Last last year, Nintendo announced a partnership with Japan’s largest advertising agency Dentsu to bring a video distribution service to the Wii gaming console. Now, industry reports have Nintendo getting set to launch the service on May 1 in Japan under the name “Wii no Ma Channel“—and, reportedly, the service will include support for the Nintendo DSi handheld as well.
Nintendo’s original plan had been to offer original content for the service, rather than redistributing existing television or movie programming, with an emphasis on family-oriented content. The Wi no Ma Channel will appear on-screen like a family room, where Mii avatars can congregate. The service will offer both free and paid-for content (although no specific titles have been announced yet). Perhaps more interestingly, the Wii no Ma Channel will also extend to the Nintendo DSi handheld via an application called “Dokodemo Wii no Ma” (roughly, “Wii no Ma Anywhere”), which will enable users to download video from the Wii to the DSi for portable viewing. Users will also be able to download sponsor coupons—say, for a fast food restaurant—that can be scanned from the DSI screen when a user wants to redeem it.
Nintendo has not announced any plans to launch a Wii video service outside Japan.
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