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Iwata introduces the Wii no Ma video service


The Wii no Ma Channel, Nintendo's own ad-supported video service, starts in Japan tomorrow. Nintendo seems to think pretty highly of its creation -- not only did president Satoru Iwata record a 25-minute speech about the service, but Nintendo reportedly sent translations of Iwata's speech to some English-language sites. This unusual practice has us thinking we could see our own version of the Wii no Ma Channel soon.

Iwata's presentation offered a few details on the new service. According to Eurogamer's summary, Nintendo will begin the service with only a small amount of original content, but that Japanese broadcasters now see the service as "not hostile" and will provide content soon. "It might seem unprecedented to launch a video broadcasting service with such limited programs," said Iwata about the approach (which should be familiar to users of the Virtual Console or WiiWare), "but from other viewpoint, it turns out that good programs can easily stand out. We are going to increase it gradually."

The advertising portion, relegated to an area inside the channel's living room houseplant, presents 12 screens to the viewer, allowing viewers to choose the advertising and offers they see, rather than interrupting programming for ads. This is the part of the service that allows coupons to be sent to the DSi. Other events happening in the room include visits from celebrity Mii "concierges" -- like Einstein, seen above. Viewers can rate and recommend these visits to friends, who can experience them via the Wii Message Board. More screens of the service are available at the Wii no Ma site.

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