Finally got my Nintendo Wii, the latest game console from the Japanese videogame giant. I’ve had a few weeks to play with it and I believe Nintendo might have stumbled upon an Internet surfing killer-app (with or without knowing it). The Wii comes pre-loaded with a version of the Opera browser and you can easily surf the web on your TV from your couch using the very imaginative wii-mote.
I ended up spending 2 hours on Saturday night watching all sorts of clips from YouTube and other video sites. It also made me think in terms of business opportunity. Most sites are currently not configured for the TV screen. You can access them but user experience is not optimal. Given that the Wii installed base is growing like crazy (5.84M consoles sold since November) and that Nintendo expects to sell 14M more in the next 12 months, this console will de facto become an important tool to access web content.
In addition, Nintendo will put energy behind the web access aspect of the Wii as we can see from this Gamespot quote: “As for the Wii, the company said it “will further intensify Wii’s ‘Channel’ concept which already includes the abilities for the Wii owners to create their caricatures, view weather forecasts, news, and surf the web. Wii will encourage communication among family members as each of them can feel something relevant to themselves and be motivated to turn on the power everyday in order to enjoy ‘the new life with Wii.'”
What it means: given the large installed base of the Nintendo Wii, make sure you have a wii-enabled (wiinabled?) version of your site. You’ll need larger font size and bigger buttons. From a design point of view, you can inspire yourself by looking at DVD menu screens. Promote the fact that you’re wii-compatible on your home page and reach a new user base surfing the web in their living room.