Cast for two

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Wiivolution

At E3 Nintendo announced and showcased its upcoming game console Nintento Wii. The Wii name was already revealed earlier and generated a lot of debate. A lot of complained that it sounded to much as "pee". But i find the contraction of "we" + "i" + "i" = "wii" a nice naming for a winning concept.

Let me try to explain why. First of all, the Wii gameconsole will be lowpower such that it can be always on without a big energy bill afterwards. This means that all Wii consoles will become nodes into a massive p2p network. Since the console is connected to the TV, it can become a TV and radio. Secondly, Nintendo unrolls a true crossmedia strategy. Think about the Nintendo DS or DS Lite with an opera browser. It means that on the handheld device of about 150 euro you can perform all personal actions: browsing, instant messaging, email, talking, ... next to casual gaming via the wifi network. It is also announced that DS Lite will get a digital televion receiver (see "Nintendo expects limited losses from Wii launch").

The nintendo Wii will have flash SD card slot. Imagine the following. While on the go, you encounter a friend who recommends you a media title. When in a wifi network, you go online with the DS (lite) and start up the download of the media title on your home Wii system. Later at home, you enjoy your title.

The Wii could also become a mediaserver that decodes the media title and beam the decoded video to the DS (lite) handheld. Or downloads the webpages you visit and repurposes them for viewing on the handheld. I also expect that with a push on a button you can display the webpage currently on the DS (lite) back on the TV.

So if you then have to book a hotel for your vacation, there's no need to quarrel with your wife in the couch about who operates the wifi labtop. You just browse both at your own pace and when there's something to share, just push the button....

Very clever indeed, Nintendo

When I asked people in my own social circle if they would be interested they responded that games are way to expensive. Enter Nintendo's Virtual Console that virtually plays every title from the start of their offerings. Some of them will be for free, others can be bought from the week budget children get. Rumors go that prices will be under 10 dollar. (Wii's classic games to be priced less than US$10)

Moreover, a whole load of good low priced games and application may be expected because Nintendo is really bringing in the indie scene. The price of the development kid is supposed to be less then $2000. Hundred times less then a PS3 dev kid, under the assumption you get one! Think now about democratic innovation as discussed by Eric Von Hippel and the revolution can begin.

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