Thu, Apr 30, 2009 | 13:03 BST
Wii-no-Ma video channel launches tomorrow, Satorua Iwata makes giant announcement
We just received a 3,500+ announcement on the Japanese launch of Wii-no-Ma, Wii’s video download service. It goes live tomorrow.
The spiel outlines what Wii-no-Ma is, how it works, and also details Dokodemo Wii-no-Ma, the DSi software that allows you to play Wii-no-Ma videos on the move.
You can watch the entire announcement in a Japanese language video here.
The whole thing’s in English after the break. There’s no word on whether or not this is going to happen anywhere outside Japan, but the fact we’ve been sent this at all, in English, may give a clue.
Mr. Iwata’s Announcement for Wii-no-Ma Channel
・ Hello, everyone. I’m Iwata of Nintendo.
・ Now I am in the room where “Iwata Asks” usually takes place. But this time I make an announcement in a bit different way.
・ TVCF for our new service called “Wii-no-ma” co-operated with Dentsu Inc. which will launch on May 1st has been on the air from a few days ago.
・ To begin with, For those who have not watched it yet; please take a look at this…
・ (TVCF video footage)
・ After watching this, some of you may wonder like “What is this all about?” or “What is Nintendo going to launch?”
・ As this Wii-no-ma is quite an unprecedented service, we find Nintendo should directly tell details to those who got interested in it. Thus I am here today to make an announcement, as a representative of Nintendo.
・ (Title logo : Wii-no-Ma on Wii channel)
・ “Wii-no-ma” is a coinage of Wii and “Ocha-no-ma” — Japanese traditional style of living room where all the family members stay together.
・ Wii-no-ma symbolizes a space where people stay together, smiling.
・ Two “i” of Wii represent people assembling, and “ma” expresses a smile.
・ We have been aiming to make Wii “a machine to put smile on everyone’s face around it” and to create new relationship between family, television and the internet.
・ It has been long since traditional “Ocha-no-ma” style where family members stay together in front of TV became extinct, as cell phones and the internet brought about rapid changes on people’s ways of life all over the world. It was quite a fortune for us that latest thinner-and-larger TVs were spreading at the almost same period when Wii was.
・ As those TVs has spread much enough, many people gained reason to stay in the living room in order to enjoy watching TV which is better than those in their personal rooms. It also gave a chance to Wii to change the living room into a playfield with quite a new style.
・ This is the fortunate background for new kind of videogames, such as Wii Sports or Wii Fit, to be welcomed by a large part of audience.
・ According to our internal research, 87% of Wii consoles are connected to the largest TV screen in the household, which is set in the centre of the living room.
・ (Graph to show class composition of Wii users )
・ This shows what kind of our customers are playing Wii, as of January this year. As you can see, Wii is played by people in a wide range of ages, and male-female ratio is nearly equal.
・ As I have mentioned in other speeches, as one step to expand the gaming population, we have been continuously researching how many members of one family are playing Wii, with a great priority.
・ (Number of players per household of each videogame console)
・ As you can see, Wii and Nintendo DS have very high ratios.
・ (Superimposition: “Revitalization of Ocha-no-ma”)
・ As Wii has put many smiles on the faces in Ocha-no-ma, a phenomenon which can be called like “Revitalization of Ocha-no-ma” has been taking place.
・ As this phrase symbolizes, I believe many people can find Nintendo’s approach to “expand gaming population” has been realized with Nintendo DS and Wii. At the same time, we are facing the challenge; to do it continuously.
・ I have mentioned it so far as “continuous expansion of gaming population”.
・ As the range of customers has expanded so widely, their likes and intentions are much more diversified than before.
・ It is ideal for us that a single, innovative product satisfies every kind of customers and keeps it playing Wii or DS. But it can hardly happen under present circumstance where customers have various likes and intentions.
・ The definition of what can be called a videogame has become much broader. On the other hand, our principal in the videogame industry — to develop “new” videogames in a broader sense which can surprise and make enjoy many customers as possible — has not been changed as the main issue in “continuous expansion of gaming population”.
・ From that viewpoint, we at Nintendo have to reflect on domestic Wii software deployment in the former half of this year. Like what had been to be released in the former half of this year was postponed to the latter, we were not able to reach the original goal – to regularly make new proposals.
・ As for our deployment during the latter half of this year, I would like to announce on the other day as it is not today’s main topic. I would like to address that Nintendo recognize that we have been short of new proposals during the former half of this year, so far.
