Editorial: Why PlayStation Vita Owners Should Use The Nico Nico App
“So what’s Nico Nico anyway?”
If you’re one of those people (like myself) who look forward to PlayStation Network’s Tuesday releases, you were probably thinking the same thing as you downloaded the new Nico Nico app to your PlayStation Vita. Here I was eagerly awaiting a Crackle, and/or a Dailymotion app, yet what I got was this video sharing social service that’s definitely got “JAPAN” stamped on it.
Nico Nico (or N² for short) is a social video network service, like Youtube, that allows users to share their own videos, follow other creators, and comment on videos uploaded to the service. In its native Japan, Nico Nico is one of the most popular and most-visited websites and is used by celebrities, game companies, and businesses to promote their products to the Japanese netizens.
What I’ve noticed with this app is that it’s a great video sharing app for gamers and Otaku (people addicted to Japanese anime) because many of the most popular video producers on Nico Nico cater to those tastes. This includes J-pop, JRPG’s, anime clubs, K-Pop, and other fan-driven videos.
More recently, Nico Nico users have been given the ability to host their own livestreams onto the service, resulting in a giant spike in Demon Souls/Dark Souls and Final Fantasy game marathon livestreams on gaming channels. As well, Funimation Entertainment, distributor of popular Japanese anime like Dragon Ball Z Kai, Ah! My Goddess, and Guyver, recently announced a partnership with the video sharing service to bring their back catalog of anime and asian-flavored movies onto the service. This is a big win for the aforementioned Otakus as they’ll love watching this stuff on-the-go thanks to the portability of the PlayStation Vita.
More recently, PlayStation streamed their entire E3 conference live on the service. As well, Vita owners were able to keep up with E3 through all the latest game announcements, previews, and video demos streamed right onto their Nico Nico app. As disappointed as I was not being able to go to E3 this year with my co-workers at SonyRumors.Net, I took solace in the fact that I could keep up-to-date with gaming’s biggest event because of the Nico Nico app on my PlayStation Vita.
To be honest, I’m not much of an Anime, J-Pop, or J-film afficionado, all of which make up the bulk of Nico Nico’s target demographic, so it didn’t even hit my radar until the news of the PlayStation/E3 livestream event. And no, I don’t care for following vlogs for Girl’s Generation or whatever AKB48 is. But I do appreciate the old-school gaming livestreams that feature games like Mega Man, Dragon Quest, and other classic Japanese games that are fairly prominent on the service.
Plus, now that I’ve tried the service, I’m not a big fan of the scrolling text comments on the videos, but I think that’s just a matter of getting used to it. All in all I think Nico Nico is a nice addition that caters to a specific niche of Vita owners. It’ll be interesting to see how Sony incorporates the Vita’s functionalities into future Nico Nico features that will allow for Vita owners to shoot videos and share it live to the Nico Nico community. Who knows, it might even become the de facto video streaming app for the Vita given time.
In the meantime, I’ll be checking out more gaming-themed channels and videos and staying away from anything concerning AKB48 on the Nico Nico app. Why the hell would a girl group even have 64 members anyway? It blows my mind the kind of stuff that’s popular in Japan sometimes.
What are your guys’ thoughts on the Nico Nico app for the PlayStation Vita?