Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Wii TV is live and curious...

Nintendo have finally released their Wii TV channel to the US as of last night, to mostly promising feedback. In Japan, where the channel was released last November, it offers streaming web video with content such as interviews with Wii game designers. In one video feature, Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto describes the company's upcoming exercise game, Wii Fit.

The service has a selection of features that mostly seem to work so far. The channel features promotional videos and an index of Wii and DS games to help the Nintendo nerd make essential purchasing decisions. It also allows demos of DS games to be sent to your handheld. The 8 titles available for temporary download have already been released, which is a bit poor, but i guess it's a start

They haven't supplied an online store for download, but once you select a game you're keen on, it will only provide you with a recommendation of outlet stores such as Amazon or Wal-Mart, which seems a shame. You'd like to think there was an online purchase , but it would seem the amount of memory required (126 blocks of system memory to download, plus another 126 blocks for temporary data storage) to run Nintendo TV, negates the 'click and play option'.

Other features include monitoring what games you play and when, which, before you renegade Orson Wells 1984 style, is optional. This info is stored and used to help suggest titles that you may be interested in, nice to see that you can manually rate games though, prohibiting too much AI forcing your hand.

It also monitors the TV you use, possibly to check who's doing HD tech, and it seems pretty bias towards recommending Nintendo titles, but that's to be expected i guess.

All round though it seems like a good start, and now they've joined forces with the BBC iPlayer, it would seem like Nintendo have moved one more step ahead of the XBox and the lumbering PS3.

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