・ Of course we are proud of videogame as “a wonderful form of entertainment which can be enjoyed by a number of people all over the world”. Along with that, we recognize that it faces a challenge as its unique feature, interactive control – which is also core of its fun— requires players to spend a large amount of their energy in order to play.
・ To keep continuous expansion of gaming population, we believe it is necessary to propose to make those who do not currently neither play videogames nor feel like pouring energies for playing them to keep at least in contact with videogames, along with the deployment of mainstream videogames.
・ It is also a part of how we can improve social “receptivity” against videogames.
・ New and fresh medium are fated to face challenges being socially criticized before it gains enough receptivity. Even TVs or comics had been criticized in various ways. And as you may know, videogames has been so severely criticized in least-scientific or least-logical ways.
・ We hope the value and possibility of videogame will be more broadly received. We are firmly confident that it can improve social status of videogame and contribute to its future.
・ Gaming population can increase for the first time when a player recognizes the videogame is concerned to him or her.
・ The idea of “Wii-no-ma” is born from such considerations.
・ As I have mentioned, Wii has spread with nearly equal male-to-female ratio and is played by people of broad range of ages. Nearly 90% of the consoles are connected to the largest TV screen of the household in the living room. As for consoles which are already connected to the internet, video streaming or payment system has established through our videogame businesses.
・ This co-operation with Dentsu started when we had contact to Interactive Program Guide Inc., a subsidiary of Dentsu, during the development of “TV-no-Tomo channel” which broadcasts TV program lists.
・ Since the beginning of last year, we have been discussing what we can develop as the next step for the relationship of Wii and TV, utilizing unique features of Wii.
・ “Wii-no-ma” is, in a broader sense, “video broadcasting service” which utilizes advertising business.
・ We have concluded this idea aiming to let every member of family enjoy watching what requires much less energy than videogames.
・ On the other hand, as so many video broadcasting services are already on the air for PCs, we thought similar service at this time has no chance as a business.
・ Generally, video broadcasting services have to compete in the number of programs available. But we find it is too hard to compete in that way to attract many people, as YouTube has already become such popular.
・ We are aiming to establish “Wii-no-Ma” as the new video broadcasting service with unique features. As for these features, I’d like to explain from three different viewpoints. If these three views fail to attract our customers, attractive services are unable to be proposed continuously.
・ (Features of “Wii-no-Ma”)
・ (From the viewpoint of customers)
・ First viewpoint is of customers, who uses Wii consoles and watch the video programs.
・ (From the viewpoint of video programs developers)
・ Second viewpoint is of those who develop video programs.
・ (From the viewpoint of partner companies)
・ And the third viewpoint is of companies who favor the business of “Wii-no-ma” and become our partners.
・ Firstly, to our audience, more than any other people, I’d like to explain what Wii-no-Ma can deliver and cannot.
・ At the very beginning of the service, it contains small number of programs, which can be conspicuously small as no past programs stocked;
・ Because we are going to launch only with newly recorded programs.
・ We made such an intention because programs which can be already watched on any other media are not attractive enough for the audience to turn their Wii on, before watching Wii-no-Ma becomes one of their habits.
・ The world is full of wonderful facts. But unfortunately, even today when TV and the internet has spread so much, one single person can actually experience only a limited amount of them.
・ Our idea is that “Wii-no-Ma” can obtain a mission to give the audience chance to touch those undiscovered wonders, through programs broadcasted on Wii-no-Ma.
・ Programs which will be broadcasted on Wii-no-Ma are developed by the creators of TV programs or advertisements. When we told them the idea of Wii-no-Ma, some of them felt sympathy with it and agreed to join the project.
・ Then you may want to ask us, “Won’t Wii-no-Ma be a rival for TV studios?” – No, we do not have such intentions.
・ Of course, it is impossible for us to fill out 24 hours with our original programs. The amount of audience is far smaller than that of TVs at the start.
・ On such basis of ideas to make a unique proposal than existing video broadcasting services or TVs, we and Dentsu explained our idea to TV stations.
・ As a result, Japanese five “key” TV stations in Tokyo have agreed to provide us with some of their programs. I believe they have recognized that “Wii-no-Ma is not hostile against existing TV system at all”.
・ Wii-no-ma will launch with very limited number of programs. It might seem unprecedented to launch a video broadcasting service with such limited programs.
・ But from other viewpoint, it turns out that good programs can easily stand out.
・ We would like to have your understandings for the number of programs at the launch timing. We are going to increase it gradually. (bows)
・ So far I have told you the most negative fact. But of course there is a bunch of merit which this new system of video broadcasting can make.
