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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Software

Nintendo launches paid video content for Wii

New survey statistics and new revenue streams suggest the Wii still has plenty of room to grow.

The Nintendo Wii remains a force to be reckoned with in the video game world and new survey statistics along with new revenue streams suggest that Nintendo has still has something up it's sleeve.

Wii 'Theater no Ma'
Wii 'Theater no Ma' Nintendo

New survey data from Lottay, an online wish-list and gift giving site, shows that the Wii and its associated accessories will regain momentum during this year's holiday season.

The Wii and Wii-related gear were wished for twice as much as the Sony PS3 and Xbox 360 combined though 38 percent of people wanted something other than products--namely cash, and in one case, Satan (I assume for a visit, not as a full-time family member.)

And while a wish, or a request for a gift, is no guarantee that a product will actually sell, there is a dearth of exciting gifts for this holiday season, leaving room for the Wii and other less-new products to be successful.

Just a few weeks ago, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello commented that the "Wii platform has been a little weaker than we had anticipated" but Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales and marketing Cammie Dunaway was extremely positive about the current sales and the future growth.

But, the focus in the U.S. remains on selling more titles and accessories, not branching out into additional services such as we've seen with Microsoft's Xbox Live, which provides access to Facebook, Twitter, and Last.fm through the console.

Services supporting the Wii are much more sophisticated in Nintendo's home country of Japan, where the company previously launched an advertising program to turn family time into a commercial endeavor and a catering channel that lets users order food from a variety of vendors directly through the console, delivered directly to their front door.

This weekend Nintendo added to the Wii's variety of interactive offerings, with a paid video download service for Japan. "Theater no Ma" will offer a range of movies, anime and other paid content from providers including Walt Disney and Sesame Workshop.

Downloading rental content onto game consoles and set-top boxes has been common in the U.S for awhile, but the reason this service could prove meaningful in Japan is because Nintendo researchers previously found that 87 percent of Wii users use the console on the biggest screen in the house, which is still the one in the living room.