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Wii Media Television

Wii Puts Japanese Television Under Pressure 98

Knuckles writes "The Times reports that Japanese consumers have been 'abandoning television' in order to play with Nintendo's Wii. Recent figures from Japan's audience-tracking firms show that 'last week was the first in nearly two decades where no single show on any commercial station attracted more than a 9 per cent audience share ... According to one senior executive of the country's largest commercial television channel, Fuji TV, families who used to tune in to its colourful diet of soap operas, panel games and comedy variety shows may, instead, be drifting away and choosing to spend the same, economically-critical golden hour time playing on their Wii.'"
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Wii Puts Japanese Television Under Pressure

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  • by Zekasu ( 1059298 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @07:37PM (#19963371)
    It's funny to think that television is finally being replaced (or at the very least, threatened) by a medium that actually supports the end of the couch potato. Irony? Just a bit.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mark-t ( 151149 )
      We own a Wii, and both of my kids play all the games sitting down, even the sports ones. I would assert that the end of the couch potato is still a long long way off.
      • by FleaPlus ( 6935 )
        We own a Wii, and both of my kids play all the games sitting down, even the sports ones. I would assert that the end of the couch potato is still a long long way off.

        I guess that's what Wii Fit is for, although... now that I think about it, you could conceivably put a comfy chair on top of the pad and control it by shifting your weight around on the seat. ;)
        • Back in the day, the NES was sold in a "Power Set" that included the NES, the Zapper light gun, and a mat. The console came with a triple-game cart featuring Super Mario Bros, Duck Hunt, and World-Class Track Meet. The last game used the mat for its controller.

          Nintendo's vision was that you'd play World-Class Track Meet by running/jumping in place on the mat to simulate the necessary running and jumping in events.

          People eventually realized they could just cheat by pounding down on the mat with their
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by KevinKnSC ( 744603 )
        You know what playing that way makes your kids [], right?
        • by LKM ( 227954 )
          Damn, you stole my comment :-)

          I agree. Kids who play Wii Tennis while sitting down? Unheard of! Until now, of course.
          • I see some of my friends trying to sit down on some of these Wii games. I tell everyone to stand up while playing Wii Sports or Wario Ware and threaten to turn the game off if they don't. There are some games just not meant for sitting down and i will not tolerate such profound laziness. It seriously doesn't take that much energy to wave your arm around or stand up. I understand people like to relax after a hard day, but there are other games for that.
        • by mark-t ( 151149 )
          Showed my kid that comic... he figures that the f-ing toolbox remark refers to playing standing up and moving around.
    • I wouldn't bother if I lived in the USA since watching their TV programs is a waste of time, but I happen to be quite fond of Japanese TV.

      You can just turn on the TV and there's almost always something interesting, funny or nice. But life in Japan is very busy and time is very limited. It's a tough tradeoff.
    • by donaldm ( 919619 )
      Actually since the SNES (I have a PS1/2/3, SNES and Gamecube) I have started to just give normal TV shows a miss since I get more enjoyment, relaxation and even surprisingly a mild workout (increased heart rate and concentration) from playing a game. I don't mind watching a small amount of TV for the news and the odd TV show although I get more news via the web. So my TV from my perspective now gets used as a games display console until my wife wants to watch her favourate shows, so we have a timeshare on t
    • A-HA!! Only a couch potato would consider the Wii too even remotely resemble actual exercise!
  • The Times reports that Japanese consumers have been 'abandoning television' in order to play with Nintendo's Wii
    Secret reliable sources say that Nintendo will start to sell TV sets as well...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2007 @07:39PM (#19963399)
    It's so perfect, it could have been written by Nintendo.

    But television is destined to become as irrelevant and ignored as commercial local radio stations. Maybe one day we'll get to reclaim the bandwidth that it wastes, and use it for something more worthwhile.
    • If I had points, I'd mod this up.
    • by AvitarX ( 172628 )
      You mean like getting rid of broadcast channels and auctioning them off?
    • Local commercial radio stations are hardly irrelevant. They're the most convenient source of local traffic, weather and information... at least when you're driving. Personally, I still also rely on broadcast radio for music and news. I refuse to pay a satellite radio provider for content I essentially get for free living in a major metropolitan area.
  • So? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Spy der Mann ( 805235 ) <spydermann.slashdot@ g m> on Monday July 23, 2007 @07:44PM (#19963443) Homepage Journal
    I left TV for videogames, the web, chat, forums, downloadable music and anime episodes long time ago.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Megane ( 129182 )

      Except that lately, even their anime is sucking. (unless you happen to enjoy cardboard cutout fanservice series, that is) It started about three or four years ago, and while there have always been a couple of good series, they are getting pretty thin.

      Right now it looks like mainly just Lucky Star, and Oh Edo Rocket (which is getting severely neglected by fansubbers, at 2 episodes subbed out of 16 so far; looks like it's time to find some raws). And Blue Dragon may not be the best series, but I've been watc

      • Except that lately, even their anime is sucking. (unless you happen to enjoy cardboard cutout fanservice series, that is) It started about three or four years ago, and while there have always been a couple of good series, they are getting pretty thin.

