To say that Nintendo has been slow to get up to speed in the online space is an understatement. Just look at their history. Nintendo’s first move actually came on the Super Famicom with the Satellaview, a satellite modem add-on only available in Japan. The system was developed to receive broadcast signals from a satellite TV station during a fixed time-slot, effectively allowing for subscription based gaming. The system only supported a handful of games, and was more an experiment than anything else.
After Nintendo essentially bypassed the N64 era without even a hint of entering the online space, the Gamecube was supposed to be given the online treatment, but there are a grand total of four titles that support online play, and another three allow LAN play. The Wii and DS were a step in the right direction, but pale in comparison to even online services of the last generation in the PS2 and Xbox.
Nintendo seems to be fully committed with Wii U and 3DS to step up their game with the Nintendo Network, and if reports from Adweek are to believed, Wii U will go further than any other Nintendo console to date.
According to the article, executives from Nintendo arranged meetings with multiple top cable and Web video content companies at last months Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to discuss adding content to the Wii U. No word on what exactly that content could be, but sources at Adweek suggest the content could include sports and music content.
This is exciting news for Nintendo fans looking forward to Wii U, and bodes well for the future and may speak to Nintendo’s future online strategy. Having the tablet controller automatically gives the Wii U an upper-hand when it comes to streaming video. Just imaging being able to stream the latest Champions League match directly to your tablet controller. I would also like to see more 3D video content on the 3DS, perhaps the ability to pay a one time fee to rent one of the latest 3D movies on the handheld. Regardless, it is nice to see Nintendo taken steps to ensure they are not left behind in an increasingly online world.