Dave Michels
Dave Michels is a Principal Analyst at TalkingPointz. His unique perspective on unified communications comes from a career involving telecommunications...
Read Full Bio >>

Dave Michels | November 19, 2012 |


Nintendo and Vidyo Jump into Consumer Video

Nintendo and Vidyo Jump into Consumer Video Nintendo adds a tablet and video chat (from Vidyo) to its next-generation game console.

Nintendo adds a tablet and video chat (from Vidyo) to its next-generation game console.

Six years ago, with the introduction of the Wii game console, Nintendo disrupted the industry it had previously created. It was a bold strategy that returned sales of more than 97 million consoles. Microsoft and Sony had been battling over the console market with highly optimized hardware platforms aimed at serious gamers. They were selling their consoles at a loss, and earning revenue on licensing revenue from game developers.

Nintendo realized the market of non serious gamers was much bigger, and offered a lower-priced, simpler platform called the Wii. It could be profitably sold at a relatively low price. Sure, it meant standard definition instead of HD, but that didn't seem to slow sales. The motion-based games appealed to families, and it sold about 20 million units better than its competitors.

So what will it take to compete in 2013? A video-enabled tablet. And, in partnership with Vidyo, that's what Nintendo will deliver.

The new Wii U offers two distinct components. The base station, similar in size to the original Wii, now supports HD via an HDMI connection. It also has four USB ports, and an IBM processor supplemented with AMD graphics. The controller supports new U games as well as games for the original Wii.

The second component is the new wireless controller or GamePad that contains a 6.2 inch color touchscreen and camera. This second screen can provide the player the same or additional information besides what's on the television. Now, in multi-player games, the same information doesn't have to be provided to all players. The GamePad camera and Vidyo's software enables point-to-point video chat among "Miiverse" members, which is currently about 100 million strong.

This time around, Nintendo is being pressured by other console vendors as well as mobile phones and tablets, which offer a far bigger library of games distributed through their application stores. Nintendo intends to fight with powerful hardware, new and old games targeted at both family and power gamers. The tablet-like touchscreen and real-time video communications further differentiate the solution.

Vidyo states that the product roadmap for the Wii U includes plans for bridgeless multi-party conferencing, video-enabled gameplay, and conferencing between Wii U and mobile devices. The touch screen on the controller enables on-picture drawing that both parties can see. At this time, the only camera is in the handheld GamePad, but potentially the USB ports on the base could support a fixed camera.

When Microsoft acquired Skype, I wrote about potential synergies including the possibility of leveraging the Kinect camera to transform the X-Box into a video-enabled Skype endpoint--though that has not happened (yet). With the Cisco Umi withdrawn, Nintendo is now positioned to create the largest network of living room-connected video chatters. Although connectivity from Wii U to enterprise Vidyo systems is not initially supported, Vidyo states there are no technical limitations preventing this from occurring in the future.

Ofer Shapiro, CEO and co-founder at Vidyo said, "Through this collaboration, we'll be adding Wii U consoles to the pool of Vidyo enabled systems, which will build critical mass around Vidyo's scalable architecture and software platform." Vidyo expects this collaboration to drive consumer mass adoption of video as a mainstream means of communication, enabling B2C, non-game related services such as tutoring or personal training, thus creating a billion-dollar market opportunity.

The Wii U utilizes Vidyo's adaptive video layering architecture. "Vidyo provided Nintendo with a video solution that adapts to changing network conditions while being easy for consumers to use from the comfort of their living rooms," said Genyo Takeda, General Manager, Integrated Research & Development Division, Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Video-enabled communications are dramatically increasing, but still largely remain constrained to islands of like-users. Vidyo now claims three islands: its enterprise solutions, Google+ which uses Vidyo technology to power Google Hangouts, and now a consumer network powered through Nintendo U consoles. Though no interconnection between these islands exists now, Vidyo claims it has more users on its technology than Polycom and Cisco combined.

Dave Michels is a contributing editor and independent analyst at


April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

April 5, 2017

Its no secret that the cloud offers significant benefits to enterprises - including cost reduction, scalability, higher efficiency, and more flexibility. If your phone system and contact center are

March 22, 2017

As today's competitive business environments push workforces into overdrive, many enterprises are seeking ways of streamlining workflows while optimizing productivity, business agility, and speed.

April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.