Is the Wii about to enter the set-top box arena?

Chicago (IL) – Unlike Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation, the Nintendo Wii is both user friendly and family oriented. Nearly anyone can utilize it. The use of the device as a streaming media player would surely not only boost sales, but it could also give other console manufacturers a run for their money. Currently in the United States, there are 16.2 million Wiis. This number compares to 12.8 million Xbox 360s and 6.3 million PS3s. In fact, the Wii has the potential to dominate the market.

Lionsgate’s president of digital media, Curt Marvis leaked some information during an interview with Variety magazine. Marvis claimed that for movie and television studies, the Wii could deliver an awesome opportunity for the delivery and distribution of their content to users. Though this is not a guarantee, the concept could become a reality before year’s end.

Marvis’s comments are not the only indicators that the Wii might be moving into the set-top box arena, but that Nintendo has already begun development on a video-on-demand service for Wii to be utilized for the delivery of original content in Japan. This service could potentially be marketed to studios in the United States as well, thus leading to partnerships like the ones between Netflix and Xbox, and PlayStation and NBC Universal.

Currently the Wii is not capable of handling high definition content or downloading a significant number of movies and television shows due to the console’s lack of a hard drive. Either a new device would have to be marketed and sold, or the video service would have to be equipped with enhanced storage. I’m sure all the details will be worked out, and until then its fun to hope and speculate as to what direction the company plans to move with this device.

I for one would like to cry “Wii, Wii, Wii, bring my movies home”.