Analysts have called for it, and with the Wii’s impressive install base it makes sense, but earlier I suggested that Nintendo will shy away from streaming video due to its philosophy of exalting gameplay above all.
So here’s me eating my words. At least in Japan, Nintendo and advertising giant Dentsu will offer a video service next year. Still, don’t expect an equivalent of Netflix or the on-demand TV show offerings of the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. The videos coming to the Wii will be created specifically for the console, with a combination of pay-to-see and ad-supported content. The Nikkei business daily has reported that this will consist of cartoons, among other things.
This is a bit puzzling, because offering established TV shows instead of this yet-unspecified content would seem like the safer bet when building a video service. Then again, the Wii itself was a gamble that paid off handsomely, so perhaps Nintendo knows exactly what it’s doing. We’ll have to see what happens to the content if and when it migrates west.