Nintendo has announced that on the 30th of April it will be closing its Wii video service in Japan, having never released it in Europe.
The oddly named Wii no Ma entertainment platform provides family orientated content like cartoons, educational programming and quizzes - all designed and produced exclusively for Nintendo.
Functioning somewhat like a kids TV channel, Wii no Ma worked a bit differently in that instead of simply providing programs for viewing - taking up 100 per cent of the screen - it also showed up to eight Wii Mii characters watching the shows as well. They could also interact with one another, letting players comment on what they were watching, even if voice communication wasn't possible.
Nintendo hoped to expand this platform across different regions, allowing the advertising revenue as well as paid for content found on the platform to generate substantial revenue. Despite trademarks being filed for the name in 2010, nothing much happened with the service and it now looks set to close.
This isn't that surprising though since the Wii too is coming to the end of its development cycle. With its successor the Wii U expected to land sometime later this year, Nintendo could very well be just gearing up to introduce a new sort of Wii no Ma entertainment system. Certainly all the console manufacturers are pushing for more of an all-encompassing media centre instead of a traditional home console with the next-generation.
Source: Computer and Video Games