Nintendo launched their free Nintendo Video app in 2011 to provide exclusive video content for owners of their portable Nintendo 3DS console. Over the past couple years, they’ve experimented with different types of short form content, including plenty of animation. Last Thursday, Nintendo announced a slate of five new animated series which represents one of their most ambitious attempts yet to program the Nintendo Video app.
The five new series include a couple based on Nintendo game franchises as well as a couple produced by Frederator Studios’ online channel Cartoon Hangover:
- The Legend of Zelda: The Misadventures of Link: This original series of comedic shorts shows Link, the series’ star, in a new and hysterical light. His surroundings will be familiar to fans of the series, since the shorts are based on The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD game for the Wii U console.
- Pikmin Nature Documentaries: These “nature documentaries” explore the wonderful world of the tiny Pikmin. The animations, highlighted by dramatic voiceover work, are a tongue-in-cheek take on safari nature shows.
- Bravest Warriors: The latest hit show created by Pendleton Ward, the mind behind Adventure Time, follows four teenage heroes-for-hire as they warp through galaxies to save adorable aliens and their worlds using the power of their emotions. The series is produced by Frederator Studios and launched on the Cartoon Hangover channel on YouTube. New episodes of Bravest Warriors will appear every Friday on Nintendo Video.
- Wildheart Riukiu: This new series of 3D shorts comes from the creator of Meat or Die, which has already amassed more than 5 million views on Nintendo Video. Wildheart Riukiu incorporates charming 16-bit graphics with some not-so-charming, but hilarious, characters. Think ninja puppets.
- Bee and PuppyCat: A Cartoon Hangover Shorts fan favorite, this two-part series by Natasha Allegri follows Bee, an out-of-work 20-something who has a life-changing collision with a mysterious creature she names PuppyCat.
People who download the Nintendo Video application automatically receive four new shorts on their device every week. Unlike typical Internet video, the Nintendo app doesn’t archive content, which encourages regular viewing.
I’m told by people at Nintendo that the app has hundreds of thousands of weekly users, and because there are only a handful of videos on the app at any given time, each video receives wide exposure. Not to mention that the app has a desirable and savvy viewing audience that is more than likely to be receptive to new characters and story concepts. It sounds like it has the potential to turn into a promising new platform for developing and launching animated properties should Nintendo push it in that direction.