・ One of the great features of video broadcasting is that we can watch videos regardless of timing and times. Existing services for PCs or cell phones are mainly focused on the personal use. Wii-no-Ma, on the contrary, will focus on the style that plural people stay together and watch the same program, utilizing the feature of Wii that most of them are connected to the largest TV in the household.
・ Furthermore, most members of the family which owns Wii have already, at least tried, and got used to Wii Remote. In the world of PC or cell phones, a tendency so-called “digital divide”, a gap between those who can utilize such gadgets and those who cannot, has been a problem recently. I believe Wii can fill up the gap.
・ And the favourite program can be repeatedly watched any times without recording.
・ Owners of Nintendo DSi can transfer their favourite program to their DSi to carry. Also, users can send a recommendation of program to their Wii Friends.
・ Sharing the favourite video program, regardless of time and place – we are aiming to deliver new style of video broadcasting service with in-person communication, unlike sharing them on the existing services such as YouTube.
・ Users are asked to evaluate the program every time they finished watching, which constructs the system to calculate which gender and group of ages watched and how they calculated the program in exact number. The result will be sent as a feedback to the developers of the program and to the sponsors of advertisements. Of course, this information is gathered statistically and we are paying as much attention as possible to protect users’ privacies.
・ Wii-no-Ma will be formed according only to the satisfaction of customers, which is different from the idea of audience rating, which forms existing TV system.
・ Under the system of Wii-no-Ma, highly evaluated programs will achieve more chance of exposure and to be watched.
・ When the amount of programs soars so much, some programs might be buried among others. To avoid that, we have a system which recommends latest programs.
・ We call the system “Concierge Mii”. Miis visit user’s Wii-no-ma to give recommendations of various programs.
・ (Mii of Japanese famous Actor Saburo TOKITO visits Wii-no-ma)
・ A variety of Miis will visit Wii-no-Ma as a concierge. I believe it will also be enjoyable.
・ In Wii-no-Ma, all the programs, videos, and the information are done according to the active action of the users. Even advertisement is not an exception. Our proposal is to let users actively choose what they want to watch.
・ Next topic is what “Wii-no-Ma” business means for the video programs developers.
・ During the discussion between us and the developers, what they were most strongly interested in was that “it can directly give them the actual satisfaction ratio”.
・ Those who finally sympathized with the project commonly gave strong responses that a new kind of video programs could be made under such feedback system.
・ Wii-no-Ma service is available only in Japan at the start, but the overseas deployment is under planning in the future. All the services are free of charge at the beginning. We are also preparing to start programs with small amount of payment in the future.
・ When we will have reached such a step, we will no longer stick to the original programs for Wii-no-Ma. Then we can broadcast various video programs globally.
・ As Japanese videogames, anime or manga are very favoured all over the world, we also anticipate a great possibility of same spread for video programs.
・ Wii-no-Ma will mean a lot for the developers of video programs with possibility of system where developers are rewarded according to how large amount of audience their creations satisfied.
・ Finally, I would like to explain what Wii-no-Ma means for partner companies who felt sympathy with the idea.
・ In order to establish free-of-charge system, we have invented advertisement system in Wii-no-Ma;
・ But, in a different way.
・ Recently, advertisement can attract and get the audience interested in, but in many cases, depending on the timing or what they felt at that moment, it might be bothering.
・ We are trying to overcome the situation where advertisement is treated bothering and turn it into a form of entertainment, which users are, actively, eager to watch.
・ In that sense, no advertisement is shown on the screen unless the user actively chooses so.
・ After watching video programs on Wii-no-Ma, users are guided to “Kaisha-no-Ma” (Companies’ Room) of our partner companies and they choose what they want to watch.
・ There are twelve screens in Kaisha-no-Ma. Each of them can be utilized for companies to communicate with the customers in a way like casting video, asking questionnaire, giving out a voucher or delivering sample to the household.
・ Advertisement videos have no limitation of length like 15 or 30 seconds. As the user actively chose to watch the video with some interest in it, the user and the company can communicate deeply about the product or service, without the limitation of the length.
・ As for our partner companies, “Kaisha-no-Ma” has been designed as a stage of communication between customers and companies or verification of a hypothesis.
・ Primal amount of the audience might be very small; but they are active, with interest, and have agreed to be given messages. Furthermore, the message will be shared among the plural members of families staying in front of TV.
