Wii…b Analytics?


Nintendo WiiThe Nintendo Wii gaming console just launched very succesfully in Japan and North America at about $250.00 a pop. If you had not pre-ordered, you’re in for a long, cold, queue outside gaming outlets just to get one.

Once you get past the revolutionary control system – where you have to swing the controller as though wielding a tennis racket/sword/golf club/bowling ball, etc – you notice that the Wii includes the embedded version of the Opera web browser.

Bowser in Super MarioThis “Web Bowser” (I think I just coined that, actually) as I like to call it, is the way to access the Wii Shop Channel, a site on which you can buy/download games and also surf web pages. Using Opera.
For you non-gamers, Bowser is a reference to the Super Mario video game series’ super-villain.

What does this mean in terms of Web Analytics?

It had to happen one day, boys and girls : this console handles Javascript and cookies! 😉

… and therefore…. ?

That’s right, you can track web traffic, click and other regular WA-related info, from a gaming console!

However, unless i’m proven wrong, no Web Analytics vendor has clear support for alternative browsing platforms.

While the Sony PSP and the Nintendo DS fall into the “mobile devices” category, there is currently no Web Analytics segmenting for “gaming platforms” such as the Wii or the PS3.

(bonus points to Python fans who answered “she’s a witch!“)

Check your user agent logs for the following string:

User Agent: Opera/9.00 (Nintendo Wii; U; ; 1038-58; Wii Shop Channel/1.0; en)

On a side note, the Sony Playstation Portable or PSP has a user agent of

Mozilla/4.0 (PSP (PlayStation Portable); 2.00)

and the Sony Playstation 3 answers to

Mozilla/5.0 (PLAYSTATION 3; 1.00)

Happy Wii gaming/surfing 🙂

NOTE: the Wii will be available in Europe on December 8th.


2 Responses to “Wii…b Analytics?”

  1. omomyid Says:

    Does the ‘Bowser’ user agent look the same as the standard Opera browser agent or does it look different? The user agent should come across and unless I miss MY guess most WA packages will grab the user agent and report it, but if ‘Bowser’ has the same user agent as the standard Opera browser then the analytics package will not be able to distinguish it from non-Wii platforms

  2. Julien Coquet Says:

    Hey there, and thanks for your interest!

    notice how the user agent for the Wii is really

    User Agent: Opera/9.00 (Nintendo Wii; U; ; 1038-58; Wii Shop Channel/1.0; en)

    It is very likely that WA vendors will have additional search strings to differentiate between multiple versions of Opera, be it PC, Mac, embedded, Wii or even nintendo DS.

    Or course, there is currently no visibility as to when vendors will implement such filters.

    Either way, accessing the Internet from gaming consoles (and not only for online gaming) is going to change the way people interact online. And WA vendors had better anticipate that 😉

    On that note, you’ll see new sites floating around specifically optimized for the Wii, as apparently, Opera for the Wii is about 95% compliant with what Opera for the PC or Mac is capable of displaying/rendering.

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