Nintendo’s pilot project of offering video streaming through the Wii console has come to an end.
The service was only available in Japan, but there was hope that if it was successful it would be spread out to other markets. Unfortunately, the Wii was not built for this kind of Internet-intensive activity and it never really got off the ground.
Nintendo did manage to strike up a few major partnerships, including Disney and Warner Bros. The service was available as a special Wii channel, which was free to users through an ad-supported interface.
The channel was also offered on the DSi in Japan, and it tried to provide players with a social experience in kind of the same way that the Xbox 360 offers with its virtual Xbox Live parties.
Of course, getting together with your friends on the Wii is usually an exercise in futility. Not only do you need to connect with other users through a separate medium outside the Wii in order to exchange friend codes, you also need to organize with them offline when it comes to logging into the console at the same time, since there is no sort of instant messaging service through the Wii.
For those reasons, the Wii video streaming platform was effectively a failure, but it hopefully provided Nintendo with the kind of experience it needs to enhance its online capabilities with the Wii U.
There hasn’t been much discussion about what kind of online infrastructure Nintendo’s next console will have, but analysts say it needs to have a highly robust platform to compete successfully with the PS3, Xbox 360, and the next iterations of both those competitors.