Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wii Channels: From current state to the future

I was browsing around my Wii Channels this morning, and as I was doing so, I began thinking of where they may be headed in the future. As of now, we have the Mii Channel, Photo Channel, Shop Channel, Forecast Channel, News Channel, Internet Channel and the Everybody Votes Channel. But what Wii Channels will we see in the coming months and years? Here's what I think of how the Wii Channels are doing now, and what they can do in the future to make our Wii experience even better.

As I said, we already have a large amount of Wii Channels at our disposal. Some are necessary (The Disc Channel and Mii Channel), some are for expanding our experiences (The Everybody Votes Channel and Shop Channel) and others are just convenient little programs (The Forecast Channel, News Channel and Internet Channel). They all serve their purpose (Some slightly better than others), and they help make the Wii what it is. But what about more Wii Channels? Here are a few ideas I've thought of, as well as my thoughts on a few others people have dreamed up.

A Wii/DS Demo Channel

This channel is actually supposed to be coming in the near future (Nintendo even said so themselves). But how will it work? Here are my ideas. When it comes to DS demos, the software is simply downloaded onto the Wii from the internet, and from there sent to the DS via the handheld's software download function. The software can then either be wiped from the Wii's memory, or stored so it can be downloaded again later on.

As for Wii demos, things won't be quite as simple. Once a demo has been chosen, only the most crucial files will be downloaded, and the rest will be streamed onto the Wii through the internet as the user play through the software (Similar to how a CD-ROM installs some information onto a computer, and then streams the rest onto the PC while in the disc drive.). As the streamed data is used, it is deleted from the Wii's internal memory in order to save space on the console's already cramped 512MB of flash memory. When the demo is exited, any remaining streamed data is also deleted, but the crucial files will remain (These can be deleted later on manually.). This may not be possible, as I'm saying this as a person with very little knowledge of the behavior of computer data. If there's a techno-geek out there who can tell me whether or not this is even feasible, please do!

A Music Channel

This channel isn't an original thought by yours truly, but my ideas are! Anywho, it's already technically possible to listen to your own music on the Wii, but only during Excite Truck races and Photo Channel slideshows (This one is extremely clunky to boot). What the Wii needs is a dedicated Music Channel where we can play music from our SD cards!

This channel would be quite simple, really. All it would have to be able to do is read sound files from an inserted SD card and play it through the TV's speakers. However, there are plenty of other things it could do to further the experience! You could make playlists of your favorite songs, bands and genres and perhaps even download exclusive Nintendo tracks from a Wii Points-operated online shopping center! The songs wouldn't cost too much, probably no more than 100 Points each. But through this service, you could get classic tracks from original NES games, music from upcoming releases and even fan-made Nintendo-themed songs! There's a lot of potential in a Wii Music Channel, and I hope Nintendo realizes it soon.

Wii TV Channel

No, this isn't some stupid idea of watching TV on a Wii, which is already hooked up to a TV. This is something much more! Imagine a channel with nothing but Nintendo shows on it, 24/7, 365 days of the year! There could be classic old Nintendo shows like The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, the Legend of Zelda Cartoon, Captain N: The Game Master and maybe even SEGA-themed shows like the Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon! There could also be brand-new programs on it like a Wii game review show and some more unique ideas such as Reggie Speaks (A monthly program where Reggie addresses the state of Nintendo and such.)!

Sure, this is a very ambitious idea, but damned if it wouldn't be awesome, huh?

Well, that's all I've got for now. As always, feel free to comment!

The Duck Has Spoken.


ModestMr.Green said...

If I remember correctly, Nintendo never said anything about a Demo Channel. All they have said is that they'd like to bring demos to Wii, and other developers have hinted at a new downloadable service for new games and/or demos that would be seperate from Virtual Console. I don't see why Nintendo simply wouldn't redesign the Wii Shop Channel, but who knows.

I don't see your idea about Wii Demos being streamed through the intarwebs being feasible, but I have no idea what's possible, either. Nice suggestion, though!

One thing I do see happening that Mr. Iwata did suggest when explaining WiiConnect24, however, is that Wii could act as a DS Download Station. I think that's a very solid concept for a Channel. The Channel could be quite simple in design, and it could offer the three most recent DS Download Station updates. In addition, the Channel could send messages to your Wii when updates are made, it could feature a news ticker like Everybody Votes Channel's icon, and/or it could feature a page of recently updated information (similar to the Forecast Channel's opening screen before "Start" is clicked).

As for a music channel, I suppose that's a possibility, but as for the downloading of Nintendo tracks? I wouldn't count on it.

As for a channel streaming a Nintendo show of sorts, I don't see that one happening.

I thought about the possibility of a Sudoku Channel happening when someone suggested it once, and I've tried to design it...it's certainly difficult. However, I still think that Sudoku on one's TV with daily puzzles could be quite intersting and appealing if implemented in the right way.

As for other Channel concepts...perhaps a Sports Channel that was constantly being updated with Sports stats would be nice (even though the News Channel provides Sports news, this method I believe would be highly convenient). I don't even like Sports, but I can see myself downloading this channel.

Speaking of Wii services, I'd like to see Nintendo make one definitive attempt at selling Game & Watch titles to consumers, and I think the best way to do that may be to make them available through a downloadable Wii Channel that could allow for the temporary download of Game & Watch titles to Nintendo DS. I'm talking every single Game & Watch title ever created, so they could either be sold all together with the Channel, or the Channel itself could be free, come with a couple of them, and then have the infrastructure to allow for the download of others.

But hey, that's just wishful thinking. But who knows, with Wii and Nintendo DS, Game & Watch titles could find an entirely new audience. The possibilities are quite limitless with the Channel system.

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