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Wii Getting Playable Demos And Video Downloads

sjohnson
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Posted November 4, 2009 - By Stephen Johnson

Nintendo WiiYou know how the Wii is positioned as a game system that sells units by offering less than its competitors but having a user-friendly gimmick? Nintendo may be "correcting course" a bit and offering some of the services users of the other two big game systems take for granted.

First off: Playable downloads are coming to the system. On a Nintendo conference call Saturo Iwata said Nintendo will start a test program for WiiWare demos some time this month. The test will cover just a few titles. Apparently, Nintendo wants to test whether people actually want to try out games before they buy them. The demos will be for WiiWare games, but Nintendo could extend this idea and provide demos of retail titles as well. No word yet on whether the pilot program is for Japan only, but we'll keep you posted.

Secondly: Movies. According to the same call, Nintendo plans to offer paid video streaming in Japan on the Wii no Ma channel before the end of the year. Currently, the video content on the service is free of charge. No word yet on what kind of paid content will be offered, but Iwata did say that Nintendo "will be working to take the service to the next step" with an eye on getting more people using the Wii, even people who might not be into playing games at home.

Whether these two changes are indicative of a strategy shift from Nintendo or just a couple of weird things being tested out in Japan remains to be seen. If these start looking more like major initiatives/priorities, we'll let you know. Of course, Nintendo has no hope of competing without an HD version of its machine...

Wii Getting Playable Demos And Video Downloads
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