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Gundam Viewchives Part of Larger Download Service

Upcoming video on demand service could expand to other franchises.

 
Image from Bandai Channel's new video-on-demand service.

Bandai Channel formally announced its new "Gundam Viewchives" service earlier this week. The service will go into closed beta later this month.

First shown in test form at last year's Tokyo International Anime Fair, Gundam Viewchives is a unique video-on-demand service that lets PS3 owners view and discuss episodes of the Gundam anime. The service offers all 43 episodes of the original 1979 Gundam series for download in full form and on a scene-by-scene basis, with scenes cross referenced and indexed by keywords, characters and other points of note.

As is often the case, the daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper was first to report on this week's new developments for the service. A portion of the paper's report can be seen at the Nikkei Net IT Plus site.

The paper's report is about more than just the Gundam Viewchives service, though. While the service will start with Gundam, the paper reports that Bandai Channel plans on expanding to properties beyond Gundam in the future.

Bandai Channel's announcement this week did not offer details on fees for using the service. However, Nikkei does suggest that this will be a membership-based service. Bandai Channel aims to reach 300,000 members within two years.

The paper also touches upon some of the technology that powers the service. Developed by Cellius, a studio formed by Namco Bandai and Sony in 2007 to develop software that utilizes the Cell processor, the service's WB-DRIVE technology allows for low cost video distribution. The service will also let users post their opinions on videos to the internet.

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