Wii Weather: Will iTV match its stickiness?
This week, Nintendo brought to life Wii Weather, a novel new feature of its Wii game console that hasn’t been touted nearly as much as it could be: Wii Weather provides an almost instant one-day or five-day global weather forecast, accessible via a super-simple interface from any television set. Think Apple’s Weather widget for the Tiger version of Mac OS X, but a bit bolder.
Switching from the current weather to the day’s forecast, tomorrow’s forecast, or a five-day forecast is as easy as pointing at an arrow on the screen and pressing a button. If you want to switch locations, you go to a Globe view - similar to Google Earth - and easily zoom in and out of a rotating map of the entire planet. Major cities are listed, and you can simultaneously view forecasts for an entire region of the world at once.
The presentation is simple, but clean and just modern enough to make you recall visions of the future from movies like Total Recall - ever-present, simplified access to information like this on an interactive TV screen, rather than a computer.
The only problem? It’s a big one: unlike the Weather widget, there’s no way to enter a zip code or a city’s name, so the forecasts are of only modest utility unless you’re in or near a major city. I’m around 30 minutes away from the two closest cities on Nintendo’s map, and since temperatures can vary by 10 degrees by driving only 5 minutes from here, the forecasts aren’t useful at all for me.
Why did I think this worthy of a Backstage entry? One reason: Nintendo has now demonstrated that it knows how to make the Wii “sticky:” even though it’s supposed to be a game console - as compared with Sony’s vaunted, more powerful Computer Entertainment Systems(TM) - a weather feature like this adds just one more reason for mom or dad to flip the thing on and consider it more than a toy for the kids. If Nintendo properly implements its upcoming News Channel, with quick news summaries, that’ll be another convenient little feature for parents, and just one more reason to turn on the Wii.
With the release of iTV in the near future, Apple has a chance to establish itself as an even more popular alternative to a family-friendly console like this, and the message is clear: the next wave of consumer electronics stickiness will come from adding mainstream features like two-click access to weather and news, not a Blu-Ray player or other ultra-techie features. With Wii Weather, Nintendo’s first, but this could be done even better.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Apps of the Week: SimCity BuildIt, Run Sackboy! Run!, Star Wars: Galactic Defense + more
- Trent Reznor working on Apple music project
- Magazine publisher Fleishman explains iOS Newsstand’s failure
- Jony Ive: Apple Watch was a ‘design challenge’
- Apple reverses course on iOS calculator widgets
- Tim Cook: ‘I’m proud to be gay’
- AT&T and Verizon tracking customer web activity
- iOS updates causing Mophie Juice Pack Air compatibility problems?
- FTC launches complaint against AT&T over unlimited data throttling policies
- Apple VP Joswiak testy at Code/Mobile event
- Rokform Crystal v3 for iPhone 6
- Uniq Bodycon, LifePro, and Helio for iPhone 6 + Bodycon for iPhone 6 Plus
- Trident Case Aegis, Cyclops, Kraken A.M.S. + Perseus for iPhone 6
- Incipio Stowaway Advance for iPhone 6 Plus
- Apple iPad Air 2 Smart Case
- Apple iPad mini 3
- Alpine Headphones
- Apple iPad Air 2
- Speck MightyShell for iPhone 6
- Misfit Flash Fitness + Sleep Monitor
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 8.1
- An Easy Guide To Setting Up + Using Apple Pay In iOS 8.1
- Ten Things You Didn’t Know About iPad Air 2 + iPad mini 3
- Mind The Gap: What’s iPad’s Role In An iPhone 6 (Plus) World?
- Editorial: Why I Switched To T-Mobile (And You Might, Too)
- The Early Guide To Apple Watch Apps
- iLounge’s Top iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 Plus Case Picks (Fall 2014)
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 8.0
- Multi-Editorial: On Apple’s iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus + Apple Watch
- What’s New In Apple TV 7.0