nintendo wii

A new Video on Demand service will be coming to the Wii console sometime in 2009, so says the folks at Nintendo. Both of the competing consoles, the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, have similar services but the Wii has the potential to trump them all with their staggering online statistic: 40% of the 35 million Wiis sold are connected to the internet. Let me emphasize, that’s 14 million potential subscribers to the online service, enough to power-up Superstar Mario into the intergalactic stratosphere of digital nirvana.

Along with this commitment, Nintendo needs to seriously address the storage situation. A measly 2GB SD card will simply not be enough to make it a viable media center. Let’s hope Nintendo addresses this issue and comes up with an elegant, intuitive, and efficient service.

Announcement in a nutshell according to

  • Nintendo will partner with Japanese advertising giant Dentsu to create the service, which will offer videos through the Internet.
  • Nintendo will start offering VOD in Japan in 2009 during a trial period at first, then it will expand to other countries.
  • VOD options means it’s highly likely that a large storage accessory will be announced soon. Currently, the Wii offers 512 MB of internal flash memory storage, plus up to 2 GB-4 GB in an external SD card. That’s fine if you want to order up a few 23-minute TV shows, but something much larger will be needed for movies.
  • The two companies will develop original programming for the Wii, which will be made available through the net. The company is considering developing videos for free but some (or many?) will be available for an as-yet-undisclosed fee.