Nintendo mulling Wii-to-DS video download service

Satoru Iwata tells the <i>Wall Street Journal</i> that planned "different" service may allow transfer of video to DS; if successful in Japan, may come to West.

Anyone who lived through the GameCube era will remember how Nintendo dismissed rival consoles' video playback and online connectivity as distractions from "true" gaming. In a 2004 interview, company president Satoru Iwata called Sony's PSP and its ill-fated PlayStation 2/PVR hybrid, the PSX, mere "entertainment goods" and flatly said that "customers do not want online games."

Satoru Iwata lords over GDC last month.

Five years later, Nintendo makes the current generation's top console, the 50-million-unit-selling Wii, which comes with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. The Internet is central to the company's business model, with retro games and new WiiWare titles being digitally distributed to the Wii Shop Channel every Monday. The Wii also offers a variety of online information, including weather and news, and free online play, albeit with the use of cumbersome friend codes. The company even notifies Wii owners of new events with mass e-mail blasts denoted by a blinking blue light on the console's front.

Later this year, Nintendo will be challenging the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360's non-game entertainment content by offering video downloads in Japan. First revealed last Christmas to the Nikkei news service, the company's video download service is proceeding apace, according to comments made by Iwata to the Wall Street Journal this week.

"It'll be an advertising-based video service, which is a first for us," the executive told the financial daily. "And if the Wii and the DS are connected, it should be possible to download video through the Wii and take it with you on the DS." It was unclear if the videos would be DS-formatted or if the video transfer connectivity would be similar to the PS3's Remote Play feature, which lets players access non-Blu-ray video content on PSPs via the Web.

Iwata also promised that, like the Wii itself, its video download service would offer something distinctive from its competitors. "When the service begins, you'll see how we're going to do it differently in a Nintendo-like way," promised the recent Game Developers Conference keynote speaker. "There are a lot of on-demand video services, so there's no reason to do the same thing."

Lastly, Iwata promised that if the Wii's video service is successful in Japan, the company would "like to take it overseas." No time frame was offered as to when the service might launch in North America or Europe, nor were any hints given as to content partners.

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53 comments
Kbs64
Kbs64

that be so cool :)

zero-G1080
zero-G1080

@zaprct I have to agree, thats the reason I didnt buy a wii and gave my DS away. btw, surely you would include twilight princess and MP: corruption as well?

gameking5000
gameking5000

@zaprct Yes you are right that Nintendo aren't releasing enough the "core" games. But the Xbox and the PS3 are really for teenagers. So for those who aren't a teenager they have a choice? Stick with Nintendo or give up with consoles.

zaprct
zaprct

Every time a news article comes out about Nintendo lately, it is never related to an announcement about a major game release. Ever since my Nintendo obssession back in the SNES days, I was constantly aware of the next release date for a Mario, Zelda or DK game. I know that I now no longer represent Nintendo's target audience, but since their major focus on casual gaming and the loss of Rare as a second-party developer I have absolutely nothing to look forward to from Nintendo. Wii Fit, Wii Sports, Animal Crossing, Wii Music, DSi, Wii video content...all products Nintendo has talked up to no end as though the true games that made them so revolutionary in the first place are no longer relevent. Mario Galaxy, Mario Kart Wii and Super Smash Bros were all great games, don't get me wrong; but 3 great releases from the big N in nearly 2.5 years since the release of the Wii. Soon enough even the casual gamers are going to want more and will move on to the 360/PS3 if there are no great core games for them to play.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

It'll be an advertising-based video service: Wonderful. Just what I want. Advertisements on the go. It wouldn't be so bad if you could skip past the ads to see the content you want, but half the time on the net when you want to see a movie trailer, game review, or even the news, you HAVE to sit through unskippable ad nonsense to see the video you clicked on to see. If the ads are not intrusive on the content then whatever. Just don't FORCE me to watch ads if I don't want to. And considering the fact that the Gamecube only ever had 2 online games, I think it's funny that they've realised the potential of the net. :P Either way if it lets me see interesting content then I'm all for it, just don't advertise at me.

Payback7
Payback7

Interesting. Time will tell if Nintendo are onto a winner :) The Wii needs more RPG's!!! :P

Tylendal
Tylendal

I'm definitely interested to see how Nintendo is going to make this service unique. Considering some of the cinematics I've seen in games like Metroid Prime Hunters, I wouldn't be surprised to see the DSi pull off some fairly nice looking videos.

Way2fonky
Way2fonky

*yawn* Wake me up when they start offering demos on Wii.

Hekynn
Hekynn

If their gonna do media now for the WII and DS they would have to let us use a 1TB External HD on the Wii.

atopp399
atopp399

As long as this doesn't delay Nintendo releasing any of their games(Zelda, Mario etc.) I have no problem with it. I just will not participate. If it affects their games then I have a problem with it.

