With the recent surprise release of the Everybody Votes Channel on the Wii (sneaky Nintendo, really sneaky!), the staff of Cheat Code Central has started contemplating the possibilities the Wii Channels present to gamers. While there hasn't been much in the way of innovation from the Wii Channels, we've seen things that appeal to average individuals, such as a News Channel and the Forecast Channel. What other possibilities are there for the Wii Channels?
Wii Forums, by Maria Montoro, Co-Site Director
So many times I've found myself stuck in a game or I've wondered what other gamers have to say about the game or certain elements within it that I think a Forum Channel could be a great idea.
People like to express themselves and that's why forums are so popular. I know it's more of a computer thing, but it would be nice to have a Forum Channel within the Wii where people could quickly glance through a walkthrough, ask questions about a game, or just talk about games in general. It would be even nicer if the walkthrough functionality was available with the press of a button, without interrupting the gameplay and going back to the Wii menu. If Nintendo was smart, they could even charge a couple of dollars for their own walkthroughs and I can guarantee people would buy them. If they wanted to take the idea even further, for a monthly fee, they could also grant access to an online version of their Nintendo Power magazine, so we could all read reviews and previews of Nintendo games from the comfort of our couch and without flipping a page.
I know typing with the Wii-mote can be difficult, although one will improve his/her skills overtime. A keyboard attachment would make this idea more plausible. This is likely to happen, as all of the last-generation gaming systems had a keyboard developed by a third party company or by the big guys themselves.
So, what do you think? Would you be part of the Wii Forum Channel if it existed? I certainly would!
Feedback Channel, by D'Marcus Beatty, Co-Site Director
One idea that I'd really like to see implemented by Nintendo is something that they've been notorious for ignoring up until lately. While the Everybody Votes Channel is fairly fun to participate in, perhaps Nintendo could come up with a practical use for the channel (or create a similar channel) and create the Feedback Channel. By using the same template as the Everybody Votes Channel (or hopefully a deeper one), Nintendo could offer its Wii owners the opportunity to have a voice in what they like and don't like. Consumers could give Nintendo suggestions on games they'd like to see on the Virtual Console, new Channel ideas, and even complaints and suggestions about the Wii overall. In a way, it is similar to Microsoft's offering of XNA homebrew kits, which allows aspiring developers to create their own Xbox Live games. Although nowhere near as deep, a Feedback Channel would allow Wii owners to actually feel as if they were participating in shaping the Wii's future and give them an active voice in the product they're supporting.
Most companies spend enormous amounts of money on surveys attempting to discern public opinion on their products and trying to predict future customer needs and wants. Nintendo now has a direct line to their clientele, and they shouldn't be shy about using it. Although Nintendo has had some missteps in the past, like completely ignoring their fans' desires for online capabilities or overlooking the maturation of the gaming industry, they obviously have a hit on their hands with the Wii. Hopefully, by listening to the wants of their new fan base, they can maintain this new momentum.
"Wiideo" Channel, by Amanda L. Kondolojy, Freelance Writer
An awesome addition to the Wii's "Channel Lineup" would be a Nintendo Video channel featuring exclusive on-demand video content for Wii owners. This channel could include upcoming game related news, exclusive interviews, and new trailers in an on-demand format. There could be sections for each area of content, and users could even create a "playlist" to decide what they'll watch and in what order. This would eliminate the need to go back through the menu after viewing content (as is the case with most cable on-demand providers), and one could view it all seamlessly without interruption.
Needless to say, gamers would definitely appreciate access to exclusive video content concerning upcoming and high-profile games. However, this channel would benefit Nintendo as well. Some of their lesser-known releases could finally get some free promotion and exposure. It would also help build anticipation for some of their higher-profile releases.
Overall, the Nintendo Video channel would successfully benefit everyone. Gamers would have direct access to a user-customized on-demand channel with access to exclusive content available only via their Wii. Nintendo would also have an exclusive means to promote upcoming games and new releases.
Another cool idea for the Wii would be a music channel where users could load music files via SD card to create music playlists and party mixes. Users could also create ambient backgrounds and choose from different themed musical visualizations to be shown on-screen while they play their favorite tunes (I'm thinking of dancing Marios between leaping Links, but that's just me). Although the idea is simple, I could see it being very useful to those wanting to play music using their television's sound system. Plus a unique Nintendo twist on a simple idea could be very novel and interesting.
Foods Channel, by CJ Irelan, Freelance Writer
A news channel, a weather channel… why not a Foods Channel too? Page through the 'recipes of the day' for something healthier than ramen and macaroni for your typical gamer, and something more exotic for those using it as a family appliance and not just a game system.
On the other end of the spectrum, if there are a million and a half old games out there to be picked up through the Wii's retro channel, why not have a Tips and Tricks channel? We all remember how hard some of those old games were, and everyone needs a little help sometimes.
Comics Channel and Health and Fitness Channel, by Matthew Walker, Freelance Writer
With the announcement of The Everybody Votes Channel for the Wii, many fans have started tossing around new ideas and innovations that may have not been thought about before. I mean we already have everything we could ask for, a Forecast Channel, a News Channel, even a Shopping Channel. Therefore, I ask why not have a Comic Shop News Channel or a Fitness and Health channel?