This isn’t going to be another post comparing the merit of the Wii to the AppleTV. But it is important to state for the record why a team of Mac fans chose Nintendo’s hardware over Apple’s. Consider it a wish list for Mr. Jobs:
- standards compliant browser - our biggest unmet need? support for Flash 9, but that’s really Adobe’s ball and we can rectify that when we spec our own hardware/software stack
- support for third party developers - Alan Quatermain is a genius angel for making it possible to build applications in anticipation of some unspoken future when Apple lets third party developers at their box or at least promises not to firmware “upgrade” them off. Nintendo actually customized the Opera browser to allow functions that are particular to the Wii experience (like the Wiimote) which is a great help for developers.
- The Wimote - if you haven’t used it, you may not know what I mean, but I think the biggest interface advance last year was not the iPhone’s touch screen, it’s the Wiimote IR sensor. Did you know it can point at stuff and drag it around from like 10 feet away. Seriously, you’ve got to come over to our office and try it.
- number of devices connected to TVs - total Apple TV sales are measured in thousands, Wii sales are measured in millions (and Apple TV had a year head start).
Perhaps the biggest gap for Apple TV for our purposes is a cultural one: the overwhelming download mentality of the product design. iTunes and the iTunes Music Store were breakthroughs for the digital music transition: a) preserved the transaction business model b) downloads allow for easiest repeat usage. Problem is in video a) repeat views are the exception b) the business model is media based. Hence the initial linking of AppleTV to iTunes on a desktop, and the persistence iTunes download distribution even though Take 2 is freed from the desktop proxy is a square peg/round hole. But it wasn’t until we became a Wii developers that we realized the unique advantage of the device. Even if the Apple TV fills all the gaps above and forgoes the download mentality, it will still lack the Wii’s spirit of approachability. The Wii is the most social hardware device I have ever used. Obviously, devices like the mobile phone are more pervasively revolutionary for social interaction so that’s not what I mean. The Wii is social in the same way IRC was: it empowers/emboldens shy people to participate in social activities. It breaks down real barriers to interaction and assumptions of power (but that’s a topic worthy of discussion all its own). Suffice an example: my 5 year old niece can legitimately beat her dad at Wii bowling, and he still finds enjoyment in the subtleties of the control set. The Wii’s inherent accessibility means it is a platform to reach people who otherwise wouldn’t care to participate/consume the still rarefied world of Internet TV. This is all to say that we believe the potential disruptor here isn’t (primarily) our (or any) application, it’s the Wii itself. One thing worth noting: we are by far not the first to try Internet TV on the Wii. Sofa Tube gets credit for planting the idea initially in my head back in 2006. A year later, but perhaps more famously, Stumble Upon took a few weeks to make a Wii custom interface for Stumble Video. What we realized is in our few weeks of working on it is that if you play to the Wii’s strengths your application becomes implicitly friendlier. If ffwd takes credit for anything, it is in setting the upper most bar for a video user experience on the Wii. And what we accomplished truly shocked us. We think “The Wii is a social entertainment device” is an important realization to share, so for the first time we are actively encouraging the spread of a meme. We’ve got one 2000 Wii points card (that’s approximately 2 classic games) for up to 5 bloggers who trackback this story from a blog with a page rank of at least 5 (as proofed at PRChecker). If we don’t get enough over 5s we’ll go to the 4s and then the 3s (yay! everyone can play). If this is an effective incentive we may go buy more cards to give a way. First come first served and keep in mind we’ll eventually need your contact info to send you the card. This entry was posted by Patrick on Wednesday, February 20th, 2008 at 6:43 pm and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Regards Edmond [email]Edmond@ffwd.com[/email]
Call me Pingwin
26th May 2005
Heh let me clarify, I am not spamming. just trying to share with you guys what my company is doing and also giving away some free wii points.
I respect the users and rules of this forum and I am defintely not a spammer.
The Force is strong with him
11th September 2006
i agree with cloud, its not really spam, i mean alot of people post oppinions like this on the forum, he just kinda did it in a little bit of an awkward way citing his company and such either way he makes alot of valid points and cloud, i know you're an apple fan, but i hate the things, and always LOVE an anti-aple device rant (this comming from someone in college that wants to do computer graphics for a living :-P, but apparently my school agrees with me because there is not ONE mac on campus, and we're rated one of the top wired campuses in the country, and highly rated for the program im in)
7th November 2005
yeah but really this should go under the shameless advertiser since he is clearly advertising a product and the whole wii point card
Call me Pingwin
26th May 2005
I think I disagree, cat. To be honest i didn't actually read the post before, I just kind of skimmed through it and it looked like a spambot to me. :p
CuRsEdOnE222;4236797i agree with cloud, its not really spam, i mean alot of people post oppinions like this on the forum, he just kinda did it in a little bit of an awkward way citing his company and such either way he makes alot of valid points and cloud, i know you're an apple fan, but i hate the things, and always LOVE an anti-aple device rant (this comming from someone in college that wants to do computer graphics for a living :-P, but apparently my school agrees with me because there is not ONE mac on campus, and we're rated one of the top wired campuses in the country, and highly rated for the program im in)
Thanks for that. But I am not exactly an apple fans in fact i don't own any apple products. (I am thinking of getting an Iphone though. i think that's really cool.) In fact my company FFWD is coming out with a new concept to compete with Apple TV.
Also I leave my company name and such because I want to be straight forward and truthful as I do not want to hide anything.
Metall_pingwin;4236920I think I disagree, cat. To be honest i didn't actually read the post before, I just kind of skimmed through it and it looked like a spambot to me. :p
Then I hope you know you are wrong as a spambot doesn't reply to your message. :)
Edmond ffwd | beta sign up
Mad Cat MkII;4236807yeah but really this should go under the shameless advertiser since he is clearly advertising a product and the whole wii point card
Mad Cat MkII
What do you think I am advertising? Wii or Apple? I am not from both companies. The blogspot is really an opinion from FFWD. As for the Wii points it is a free gift. I am just here sharing with Wii fans who might be interested in the points card.
True that I am representing my company in this forum but I did not in anyway advertise my company's product.
Edmond ffwd | beta sign up
Just to let you guys know if you are keen in getting the free wii points cards it is still up for grabs. You can get me through this thread or email me which you will get a faster response.
Edmond ffwd | beta sign up [email]email@example.com[/email]