The Broadcasting Satellaview
The Satellaview was a satellite modem add-on for Nintendo’s Super Famicom system in Japan released in 1995. It retailed for between ¥14,000 and 18,000 (then between USD$141 and 182).
The Satellaview system was developed and released by Nintendo to receive signals broadcast from satellite TV station WOWOW’s satellite radio subsidiary, St.GIGA. St.GIGA was responsible for file server management, maintenance, and vocalization for “SoundLink games.” Nintendo data broadcasts were given a fixed time-slot known as the Super Famicom Hour during which scrambled Satellaview-related data was streamed via radio waves to be unscrambled by St.GIGA’s “BS digital tuner”. As a subscription-based ambient/New Age music station, St.GIGA listeners were already equipped with “BS tuners” prior to St.GIGA’s contract with Nintendo, however Satellaview owners who lacked a “BS tuner” had to purchase one separately from St.GIGA (at a price of ¥33,000) as well as sign up for Nintendo’s and St.GIGA’s monthly joint membership fees. Alternately, users could rent “BS tuners” from St.GIGA for a 6-month period at a price of ¥5,400. Despite the price, by March 1997 St.GIGA subscriptions peaked at 116,378 households; by June 2001 the number of subscribers had dropped to around 46,000. For more information about the Broadcasting Satellaview, Visit Here.