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A Wii Bit Fun

Phil Harvey

6:00 PM -- Looking at stories like this is a good reminder of the tendency in consumer electronics to go over the top with features and functionality. Making stuff easy to use, inexpensive, and fun works, too, especially when the market goes too far the other way.

I think Nintendo is doing a great job of being more Apple-like. They're not blinding folks with technology and they make sure each gadget has a network service to support it, feed it, and bring recurring revenues.

I wonder: How likely it will be that the Wii -- or gaming consoles in general -- could be simple, attractive residential gateways for service providers to offer customers as a way to be different from their cable competitors, who seem committed to the big, boring set-top?

— Phil Harvey, Barely Managing Editor, Light Reading

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Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner
12/5/2012 | 3:05:25 PM
re: A Wii Bit Fun
It's been a while since a set-top maker tried anything as ambitious. But your blog reminds me of the time (circa 2001) that Pace Micro prototyped a cable set-top integrated with the Sega Dreamcast console. The concept went absolutely nowhere with operators (surprise, surprise), but the press briefing was fun...they let us play Crazy Taxi, and we were thankful for it.

12/5/2012 | 3:05:24 PM
re: A Wii Bit Fun
They had the right idea, but probably the wrong device at the wrong time.

It really does have to be easy, cool, and connected to something you just can't get on typical TV services.

That said, baking all those goodies into a bland set-top won win the carriers any style points.

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