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Amazon Video App for Wii Console

Zacks Equity Research

The largest online retailer Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) has recently introduced an Instant Video app for Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Wii console.

The app will enable Wii owners to buy, rent and stream more than 145,000 movies and TV episodes from Amazon’s Instant Video Store. Moreover, the use of the app will give Amazon Prime customers the right to enjoy more than 33,000 movies and TV episodes for free.

The Instant Video app features on the Wii Shop Channel. Console owners can search and browse their favorite movies and TV shows with the help of the Wii Remote Plus controller.

Wii is a home video game console released by Japan's gaming corporation Nintendo on November 19, 2006. As a seventh-generation console, Wii competes with Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox 360 and Sony's (SNE) PlayStation 3.

Last November, Amazon introduced a video app for Nintendo’s new Wii U console, an upgraded version of Wii with HD graphics. Since sales of Wii U consoles have not picked up well, Amazon probably introduced another app to support the original Wii, which holds the top spot in video-game console sales.

Amazon’s unique offering may entice gamersas they can watch their favorite movies and TV shows while playing games on the console, or use the display to do their watching even when the TV or PC in the home is occupied. This app is expected to be well received by both parents and kids as they can watch family-friendly programs.

An Amazon app in a gaming console is a smart marketing strategy by the e-commerce giant. The strategic partnership may open up new and exciting screening devices where people will get more chance to buy what they want to see while playing and enjoying their games, converting the devices to a full-fledged entertainment hub. 

A study by IDC suggests that there will be 257 million active gaming consoles worldwide by 2015. Amazon may be able to use this opportunity to expand further via these kinds of partnerships in the future.

Currently, Amazon, Nintendo and Sony carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) while Microsoft carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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