media centers - likewise, it is equally irrational to use a cellphone as a camera replacement or a game system. Sure, you can surf the internet, watch videos/ listen to music, play games, and snap photos on an iPhone, but can it replace the game experience of a DS or PSP? No. Can it take breathtaking photos with the clarity and resolution of a digital SLR? No. Can you watch video in HD? Hardly - the screen is only 240x320!

  • The cell phone was originally designed to do one thing: make phone calls. Before the cellphone there were land lines.
  • The camera was originally designed to do one thing: snap photos. Before digital there was film.
  • The CD/DVD player was originally designed to do one thing: play music/movies. Before the disc there were tapes; before tapes came records and film reels.
  • The computer was originally designed for number crunching and word processing. Then came the Internet. Now it can do almost anything, but it still won't make you breakfast: you'll need groceries and a stove for that.
  • Which brings me back to my final point: the game console - from current generation game systems all the way back to PONG - was designed for one primary purpose: to play games. Anything else is frivolous.

Nintendo recognized this when they created the Wii, and excluded all of the extra unneeded junk, and is passing the savings onto you. Thank you, Nintendo.



LAA said:

This isnt family friendly, its baby friendly. Although it is suitable for someone of my age, it wont be liked. Nintendo is just concentrating on kiddy babies at the moment, even though they've got them hooked on the line already and should be concentrating on other ages, such as teens, which is neglected really badly on the wii. The only games that look good for me next year are conduit, madworld and red steel 2 and the other metroids coming out. Unfortunately, nintendo are too late now, although I'll still be using my wii, I got a 360 for christmas now, and I will be giving more money to them next year than I will for nintendo. The wii has the capability to be the best for teens, but the game quality for teens is really bad, and you can tell nintendo isnt seeing anything wrong because there has been no anouncement for the wii regarding more violent games. I really hope the conduit sells more than all mario games put together, I really do, then nintendo might start to wonder... ".......... ......... ..........., OH YEAH, teens have the wii aswell, better make something for them!"



Wiiloveit said:

@LAA: That's a load of old tosh. First of all, cartoons and stuff can be loved by all - it's not just gonna be "friendship is good" themed crap. Second, there's loads of good "teen friendly" games out next year (although some of them are clearly aimed at 18+ year olds). The Conduit, Sin & Punishment, MadWorld, LIT... and so on (yes, I ran out of games - but there are more, I swear). Plus, I bet there are loads of games you haven't tried yet (Zack & Wiki, De Blob, Okami and Metroid 3 are all decent titles).

@StarDust: Well said.



Kenryoku_Maxis said:


For the last time. Third party support does not equal Nintendo Support. And the fact that Third parties have chosen to put their B quality titles on the Wii for quick cash while putting their AAA titles on the 360/PS3/DS is NOT NINTENDO'S FAULT.

Its the same exact thing the third parties did on the N64 and the GC. Nintendo (as both a hardware and software developer) is doing better than it has in 10 years. If you want to complain to anyone, complain to every other company out there for not jumping on board to the system that's outselling the other two consoles combined.



sandos said:

I'm sorry Nintendo, but I have to say for video HD is a requirement now. If its not HD I won't PAY for it, that is for sure!



dottio716 said:

I agree, just grow up a bit. I mean, R-Rated, no porn of course, but maybe some movies and stuff. I mean, isn't that what the Parental Controls are for anyway? And yes, Anime would be welcome. Hopefully you won't have to pay for programs. For anime, maybe some Japan-Only shows imported through you guys exclusively would be cool.



dottio716 said:

OH! And yes, maybe a Internet Channel update with the latest flash. It'd be cool if Nintendo made it's website and a few others Wii-Friendly. Sure It works fine, but better compatibility would be nice. Same goes for the DSi too.



Adamant said:

@LAA: So, why are you on this site at all? After all, every single game this site has covered is family-friendly. Shouldn't you be off playing GTA and watching porn like the grown man you are?

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