Nintendo is in the process of starting its new ebook store that will be part of its Wii U ecosystem. If you are unfamiliar with this, its basically Nintendo’s new video game console that will be released later this year. The hyping factor is that it comes with a touchscreen tablet that doubles as a controller to interact with your unit. One of the great things about the Wii U controller is that it will tap into the Nintendo store to download indie games and apps, and soon books.
It is said that Nintendo plans on rolling out the Wii U Digital Reading program that will stock not only ebooks but also magazines and newspapers. You will be able to read them right on the tablet that comes with the console or view them on your TV. The company also plans on rolling out a games section that will have official strategy guides in digital form.
Nintendo has always been innovative, and many other companies often emulate what they do. I think the ability to have a very casual friendly console to play games on AND function as a portable tablet/e-reader is what the market will go for. Considering the entire Nintendo Wii U will cost less then an Apple iPad, it might be a good investment. Really, the success of the Wii U platform as an e-reader that taps into digital content is only as good as the content partners that buy into it. Sony recently started an ebook, newspaper, and magazine store in Japan and it seriously took over a year of aggressive negotiations in order to make it happen. Unless Nintendo has been in secret talks for the last six months and it has not been leaked, I doubt the ecosystem will be developed properly when it launches in the next few months.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.