Nintendo recently launched an interesting channel on the Wii. The system allows up to six players per console to vote on regional and worldwide polls. Players can predict the results of the polls, and track their predictions in a "How Tuned In Are You?" mode.
I just read a great quote from Sony during the 80's that said they "don't do market research because consumers don't know what they want in terms of innovation". This was the 1980's when Sony developed the Walkman and completely disrupted the market. Disruption was much easier and more significant without the expanse of the Internet. Now to speak those words, might mean certain death. Oh well Sony, you were good in your heyday! Clearly as is the case today, the market dictated by consumers requires some sort of lifeline between the brand and the consumer.
Nice to see Nintendo opening up a consumer dialog channel, even though its pretty blatant as marketing within the platform. Microsoft has done an excellent job of using bloggers such as majornelson for this. Nintendo clearly needs to listen to consumers after the strap fiasco(trust me, i almost had my wiimote go through my friends ceiling). I myself have noticed quite a void of good games, which normally wouldn't bode well, but the system is still in hot hot demand. A consumer channel can allow Nintendo a more immediate conversation with consumers and for crying out loud make them realize that consumers enjoy using broadband for more than downloading mario brothers and streets of rage!
Interesting that Nintendo brands it on its own platform, but im sure more Ninty has more tricks up its sleeve. Feels slightly forced since its more of single answer responses than open-dialog. With that in mind, i think it limits the consumer response to the brand, in that they are given choices for responses. Would be better if this was more open of a channel. Nintendo has always been quirky and consumers don't seem to shy away from it. Highlights certain brands with affinity amongst consumers can get away with almost anything.