News Article

Japan Gets Wii Movie Rental Service

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

Stream Tom Cruise into your living room.

Video services are breaking through on consoles in the West: Netflix is up and running on Xbox 360 in the US, with SkyTV coming soon for the UK, and Sony has their own iTunes-like video store. Nintendo? Not so much over here, but in the company's homeland it's a totally different story.

In addition to the Nintendo's own quirky Wii no Ma service, Fuji Soft announced today that it will add movies to its current channel Minna no Theater Wii (Everyone's Theater Wii) service tomorrow (June 17), which until now has been populated mostly with episode rentals of Astro Boy, Transformers and other anime.

To kick things off, the service will offer 34 Western movies, including the 1996 flick Mission: Impossible and Breakfast at Tiffany's, which surely will set some viewers ablaze with joy. Korean and Japanese films will be added at some point too, and around 250 movies will eventually be added, Fuji Soft says. Presumably, if the service is enough of a hit then more movies will surely make it to the channel.

On top of the 500 point entry cost for the channel itself, viewing fees start at 300 points for a two-day period for "DVD-quality" streamed video, which is on par with other online video-renting services such as the Xbox Live Marketplace and iTunes.

Would you want a service like this? Would you pay for a service like this?

[via wii.ign.com]

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User Comments (33)

goldwyvern

#2

goldwyvern said:

i dont know about buying it, but the idea is cool and movies lovers will get this like a fanatic with its $3 a movie pricing. its cetainly not the FIRST of its kind, but id like to watch transformers i guess. LOL MY FIRST FIRST

dizzy_boy

#4

dizzy_boy said:

£2.50 for a 2 day rental. i`m sure a dvd rental is about the same price.
atleast it`s a step in the right dirrection for a possible dvd channel on the wii.

JonWahlgrenAdmin

#5

JonWahlgren said:

@Brutus: What, you don't remember the final duel between Audrey Hepburn and Mickey Rooney? It makes the Man With No Name series look like Cinderella.

Pawtrick

#9

Pawtrick said:

If the movies are newly released rentals, then yes this channel would be a great addition and I would pay for it.

WiiGuy

#10

WiiGuy said:

seems like a good price to me :D
As long as it doesn't skip while playing, I might download this when it comes over here!

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#14

Philip_J_Reed said:

Whoops, I made you take out the "Western movie" bit. Now I feel bad! I knew what you meant, and was just being a smart-butt.

Admittedly, I tried to think of a clearer way to phrase what you had said, and came up with nothing. So...sorry. Bad joke only.

WiX

#15

WiX said:

The funny thing about the Wii no Ma service is that "Wiin oma" means Wii's own in finnish, so when you say "Nintendo's own Wii no Ma service" it can be turned into Nintendo's own Wii's own service :D

But now to the actual topic, I would personally love the possibility to rent movies for Wii, if it works well and the movie doesn't stop when watching. The price isn't bad either. When friends come over and you would like to watch a film but don't want to go all the way to rent a film in real life, or the place is already closed, you could just choose from Wii's rental library and start watching. So yeah, please Nintendo, do something because Wii want it!

pixelman

#16

pixelman said:

It'd be pretty cool to rent movies on my Wii, but NetFlix would be way cooler, especially since we already have an account with them.

Chatham

#17

Chatham said:

I think for streaming video "DVD-quality" sounds impossible... Especially with Wii tech.

Mange

#18

Mange said:

If the channel plays dvd discs and play my local network media files then I will get it. I might even rent a movie.

Cthuloops

#20

Cthuloops said:

@Chatham & theblackdragon: I would agree as well. I would say for Ninty to just let us have the option to watch our own DVDs through the DVD slot instead of this. Would make more sense to me.

Teppo_Holmqvist

#21

Teppo_Holmqvist said:

@Chatham "I think for streaming video "DVD-quality" sounds impossible... "

Netflix already does that so long as you have enough bandwitdh available, and it won't be issue at Japan where typical connection is at least 2 MB/s. And Wii is more than enough for decoding MPEG2 / MPEG4 on the fly, although it wouldn't be able to decode HD-content.

Egg_miester

#22

Egg_miester said:

japan gets all the cool nintendo stuff and channels, and i find 3$ a good price to rent for 2 days, most stores/cable charge around 5$, i just hope it works well

Noire

#23

Noire said:

It'd be kinda cool, but I really don't need it. We've got so many RedBoxes 'round here (buck a night) that it would be a waste of money.

Atlantis1982

#24

Atlantis1982 said:

Would be nice if we can get this service/channel, along with the other 4-5 other channels we are missing. ;|

Cheezy

#25

Cheezy said:

@ Chicken Brutus: By Western they meant movies released over here in the West, lol. But seriously, Breakfast At Tiffany's? Seriously, I don't remember it being that famous. But yeah, why not have something like 007, when you could have BFT's :)

Objection

#26

Objection said:

I can't seem this doing well in the US. Where I live, both blockbuster and redbox offers movies cheaper than this and you either get them for a longer period or you have a larger selection. Also Wii fails at streaming.

Kid_A

#27

Kid_A said:

For me it's not worth it because the video-store is right up the street, and I have a pass that let's me rent stuff for free (I have to pay a monthly fee, but I rent a lot of movies, so it's worth it). Cool idea, though.

Mario_maniac

#28

Mario_maniac said:

I actually wouldn't mind a service like this, if the pricing remained the same. I guess it would also depend on the variety of the movies...

Kirk

#29

Kirk said:

I like the principle but I wouldn't in a million years pay for it on Wii.

For the price I think I'll just stick to Sky/Cable cheers.

brandonbwii

#30

brandonbwii said:

@Chatham
The Wii as potentially limitless online/storage capabilies. It all just depends on Nintendo's own ambitions.

As for the channel, I'd buy it for that cool Mii interface alone.

Sean_Aaron

#31

Sean_Aaron said:

I think it's got potential, but the limiting factor would be the size of the film library. If a service focused on new releases mainly I think it would do well and I could see getting it, though I'm not sure who would provide service in the UK (Blockbuster, Sky?).

I haven't picked up this channel because of the point outlay for the player and the fact that network latency may mean dodgy performance given my distance to the servers (Minna no Nintendo Channel does okay, but sometimes it hangs; I'd hate to be out hundreds of points and have that happen!).

theguitarhero

#32

theguitarhero said:

They are already talking the possibility of Netflix on Wii soon, so maybe we'll get that over in America instead.

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