・ Utilizing this system, we are anticipating an unprecedented form of advertisement; from what they avoid to watch to what they are eager to watch – in other word – a form of entertainment.
・ And Wii-no-ma has chances to be watched by plural people at one time, unlike personal computers or mobile phones.
・ It has been long since advertisement no longer took effect and products would never sell well without positive word-of-mouth communication. Word-of-mouth is relatively common among same grade of ages, same gender, or a specific community such as school or place of work. And it can hardly exist beyond the age group or gender.
・ On the other hand, family is the ultimate stage of word-and-mouth, where people with different gender, ages or social status stay together and share the part of lives.
・ Word-of-mouth in family beyond ages and gender happened during the spreading of our products, Wii and Nintendo DS. It is why I put priority on “the number of users per household” of videogame consoles as an indicator of expanding gaming population.
・ As Wii-no-Ma utilizes Wii and DS which have spread in that way so far, we believe, so can Wii-no-ma help information spread in a new form of communication. We are going to propose what only this new form of communication can do to our partner companies.
・ (At last…)
・ Now then, please welcome two representatives of the developers of video programs and our partner companies to explain what they anticipate for Wii-no-Ma. Along with that, I would like to address how I find Wii-no-Ma as a member of Wii-no-Ma Inc. as producer of the video programs. Please take a look.
・ Wii-no-Ma is an unprecedented new service. Even we cannot imagine how fast it will spread.
・ To maintain Wii as “a console which puts smiles on everyone’s faces surrounding it”, we aim to go forward steadily in a long term and to change the relationship between family, TV and the internet. We are looking forward to your assistance.
・ Thank you for your watching!
Wii-no-Ma introduction video footage
A new Wii Channel – “Wii-no-Ma”
Firstly, please choose Mii of you from those registered in the Mii Channel. It will start to make a living in “Wii-no-Ma”.
On the next step, please register the year of birth and blood type. Up to 8 Miis can make a living in one “Wii-no-Ma”.
In “Wii-no-Ma”, time flies simultaneously as the real world. Miis of you, your family or friends are making a living in “Wii-no-Ma”.
Miis of celebrities or famous persons, called “Concierge Mii”, sometimes visit your “Wii-no-Ma” and introduces you recommended programs.
By choosing “Watch”, you can watch the program.
Various programs – from a fresh viewpoint – which those who are involved in TV and advertisement industry have been eager to create will be available.
After watching the program, you and each member of your family can evaluate the program; tell your friend or family member as a recommendation, attaching a message; or carry it by transferring it to the exclusive software of Nintendo DSi, “Doko-demo Wii-no-Ma”. Also, you can move to “Kaisha-no-Ma” (Companies’ room) which partnership companies of “Wii-no-Ma” run, after watching the program.
In “Kaisha-no-Ma”, you can watch videos which each partner company recommends; make an order of delivering samples of new products to the address which you will have registered; or send video vouchers which you can actually use in stores to your Nintendo DSi. Various functions of “Wii-no-Ma” can be used by choosing TV, calendar and so on in the room.
By selecting “TV”, you can watch video programs as you like, by choosing from recommendation, the newly-arrived, or searching what you want to watch.
By selecting “message board”, you can select the photograph of Concierge Mii who has visited your Wii-no-Ma in the past to invite again.
By selecting “foliage plant”, you will see a parade of partner companies of “Wii-no-Ma”. You can select each company’s placard to move to its “Kaisha-no-Ma”.
“Calendar” tells you the anniversary, trivia, video-of-the-day according to each of 365 days.
Please try “Wii-no-Ma” – A new video experience space with a variety of programs.
Dokodemo Wii-no-Ma” Introduction video footage
“Dokodemo Wii-no-Ma” is an exclusive software of Nintendo DSi with which you can carry the video programs “Wii-no-Ma” you have watched to watch it anywhere.
“Dokodemo Wii-no-Ma” can be downloaded via the internet at Nintendo DSi Shop, free of charge.
After watching a video program on “Wii-no-Ma”, please choose “Transfer to Nintendo DSi” then please launch “Dokodemo Wii-no-Ma” in your Nintendo DSi.
Choose “receive video from Wii-no-Ma” then transfer begins.
You can store the video in the built-in memory of your DSi or SD Memory Card.
Videos stored in your DSi can be carried and watched anywhere, any time.
In “Kaisha-no-Ma”, a part of “Wii-no-Ma”, you can send various video vouchers which partner companies offer to your DSi.
Video vouchers can be sent in the same way as video programs.
You can show video vouchers at the stores to receive a variety of special services.