Wii Wants TV

You want your Wii TV? You got it.

Reuters reports that Nintendo (OTC BB: NTDOY.PK) is working with Japan's Dentsu to bring video to the Wii video game console. And not just existing programming a la Hulu, but new video. Think of it as a professional-grade YouTube tricked out with playlists.

Assuming the higher-ups didn't conceive this idea over a blowfish-sushi-and-sake-bombs lunch near headquarters -- I've seen worse -- there's logic to the plan. Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) is partnering with Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) to stream movies through the Xbox 360. Sony's (NYSE: SNE  ) PlayStation 3 plays Blu-ray discs.

Video game consoles are the new entertainment centers, in other words.

I simply wonder whether Nintendo is doing enough. New content is great, but will it sell? It had better; Nintendo and Dentsu will charge Wii users a premium for some shows, while ads will follow others.

In either case, most programming will be cartoons and other entertainment, the Nikkei Business Daily reports. That's sufficiently different from what Microsoft and Sony offer today, and it could play well with Nintendo's anime-happy audience.

And let's not forget history. Nintendo has created hit content before with its games, many of which involve engaging plotlines, and its DSi handheld is a budding platform that's just a chip away from being a smartphone. Few firms short of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) have more experience at creating integrated experiences than Nintendo does.

Game on.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Rule Breakers team, and he had stock and options positions in Apple at the time of publication. He was huge at Super Punch-Out during his teens. Huge.

Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy just hit the high score on Asteroids.


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  • Report this Comment On December 29, 2008, at 4:20 PM, Tree1985 wrote:

    One other challenge is that the Wii does not have High Definition capabilities. New advertising says otherwise, but will not be able to do the 720p, 1080i or 1080p resolution. It will be interesting to see if they have a brilliant idea for merging the platform with interesting video content that would differentiate the offering from the xBox/Netflix or the Sony/Blu-Ray pairings.

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