Nintendo Launches Wii News Service

Nintendo launched the Wii News Channel this weekend, a service that those with a Wii console, broadband access and the Opera Web Browser can access. The service mostly offers AP news in multiple languages. Japanese-language news will come from a separate agency.

News is displayed through an interactive map, which users can navigate with the Wii's wireless controller, Kaplan said.

"The beauty of it is it zooms in and out of areas of the world," she said. "So if you really want to focus on regional news or national news versus international, you just blow up the map of the U.S."

The AP has a two-year contract to provide news and photos to Nintendo, and would like to provide multimedia in the future, said Jane Seagrave, vice president of new media markets for the New York-based news cooperative.

"It's a very innovative new application of what we're doing generally, which is to try to get our content to new audiences on new platforms," Seagrave said.

There were no immediate plans to sell advertising space, said Perrin Kaplan, vice president for marketing at Nintendo's U.S. headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

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