E3 2014: Nintendo Won't Bring Live Twitch Streaming to Wii U as it Lacks 'Fun'
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
Reggie Fils-Aime also addresses the issue of the YouTube affiliate program
For those of you following our E3 2014 coverage here on Nintendo Life, or indeed on Nintendo's official channels, you've likely seen a lot of Twitch. Our Nintendo Digital Event reaction video was initially a live broadcast, and Nintendo's rolling Treehouse show through E3 has also been using the popular streaming service.
Nintendo has been embracing the platform, then, but the Wii U still lacks a popular feature available on PS4 and Xbox One - the ability to use such a service, at any time, to broadcast the action as you play on your console at home. It's been hugely popular on the PS4, particularly, though it's a concept perhaps missing from Nintendo's console as it arrived to market earlier, has its own social networking through Miiverse and, quite possibly, there are hardware challenges in running a game competently while also streaming the content.
That said, Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime has suggested that the absence of Twitch on Wii U is a conceptual decision based on what's 'fun'. Here's what Fils-Aime has said to Polygon.
We don't think streaming 30 minutes of gameplay by itself is a lot of fun.
We're looking to do a lot of great things with Twitch. The Nintendo Treehouse Live at E3 that we're executing through Twitch is doing fantastic numbers.
Your specific question of just purely streaming gameplay, what we've got to think through is, so what's fun about that? From a consumer standpoint, what's fun about it?
...Kart is fun because its a highlight of the race. You can make some choices as to what parts are going to be shared. We think that makes it interesting, and obviously, the meme of the Luigi death stare is wonderful when that comes out of that type of experience. But in the end we've got to make sure that it's fun.
So for us, what we're doing at the Nokia theater with the Smash Invitational, we loved that streamed because that's where you are able to see how these players perform, the moves they make, you can learn something. That has value to us. And you can expect us to do more of that type of activity, highlighting our games and providing a forum for players to learn how to play better.
But that's different than watching Joe Blow's 30 minute stream, which may or may not have something that's all that interesting.
While these are certainly valid points, and Mario Kart 8 has generated buzz through its TV replays, this does again appear to be a case of Nintendo retaining control over how its games are shared and seen, assuming the technical capability to live stream is there on the system.
Moving on to YouTube, Fils-Aime gave the following comments on the company's stance with the video resource's content, following the ongoing debate around its planned affiliate program.
What we hope is that that's going to lead to even better content and even better monetization opportunities for the YouTube vlogger. We are going to formalize a program and we'll announce it to the YouTube video community.
Look, in the end, what we want is we want more content like what we're able to do with the Mega64 guys. We gave them access to information, access to our executives, access to our building with the goal of creating something fun and watchable. That video was a lot of fun and it's been watched north of a million types. That's the type of stuff we want to work with the video blogging community to create.
The Twitch conversation is a completely different conversation. We want to do stuff that's going to be fun and going to be watchable. Nintendo Treehouse Live at E3 is fun and watchable. That's the stuff we would like to continue doing with an entity like Twitch. YouTube and that content monetization is a different animal.
Some interesting comments from Reggie Fils-Aime. Would you like to see Twitch streaming on the Wii U, and where do you stand on Nintendo's YouTube policy?