Nowadays downloadable content (DLC) is the new hot thing, with even the New York Times deigning to review Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and the Damned. So when, oh when, is Nintendo going to catch on to the gold mine it is sitting on, a/k/a Wii Fit? My partner and I would pay cash money (or whatever passes for money on these consoles) for voice packs, never mind new Yoga poses. How many times can you hear the same “Great job!” before you stop believing it? (Answer: about 10).
Here’s what I believe to be the problem for the Wii and DLC: a good chunk of their new market segments can’t do WiiWare. I don’t think my mother-in-law has ever explored any other channel other than the main game. She doesn’t browse the game aisle at Target nor set foot in Gamestop. So while a lot of the complaining around the Wii’s relatively low tie ratio seems to blame uninterested consumers, I would argue that publishers — even Nintendo itself — hasn’t thought carefully on how to reach them. First, make new DLC worth DL’ing. I want a Wii Fit expansion pack, not Jillian Whats-her-name’s Total Body Ripoff. Second, make it easier to download than a Rock Band song. And test the interface on your most difficult demographic. If the non-gaming housewife can do it, so can the pimply teenager. Hop to it Nintendo, you’re leaving my money on the table!