A handheld video game system is the last thing I would use to watch videos. I would use my laptop, phone or iPod in that order before using a video game system.

soulslayer1
soulslayer1

I still can't see why can't Nintendo release game demo's like PS3 and 360, that way we know what we buy

Rect_Pola
Rect_Pola

Thus far, Nintendo has a great set up for online "access", what with great stuff to buy; but their friend code system is the bane of a real online community. Do they even have measures for directly communicating or is it all controlled environments inside games?

Peaches1347
Peaches1347

i think nintendo is gettin the hang of current gen stuff. i think their next system will be the best out of the big 3

dynomitemasta
dynomitemasta

Nintendo was right on in their decision to wait with online connectivity. It was just too early back then, most people were still using dial-up...yikes!... By waiting this long and concentrating on gaming, they are now back on top and have allowed both MS and Sony to do all the foot work and testing to see what works and what doesn't work... Now they just have to take the ideas of others and mold them into a Nintendo-esqe package ... MINUS the 500 digit friend codes!...lol

tengen23
tengen23

flyingteddy, I don't think this can be called "desperation" when Nintendo has the biggest installed base of both home and handhelds consoles right now... but I totally agree with kavdias, they need to start making games, I doubt anyone cares about getting video on their Wii or DS when they can already do it so much easier on their Xbox, PS3, or iPhone.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

Stop screwing around with pointless "catch up" services like this and use the huge amount of money you have earnt to provide us with some decent games.

flyingteddy
flyingteddy

sounds a bit desperate. would the DS even be any good for watching video?

star77241
star77241

Stop testing things in Japan first and just bring it over here already. And I hope by this they don't just mean gaming related videos from the Nintendo Channel. If so they also need to have the player on the Wii.

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

this may help boost sales in japan we will see ,

japanesegoth
japanesegoth

i watch movies on my zune and have no complaints. i don't see why not on the DS...not that i'd use it...and i was kinda hoping for more wii-ds connectivity by now since they were saying all this stuff about it when the wii first came out.

black_ice23
black_ice23

sounds great, video is always welcome, they should bring that comic book channel they got in Japan, Marvel and DC would be all over that but also they need to set up a VC for GB on the DSi and add perhaps Wii VC to DS connectivity

HarlockJC
HarlockJC moderator

it would be at about the same level as watching Netflix on the 360...

Tremblay343
Tremblay343

watching movies on the wii? Possibly. It would be 480p, but HD downloads take longer anyways. Watching movies on my DS though? I doubt it. The screen's just aren't a good enough size and have a pretty crappy resolution on them. If i want to watch a movie or listen to music I'd much rather use my IPod touch or PSP.

1357900
1357900

"advertising-based video service"? That's already available on the N channel. What do they mean? I think they think this will give the Wii more of a leg-up on the "competition".

GatCloudX
GatCloudX

please make virtual console NES and SNES games on the DSi that would be amazing

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

Im a Nintendo fanboy but Satoru Iwata sounds very Sony to me. I dont want to see Nintendo go down the road it went in 2006 or the one Sony is going down right now. That they would only care about processing power and ignore whether its easy or fun.

IvanKavinski
IvanKavinski

Nintendo definitely knows the market better than ANY of us... However, "the market" often leaves out us loyal fans who grew up gaming and demand more than the majority does.

somberfox
somberfox

Nintendo is arrogant, they think the industry isn't ready for something until they say it is.

gameking5000
gameking5000

Able to downlaod videos, what does that mean? Videos are short.

wiiplay1
wiiplay1

"a Nintendo-like way?" Oh no.

nate1222
nate1222

Stick to games, Nintendo. Please? I'm much more interested in being able to download Old School NES, SNES, N64 and Genisis games to the DSi SD card. I already do that with my Wii. Hell, I only own 3 actual Wii games ans 8 gameCube games. The rest, 26 in all, are downloaded Virtual Console games. I'd LOVE to take them on the go!

thetravman
thetravman

...what videos? The ones from Nintendo channel?

Ovirew
Ovirew

Why would I want to send replay data to their DS?

ChildOfGaming7
ChildOfGaming7

Japan better make it sucessful....... I want to see the Super Mario Bros. Super Show on this service. There is no reason not to.

RedToFire
RedToFire

Nintendo needs to get to work on this already. It's been talked about since the Wii was announced. Xbox 360 works with Zune and PS3 with PSP.

Redonkulous_D
Redonkulous_D

It'd be a good idea if handled correctly. I hope things turn out well. I wouldn't mind having one more thing to do my DS.

BtmnHatesRbn
BtmnHatesRbn

With 100 million DS units out there, and 99 million of those units belonging to "normies" and so-called "casual" gamers, why wouldn't Nintendo do this? Apple did with iPod, and $ony with PSP, which is a HUGE failure for $ony, and Micro$oft released Zune for this stuff, too. Nintendo has the base. Sorry, I forgot you GameSpot readers are all clones of Todd from Code Monkeys...

Distinctive_Fin
Distinctive_Fin

maybe if they made movies or extra game content available. . .

skullboy950
skullboy950

Hm... whatever, but I'll still be playing my Gamecube after that.

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

How about a Virtual Console to DS transfer and not this crap?