Well, it's Japan-only for now, but the Wii is finally starting to compete with the PS3 and Xbox 360 in the only category in which it's in third place: Media center functionality. CinemaNow, apparently, is the guinea pig of choice.
Sonic (makers of Roxio) are bringing CinemaNow to the Wii. CinemaNow, in case you've forgotten, offers streaming movies (a catalog of about 14,000), short films, and concerts for rent or purchase. They haven't gotten much of a foothold here in the States despite being around since 1999, even after being bought by Blockbuster a few years back. They've got a decent catalog, especially for new releases, and have partnered with all kinds of software, so the Wii should be no problem for them.
It might be more of a toe in the water than a real balls-out jump, but we're glad Nintendo is open to expanding the Wii's media capabilities. Remember, it's Japan-only for now, but we wouldn't be surprised to see this kind of integration appear Stateside. Press release to follow. [CinemaNow]
Fujisoft Teams with Sonic Solutions to Deliver Hollywood Hits to
Nintendo Wii Game Console
Roxio CinemaNow Begins Streaming Movies from Paramount Pictures
Novato, California (June 25, 2009) - Sonic Solutions® (NASDAQ: SNIC), today announced that it is partnering with Fujisoft Incorporated to deliver premium entertainment to the Nintendo Wii game console. Sonic's Roxio CinemaNow® will be providing Hollywood content, beginning with new releases and catalog titles from Paramount Pictures, for Fujisoft's video-on-demand service in Japan, called "Minna no Theater Wii" (Everyone's Theater Wii). The companies will continue to work together in order to expand the range of entertainment available for virtually instant streaming to the TV via the popular game console.
"Sonic is a key content partner, enabling us to greatly enrich the video entertainment options available to Wii customers," said Minoru Yoshida, Executive Managing Director, Fujisoft. "We look forward to continuing our partnership with Sonic and providing consumers trouble-free access to more great Hollywood entertainment at home."
"Increasingly, consumers are looking to access and enjoy movies via their connected entertainment devices, whether at home or on-the-go," said Alex Carloss, Executive Vice President, Digital Distribution, Paramount Digital Entertainment. "Therefore we are delighted to become the first major studio offering video-on-demand through the Nintendo Wii."
Roxio CinemaNow offers a broad selection of regularly updated premium video entertainment for rental or purchase, including new releases from major Hollywood studios often on the same day the DVD is available in stores. CinemaNow's cloud-based media services power devices from multiple manufacturers, forming a connected ecosystem that consumers can use to seamlessly choose, move and view video entertainment.
"Fujisoft is a renowned technology thought leader and major supplier of embedded software for everything from mobile devices to digital home electronics, so we are extremely pleased to be collaborating with them to bring Hollywood movies to the Wii," said Mark Ely, executive vice president of strategy, Sonic Solutions. "Thanks to this new relationship with Fujisoft, consumers now have another convenient way to access high-quality entertainment from Roxio CinemaNow."
Premium entertainment from Roxio CinemaNow is currently available on a range of devices including Blu-ray Disc players from LG Electronics, Dell PCs, and Archos portable media players. As well as being available on a range of consumer electronics, Roxio CinemaNow is currently powering internet movie delivery for Blockbuster and is instantly accessible through Bestbuy.com.