Virgin Media have today announced that they will begin shipping cable set top boxes incorporating the Nintendo Wii game console system in Q3 2007.
The set top boxes, which will be Manufactured by Samsung initially, followed by Pace and Thomson in 2008, will allow users to play all their favourite titles from the Nintendo Wii range of games as well as a huge library of Nintendo Gamecube titles.
It is part of a deal between Nintendo and Virgin Media, which will utilise the Virgin Media cable network to deliver games and content to users of the existing Wii console and it is hoped that an all in one solution will make the service simpler and keep users living rooms tidier.
The set top box will be only the second of its kind to be produced in the world. In 2002, Pace released a set top box incorporating the Sega Dreamcast in Asia, however it failed to gain public interest.
One unique feature of the new set top box will be the ability to control many of the digital television functions, using a slightly modified remote control. Users will also be able to download games on demand, using the Nintendo Virtual Console service as well as keeping game titles and the hardware updated using the Nintendo WiiConnect24 service.
The set top box will have all the functionality of a standard V+ box, with an increased hard drive capacity of 250GB, allowing users to store downloaded games and save game files on the hard drive. It will also feature an SD card interface, like the standard Wii console.
There has been no pricing details released for the set top box or service as yet, however analysts and industry experts expect the initial cost of the set top box to be in the £99 - £199 region and the cost of the monthly service to be in the £20 per month region, which will include Wii Points, which can be used to purchase and rent games on the Virtual Console service.
Hmmmmm what do you think??
Do you think it will catch on?
Would you buy it?