        Sturgeon's law applies to Anime. But then, don't apply your tastes and assume that everything you don't like -is- in fact bad.

        And to the GP, the move away from TV to the Wii will definitely affect Anime. You don't seriously think they actually release directly
        • And to the GP, the move away from TV to the Wii will definitely affect Anime.

          Depends on the quality. See, there's this thing called "Otakus" that wouldn't miss their favorite anime just to play Wii.

          Think about it - the article says PRIME TIME. In other words, for all the family. Anime isn't exactly "for all the family". It's aimed at either teenagers or children. And don't forget that Anime, most of the time, is a byproduct of Manga.
          • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
            Actually the otakus are something to think about. The DS and Wii sell a LOT by having appeal to audiences beyond the gaming equivalent of an otaku. I'm not sure about Japan but in the west they could make a shitload of money by expanding their audience some more. Currently only kids watch those shows without being nerds, the older demographics are being neglected and there's probably a lot of money to be gotten by reaching them like Nintendo has managed to. Of course there's the perception that anime is fgo
      • Except that lately, even their anime is sucking.

        Well, you have to look for the really good series (i.e. Fullmetal alchemist). Unfortunately, they're rare :(
        • by cHALiTO ( 101461 )
          FMA es excellent, and I also recommend Cowboy Bebop if you haven't seen it. It's 26 episodes long, and it's just excellent.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Glytch ( 4881 )
        Lucky Star stopped being funny when it turned into the "Let's worship Aya Hirano!" show. Sure, she's talented, but the Konata-is-a-Haruhi-fan gags are getting real old, real fast.

        Err, not that I watch either show. Cough.
        • Except it takes recursion to a level not approached by slashdot geeks. Even GNU cannot compare.
      • What about Seirei no Moribito or Bokurano or Darker than BLACK? Or Claymore? Or Death Note (which just ended).
        Baccano! looks neat, and starts next week. Maybe your taste in shows just sucks?
      • by sqrt(2) ( 786011 )
        It's always been like that. It's just that when you look back, even a few years you don't remember all the shit that came out along with the good stuff you remember.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jollyreaper ( 513215 )

        Except that lately, even their anime is sucking. (unless you happen to enjoy cardboard cutout fanservice series, that is) It started about three or four years ago, and while there have always been a couple of good series, they are getting pretty thin.

        I have to agree with you. Of course, when I got into anime, the shows I was introduced to were a "best of" from the last two decades so it seemed like anything that came from Japan was gold. No, it's just that the importers only brought over the best of the best. If you were a 13-yr old boy from a far distant country and your introduction to American cinema consisted of Star Wars (original trilogy), Terminator 1 and 2, Alien, Aliens, Predator, Matrix (first one only), Boondock Saints, Casino Royale, Braveh

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Darkael ( 969121 )
        Except that lately, even their anime is sucking.

        Excuse me? What about Gurren Lagann (Gainax at its best), Seirei no Moribito, Bokurano, Dennou Coil, Darker than Black, etc? Even the "generic" shounen anime of the year, Claymore, is pretty enjoyable.

        Your statement may have been somewhat true in 2006, which was mostly dominated by Haruhi, but so far 2007 has a fuckton of excellent titles. Lucky Star is actually one of the worst examples from this year.
      • Happy lucky!
      • Two words, my friend: Ergo Proxy. Think Blade Runner meets Ghost in the Shell with a dash of Lain and the visual style of Witch Hunter Robin. Freakin' excellent series, available in HD, and a great soundtrack too.
      • What's anime have to do with the topic at hand? Anime isn't shown during prime-time hours on TV. Anime in Japan falls into two categories:
        1) Kiddie stuff shown in the after-school time slot.
        2) Otaku-oriented stuff shown at night on premium channels like WOWOW and direct-to-video stuff.

        The stuff they're talking about is all live action: soap operas, comedy shows, game shows, etc., and Japanese live-action television takes Sturgeon's Law to 11.
    • by LKM ( 227954 )
      I agree. I simply can't watch TV anymore. Watching TV just feels as if I was slowly killing myself, in a really, really painful way. Even YouTube is better than most of the crap that is on TV, and those things I actually want to watch (I admit, I do like 24), I download because it's just easier than trying to watch it on TV.

      The Internet and game consoles have replaced TV for me.
    • Except for three good TV series in the past couple years (Arrested Development, 24, 30 Rock), I don't watch TV, I play EQ or pursue other hobbies ...
  • 1) Good news. Wii doing well => likelihood of many years of good games for it => good for me as Wii owner
    2) Bad news. Japanese watching less TV => likelihood of fewer cool anime shows being made => bad for me as otaku

    Actually... I'm with Japan on this. Wii > Anime. But it's a damn tough trade-off to make!

