It’s no secret that Microsoft and Sony have both been immensely successful with their game consoles that also act as entertainment hubs that include features like Netflix and Hulu. It seems that Nintendo wants to get in on the game.
According to unnamed sources speaking to Ad Week, it appears that Nintendo is in preliminary talks with content producers to bring video services to their next home console - the Wii U. The sources say that Nintendo wants to move away from being just a traditional gaming console to be more of an entertainment hub where anybody can find some sort of entertainment on the device.
There are also sources saying that Nintendo is looking to Comcast to provide cable television on their new console. It’s rumored that Nintendo executives were meeting with “a select number of content companies” at CES last month. The sources say that they were wanting to focus on sports and music content.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Nintendo has dabbled in online video delivery. The Wii allows for streaming of Netflix and, more recently, Hulu Plus content. The 3DS also has a Netflix app alongside the Nintendo Video app that provides new original content every week.
This is all just speculation and rumor now, so don’t expect any kind of news until E3. If Nintendo has any kind of media content plans, all will be revealed at their press conference in June.
Speaking personally, I could see Nintendo doing something in regards to digital content. In the early concept video for the Wii U, they show a boy transferring a game over to the tablet-like controller while his father watches sports on the TV. Media content deals could allow for somebody to watch content on the TV while the one with the controller can watch something else entirely.
These concepts are nothing new, however, as tablets have been offering the same functionality for the past few years. The Wii U can’t sell itself solely on providing digital media content. Nintendo has always strayed away from offering such content because they like to focus on the games. Nintendo, if they want to succeed, has to keep doing this with the Wii U. Original video content can be a nice incentive to buy a console, but it's the games, not that content, that is going to sell the hardware.