Satellaview

The Satellaview (サテラビュー, Saterabyū?) is a satellite modem add-on for Nintendo's Super Famicom system that was released in Japan in 1995. Available for pre-release orders as early as February 13, 1995, the Satellaview retailed for between ¥14,000 and 18,000 (then between USD$141 and 182) and came bundled with the BS-X Game Pak and an 8M Memory Pak.

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 (スーパーファミコンアワー?) during which scrambled Satellaview-related data was streamed via radio waves to be unscrambled by St.GIGA's "BS digital hi-vision TV" (BSデジタルハイビジョンテレビ, BS Dejitaru HaiBijon Terebi?). 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. Alternatively, 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.

Read more about SatellaviewName, Hardware, BS-X: Sore Wa Namae O Nusumareta Machi No Monogatari, St.GIGA Satellite Broadcasts, Compatible Memory Paks, Compatible Application Cartridges

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