Nintendo preps movies for Wii, coming this year?

I don't particularly despise Wii gaming console. Deep down, the new Nintendo is probably the most innovative and family-friendly entertainment on-the-budget's package ever built. There's no hulking graphic, "official support" of a legacy DVD playback or even output video beyond 480P, and hence the low price. In a nutshell, this fun little gaming console is not built to accommodate HD content. But with the success of Microsoft New Xbox Experience and PS3's cornering the online video content, the leader in gaming console market could branch out to include movie streaming this year.

In an interview with Variety, Curt Marvis, the President of Digital Media from Lionsgate disclosed Nintendo's plan to provide the increasingly popular movie service on Wii and that could happen as soon as this year.

"The thing that is clearly a force in digital are the game devices. I think when we see the Wii come into the market with the ability to stream movies, which I think is maybe going to happen as soon as this year"

Lionsgate's message is clear, Movie is coming to Wii this year. In Japan, Nintendo has inked deal with Dentsu ad agency to launch a video service last year. The capability is there but subscribers will have to settle with standard format video and that also raises question with the lack of onboard storage banking the content.

So the obvious question is, would Nintendo flash the unit to support USB-based external drive? A homebrew SDHC card option is not going to cut it.