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.