Are You Ready for the Sofa Web?

13 thoughts on “Are You Ready for the Sofa Web?”

  1. Web on consoles will open up the ‘installed base’ of web users, but only marginally. Now we can reach (a relatively small number of) sofa-surfers who were not previously connected. This can only be a good thing. However, it does not compare to the mobile internet revolution. That was a whole new application, taking the web further; here we are just talking about extra users. Consoles only offer a cut-down surfing experience (if you’re struggling without a keyboard, get a PC!), and these new web users are by definition not the leading edge.

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  3. Dan,

    I think that the fact that the new web users are not the leading edge is exactly what our industry needs. What Om failed to pick up on, in my opinion, is the ability of Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo to push content directly to the users via partnership deals. Want to give the kids playing Animal Crossing on Wii a way to forecast their weather? Tie in weather.com. Want the latest sports stats for NBA Live 2k8? Partner with ESPN.com for to-the-day statistics and articles. Publishers no longer have to worry about working out their own mediocre services for updates, mashups will triumph.

    Even services as basic as delivering the best Wii news via a Wii Channel will change the way gaming sites like mine market to their users. I’ve always been told by experts in the field that reaching those users is to ‘get [my site] on Xbox Live.’ We’re one step closer.

  4. Even the new version of Nintendo’s handheld GameBoy has a little browser module that you can buy for it!

    I bought one of these for my girlfriend for Christmas and now want one myself, since I discovered that the little things are wireless-ready.

    …I think the big boom is going to come when all our little handheld devices become wireless-friendly. Sofa not required.

  5. Compared to a supposed 1 billion people on the web, at a guess there are 100 million consoles around. A small fraction of these will web-enable people who wouldn’t otherwise have logged on.

    Sure, Nintendo for one hopes to target the ‘analogue’ generation with the Wii, and getting the ‘elderly’ on-line (over 40s…?!) will be a very good thing. It’s also great when we can reach out to partially-sighted users and other groups. But I don’t think this is a revolution on the scale of mobile communications – that’s my only comment. It’s certainly not the same type of advance.

  6. Hey Brad,

    you are right – i left out some stuff. boss man, wrote this post midnight, and well I want to let smart guys like you to add to the conversation. That is why I think, my role here is to get you guys talking, sit back, and educate myself.

    i still think this is not new audience, but a brand new experience for existing users, and also a way to extend the web to a new parallel.

  7. As one of the rare engineers and ex-IT industry people, working in healthcare now with a focus on obesity as a health issue, I cannot say this thought of many more kids and overgrown kids joining the swelling ranks of the sedentary on the sofa really delights me a whole lot.

    Except hey, I shall have headlines to keep my blog on obesity headlines ablaze for a long time!

    I thought the Nintendo Wii had a minutely better offer in keeping people moving a little, just a little bit but I dont know if that novelty will also wear off soon.

  8. As much as I like to see Om talk about this, it makes me sad that TiVo is not even considered in the conversation, not that they deserve to. I feel that TiVo has really dropped the ball when it comes to being the box that integrates the Internet, PCs, Audio, Video, DVR, and TV in the living room. Everything was there from the head start in the living room to the easily customizable linux-based platform on which TiVo software sits.

    Perhaps TiVo and Opera need to be talking.

  9. Dan, I don’t think the elder population is a minor thing. (wouldn’t go so far as to define it as over 40, though, geez.) I bought my parents, now in their mid-late 70s a webTV box six years ago, knowing my dad would enjoy the web, but probably wouldn’t take to a computer. A settop box was more familiar, like a VCR. Trouble is now I’ve been wondering if he needs a computer, since he’s reported he can’t do his very favorite thing anymore — order books from ABE. Lots of sites now are getting too laden with security features and visual gimmicks for the device (or its browser, not sure which) to handle.

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