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Cable Technology Feature Article

July 28, 2008

Comcast Offers Free, Scarce Wii Systems to New Triple Play Customers

By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor

In a move that may vex healthy lifestyle alarmists who insist that U.S. citizens must get outside and exercise more, a company with nearly 25 million cable customers is now offering a free Nintendo Wii gaming system to new “triple play” customers.
Comcast (News - Alert) Corporation officials say their partnership with Nintendo will give new qualified triple play customers a chance to hook up the Wii to a high-speed Internet connection for “great online experiences.”
According to Greg Butz, Comcast’s senior vice president of marketing and product development, by getting online through the company’s high-speed Internet connection, customers can access Wii Web-based content.
“The Wii offers something for everyone, so pairing the Comcast Triple Play (News - Alert) with the Wii system provides great entertainment value for the entire family,” Butz said.

To be eligible for the free Wii system, a two-year contract is required, Comcast says.
By hooking up a Wii system to the Internet, users can play friends in games like “Mario Kart Wii” and “Super Smash Bros. Brawl.” Users also can surf the Internet on a bigger screen by downloading the Wii Internet Channel from the Wii Shop Channel using Wii Points, according to the company, and visit the Wii Shop Channel to download classic Nintendo games or discover new titles made for Wii.
Nintendo’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, Cammie Dunaway, says that a Comcast Internet connection allows Wii owners to connect with friends around the globe.
“In addition to playing video games, people can surf the Internet, share family photos, and check the news or weather,” Dunaway said. “The Wii is home to a multitude of fun Internet-based entertainment and informational options.”
The free Wii offer is circulating quickly among bloggers who follow gadgets and gaming.
Officials at one popular site, engadget.com, called the offer “notable.”
“Sure, you’ve got to sign a two-year contract (à la mobile telco policy), but you’ll also walk away with a console that still can’t be found on a lot of store shelves,” the bloggers say. “Does this signal the ultimate dilution of the Wii into a ubiquitous and truly casual mainstay, or does it simply suggest Comcast and the big N had a sweet – and likely limited – deal? Only the suits know for sure.”
Michael Dinan is a TMCNet Editor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
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