Officials from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) have announced a collaboration with Nintendo UK to offer the BBC iPlayer service on the Wii console. The deal was announced today by Erik Huggers, the BBC's Group Controller for Future Media and Technology, at the annual MipTV-Milia conference in Cannes.
The iPlayer technology will allow users to stream a variety of BBC programs via the console. The service has already proven popular when used via personal computers, where it is claimed over 42 million programs have been accessed since Christmas 2007.
As a result of the BBC’s public funded nature the iPlayer will only be available in the UK. Huggers indicated that a beta version of the player would be available from today, although as of time of press no new updates are available for UK Wii consoles.
When the service is available, a message will sent to all Wii consoles in the UK and notify them of the availability of the iPlayer, which users will then be able to access via the Internet Channel on the Wii main menu. As such the iPlayer will only be available through the BBC website and not as a separate channel.
"Working with Nintendo marks another exciting milestone for BBC iPlayer,” said Huggers. "It underlines our commitment to reaching new audiences by making BBC iPlayer available on as many platforms as possible.”
David Yarnton, general manager of Nintendo UK, added: "This exciting alliance with the BBC is yet another way in which Nintendo is looking to broaden the market for its products by offering compelling and relevant content to families.”