Minna No Nintendo Channel First Impressions

So I had a long day at work and didn’t actually hear about the “Minna no Nintendo Channel” until I got home this evening. Immediately hearing the news I downloaded the channel so that I could see what the buzz was about and deliver it straight to the Infendo readers.

When you log in, the channel gives you the same messages as the Mii Contest Channel (i.e. do you want to recieve message updates, etc.). Once you log on, a video starts playing automatically- and the quality is surprisingly good. The video is an informercial esque add for Wii Fit with Miyamoto and some atheletic looking people talking about the benefits of the software.

You can click on the video to view it in full screen, or hit a button to check out more videos. When you hit that button- the video you’re watching down-sizes and hides in the corner so you can see a list of other videos, almost like a TiVo pre-loaded with Nintendo commercials.

Nintendo is no stranger to promotional videos. Back when I was a kid even, I would recieve VHS tapes with my Nintendo Power subscription promoting games as early as the original Donky Kong Country (there were probably earlier ones but that was the first I got). The thing is, with the advent of the internet and definitely this channel, having a video for every game (and so easily accessable) kind of diminishes how special having a promotional video really is, at least for me. Where the videos help is if there’s a game you don’t know anything about- you can watch a video. However there are more videos than on Nintendo’s Japanese site, and higher resolution too- so it definitely has its advantages over PC viewing.

The marketing goes even further with a voting system that checks your Wii for the games you’ve played and then allows you to submit suggestions straight to Nintnendo about what demographic you think your games are appropriate for. This was kind of fun to play around with and think about, but you don’t get to find out anyone else’s survey results- it’s just a marketing tool, so it isn’t too exciting after the first couple votes.

Where the channel really shines is in the downloadable DS demos. In Japan you can actually download DS demo games all over the place (from kiosks, posters in train stations, etc.), but to have all the latest DS demos accessable at home is just really cool. Since the games don’t leave your DS ’till you shut it off, imagine downloading a new game demo every couple of days to play on the train ride to work… I’m considering moving farther from work! Sure the demos are still just ads but they’re interactive, fun, and not something you can get outside searching the streets for demo stations.

13 Responses to Minna No Nintendo Channel First Impressions

  1. Blake says:

    These are the most descriptive impressions I’ve read on the channel, Dale. Thanks!

  2. Abras says:

    It sounds like a decent addition to the channel, but I definitely think it benefits Nintendo more than it will ever benefit any of us. The DS demos are certainly welcome, but maybe this channel should be renamed to “Nintendo’s Marketing and Consumer Research Channel.” It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? :p

  3. sakuragi says:

    Well, if this is a more direct way for Nintendo to know my preferences then it is very welcome, i don´t see the reason to hate on marketing and research if it come packages in a nice gift wrap like this.

  4. Kevin says:

    This is what I expected when Wii launched, and I can’t wait to get it here in the states. I really hope they include Wii demos in this channel. Unless Nintendo owns Hollywood Video stock they shouldn’t be encouraging me to rent games before buying them. At $50 a pop and with review scores all over the place I almost always rent games before buying them…

  5. Brandon says:

    Sounds cool. Could this be the supplement for what a rumored Nintendo Power channel might be? Or would we not need a Nintendo Power Channel after this?

  6. wii wii says:

    Sounds like yet MORE useless channels for the Wii. I know what I love about Nintendo, I know which game I will buy. I don’t need a advertisement channel telling me what’s good or not, I can make these decisions all by myself, thanks.
    Another useless channel that no one would ever pay for, good thing its free. Free or not, however, it is still no excuse to not have some DECENT channels for free.

    Now.. I MUST return to my wii and vote on if I like Cats or Dogs better! Wow! Online innovation at its best!

  7. droop4 says:

    @Wii wii

    you gotta admit that the DS demos is really neat and justifies the channel even if everything else is not that good.

    DS demos? This Will be one of my favorite channels!

  8. wii wii says:

    Yes the DS demos, if they come to west WILL be cool.
    You are 100% right on that one !

  9. Poochy says:

    @Wii wii

    Why should be so bitter over channels that cost you absolutely nothing and you are under no obligation to visit?

    There’s no simply no excuse for being so cynical. A lot of people must like the Everybody Votes Channel and the Check Mii Out channel, because a lot of people are clearly using them. But I forgot—Nintendo must cater to all of YOUR whims first….I’m so sorry that they haven’t perfect the art of mind-reading yet. Maybe next year you’ll get your ideal channel: a channel that serves a SERIOUS PURPOSE. For the SERIOUS-MINDED GAMER. Who can’t be bothered with SILLY VOTING.

  10. Negrin says:

    Also, wii wii, to complain that Nintendo is providing a free and (hopefully) easy to use information/marketing platform about their products is totally ridiculous. Tell you what, when I go to a game store, I always know what I what and I don’t need any help. But you don’t see me arguing for firing all store clerks, do you? That’s exactly how silly your comment is. And didn’t people use to complain about how Nintendo isn’t marketing their stuff well enough? Well, now let’s complain that they are.

  11. frstOne says:

    Well said, Poochy and Negrin ;). People always need something to complain about…

  12. Thank you thank you thank you. I love the demos and I feel like an idiot downloading them in the aisles of bestbuy. I have NEVER seen anyone else doing it. Anywhere.

    Once we get that going, will they push the ability to buy DS games this way? Even the pathetic Sony has that going on the PSP now.

  13. […] for their product-of-the-decade, the Wii gaming system. Launched only in Japan so far, the “Minna No Nintendo Channel” is a marketing outreach program that offers users tremendous value while simultaneously […]

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