Nintendo Wii more than just games.

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Nintendo Wii more than just games.

We heard it many times… Nintendo is about games and XBox 360 and PS3 is about games and media and wants to become the media center of everybody’s home. There are no doubts that Nintendo will not be competing on the movie side of things, there is not even DVD playback. I find it great that Nintendo lets Sony and Microsoft do the battle regarding the next-gen disc format. Let the fight happen and then choose the winning format for Wii 2 (Wii II).

What have surprised me recently is all content from Nintendo that isn’t about games. First the Internet Channel then Forecast Channel and then followed the News Channel and recently also the Everybody Vote Channel. I got to admit that after the Forecast and News channel I was wondering what would come next, I sure didn’t expect the Vote channel. I do think it is great that Nintendo is offering these Channels as we have not seen anything like it from Microsoft or Sony.

I’m not going to mention the Mii Channel, Photo Channel or Shopping Channel as they where in from beginning on, so this is just about what happened since launch.

So a few words about the various channels:

Internet channel

This is the internet browser from Nintendo / Opera. This Channel is still in Beta but works very well. I have tested several sites and had no real problems. One thing I did do for this site was to install a plugin that makes the site more useable (Just found out that it is not working for the whole site). I will not be using the Internet Channel much as I use a PC all day at work. But I can see it interesting for people who do not have access to internet during the normal day.

Since this is just the beta player I hope they will improve a few things before final release, such as the flash player in it, so Flash Element TD can be played this way.

Forecast Channel

I use this Channel from time to time; if I go somewhere then I check here, I also check from time to time when I sit in the living room and talking to people on the phone, just to see how the weather is where they are. One issue; it seems that the number of weather points is very different from country to country. Here in Switzerland I see more than 20 towns but in Denmark I just see a single one!!! Maybe I would see more towns in Denmark if I changed my settings to Denmark but that’s not really how a weather system should work.

I really like the globe and how you can see the world in 3D, but if I do remember right the North Pole should be of ice so white just like the South Pole. Guess Nintendo and weathernews/NASA (and Google Earth) got different ideas about that. There isn’t even a North Pole but there is a South Pole. Oh, never mind, it is seldom I need to know the weather there.

News Channel

The first few times I tried this Channel I had to wait a long time for the data to download, very disappointing as it should be using WiiConnect 24; but at least you have the Help Cat to entertain you. This has later changed and it is faster to access. What I’m missing here is direct access to the 3D globe, got to click a news message before going to it. Anyway, the Channel gives easy access to news from around the globe; all presented in a nice way. Again a Channel the ‘internet’ people don’t need really. Still nice to be able to check the news when having a coffee in the living room (no need to mention that of course BBC World and CNN is also on the TV).

Everybody Votes Channel

No one really expected this Channel; came as surprise. Lot’s of people still are wondering what Nintendo was thinking when they decided for this. What’s the purpose of it? I found it a bit funny/silly that when I registered I had to select language; well that is okay as we here in Switzerland have 3 main languages: German, French and Italian. I could choose between these and DUTCH. Don’t know why that was listed as I only know very few people here who speaks Dutch, I would have thought English would have made much more sense. Anyway, I selected German as I do read that, so I got the system in English and questions in German. I did my votes and predictions… Saw the results of one voting today, the result I got was written in English and German mixed together (See, I told you, English would make more sense): Schlafen has most votes.

Nintendo put a good effort in creating this Channel; lots of nice graphics features; such as the 100 small Mii’s running into the screen to show the result of the prediction. But what is it all good for? Just as entertainment? If so then fine, always a good laugh to see what people think. Do Nintendo use the results for something? I don’t remember a EULA been shown given access to my private data :)
How about letting people win some Wii Points if they answer right?

What comes next from Nintendo?

After the voting channel I would not predict what would come next. Hey, maybe that would be a good vote for the Vote Channel “What do you expect Nintendo to come with next?” Answers could be: “Local pizza ordering Channel” and “Cartoon Channel”. Actually, the cartoon one could be done… I would not mind some ‘local’ services, such as ‘Local Events Channel’ but would be a hell lot of work for them to keep updated.

So what can we say, Nintendo is about entertainment in more than one way, so not just about games.

(Side note: Just found out that I need to check my site with the Opera browser as it shows some things differently from what I expect).

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