    • "Bad" in the sense that they get lower ratings, but then Anime ratings are low as it is. They make little money off the TV airings and everything off DVD releases/licensed goods.

      So you can have your Wii and new Anime, but it requires the anime fans support the studios.
    • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
      Solution: Anime companies working on Wii games. Once they learn how to make good games they won't even need the anime to market it anymore.
    • Remember most Japanese only have one television set in the house... I'm not sure on the take up of PVRs over there but I guess they're taping all the 'good' stuff for later.
  • by Bibz ( 849958 ) <> on Monday July 23, 2007 @07:55PM (#19963541)

    Wii Puts Japanese Television Under Pressure

    At first, I tought that japanese television were under pressure with all those flying wiimotes. Imagine all the stress the TVs must have when someone starts to play the wii, they never know if they're gonna make it or not.
  • Think about it. Wii NEEDS TV. Quite impossible to play one without a TV. Not to mention, their primary advertising is to young people on TV.
    • by LBt1st ( 709520 )
      *looks at his Wii connected to his Dell 24" LCD Monitor*

      I haven't had a TV for years. I assuring I'm enjoying my PC, consoles and anime.
      This isn't about Television sets, this is about service.

      Also, the only numbers were given are for the low TV viewers. There's nothing that suggests it's due to the Wii or anything else. For all we know the Japanese have all taken up outdoor activities.
    • by sidb ( 530400 )
      Like the other replyer, my Wii plugs into my monitor. The key difference between my monitor and a TV is that while my monitor can display an NTSC/PAL encoded video signal, it lacks a tuner to extract that signal from a radio (or cable) channel. A display isn't a TV unless it has a tuner.
    • Of course they have to advertise primarily to people that do not have a Wii yet... the people that are still watching TV apparently fall into that group.
    • Wii needs the TV as a dislpay screen. Wii has no use for Television programming, which is what the article is stating the execs feel threatened by. Nobody watching your shows=lower ad revenue=less money in your pocket.
  • by KNicolson ( 147698 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @10:05PM (#19964573) Homepage
    I've just spent some time searching the Japanese language internet, and I cannot find a decent source for this - all the blogs seem to be quoting British sources for this. Has anyone got any hard facts?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Am I the only one that thinks that ~3M Wiis sold in a country with 127M people is not going to be noticable in terms of television viewing?

    As much as I love my Wii, I find it very hard to believe that there's enough of them out there to really make a noticable difference.
    • Average family size is just over 3, so thats 42 million households. 9% drop of viewership is like losing 3.78 million households. I can't imagine that ALL of the Wiis picked off a household, but I could imagine that the intersection of "plays Wii" and "watches television" is pretty darn high. Thus, there are probably a few million households with older folks, young single salarymen, etc who do not watch television at all, reducing the total number of TV viewing households, and then 3 millon Wiis could c
    • To add to the previous commenter, it also counts on how the drops are attributed by show.

      Pick any major network show in the US, and drop it's viewership by a million or two, and people will be VERY concerned. Every ratings point is worth big bucks. Take the numbers from your prime-time (i.e. costly to produce, highest ad revenue) programs, and the crying turns to wailing.
  • Japanese TV (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Taulin ( 569009 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @01:17AM (#19965881) Homepage Journal
    A lot of you really do not know what Japanese TV really means. My wife is Japanese, and I lived there several years while going to animation school. I spent many a' day doing my home work while trying to find something to watch on TV (I was doing contract programming from home/bar). Let me tell you this...there is NOTHING of interest on TV before 7 or 8 at night. NOTHING! Don't make me repeat that. Oh around 2:00 there are old Samurai movies that have some nudity in them....
    • by dj_tla ( 1048764 )
      I lived there for a year too, and I can't agree more. In fact, even the article summary sums it up pretty well: "soap operas, panel games and comedy variety shows." A lot of great stuff comes out of Japan (movies from Takeshi, Kurosawa, etc.; some anime; the games that are usurping TV time), but you would never know it watching Japanese TV.
    • The level of pain involved in watching nearly anything live-action that comes on Japanese television cannot be understated. The production values are poor, the actors are utterly talentless, and the content is void of sentience. It's incredibly cringe-worthy to watch. The corniness level of Japanese television can only really be rivaled in American pop culture terms by the TV of the 70s -- especially the game shows, talent shows, comedy shows, and soap operas mentioned in the article.

      TV was the worst par
  • Good time to take a shower
  • For some reason, this doesn't surprise me. Consumers are probably better off anyway.
  • TV shouldn't worry! Any day now, Sony PS3 domination begins and the Wii fad will end.

    There, is that enough repetitions to make it true already?
  • this just gave me the perfect idea for a Wii game. It's based on the only japanese TV show with which I am familiar. Maximum Exposure! You control giddy young japanese people as they stumble through dangerous waste-filled obstacle courses built in abandoned industrial parks. Come to think of it, if most japanese television is anything as ridiculous (and amusingly hilarious) as that show, then the entire industry has a bright future in Wii games. Ah Max X. Is that show still on anymore?

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor