Monday, September 21, 2009

TouchTunes didn't touch this Cedar Rapids BWW visitor

I had assumed that every single Buffalo Wild Wings in the entire universe - well, at least in the U.S. and Canada - offered NTN Buzztime. It initially appeared that this was not the case at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, according to LaDawn Edwards:

My husband and I wanted to do a little cell phone comparison shopping and get some dinner before catching a movie on a recent Tuesday, so we headed to BWW at 1100 Blairs Ferry Rd. NE in Cedar Rapids shortly after 5 p.m. We hadn’t eaten there in several months, so we were interested to note that they’d replaced the portable game system that we’d always enjoyed doing trivia quizzes on while we waited for our food.

We grabbed a TouchTunes unit to figure out what it offered and realized it wasn’t working. The problem? “No signal from base” the screen reported. Our waiter commented that the units stacked on the base had the same message, so it was malfunctioning somehow. Apparently, it’s supposed to let you use your credit card to pay for the overhead music jukebox-style or the more popular games, although many of them are free. The gadget failed to entertain us, but on the other hand didn’t cost anything since it wasn’t working. Oh well.

The sadder part? According to Buzztime's web site, the Blairs Ferry BWW continues to be an active NTN Buzztime site. So Edwards apparently got the wrong information about the availability of NTN Buzztime trivia.

In the meantime, I did find information about TouchTunes' PlayPorTT product. Here's some details:

Hip, Cool And Totally Portable

* Create a buzz with the PlayPorTT’s revolutionary sleek, portable design
* Play individually, multi-player, in groups, or even head-to-head
* The best classic and new games keep patrons entertained and coming back for more

Easy To Manage

* Proven durability and bar-friendly design
* Use in its recharging dock or go portable
* Operator configurable. Release from dock with credit card, cash or without any payment, as you prefer
* Built in multi-level security features
* Regular, automatic online game updates keep games fresh and engaging
* Ability to edit content for each location

A New Way To Grow Your Business

* Multiple, portable screens from one base means more patrons playing more music and games from more places
* Automatic link to a TouchTunes® jukebox drives more music plays
* Fun, portable, and engaging – creates excitement at your locations
* Help your customers retain and attract patrons in their locations

Raising The Bar In Out-Of-Home Entertainment
Captivating patrons. Redefining entertainment. Growing your business. We’re TouchTunes, the largest out-of-home interactive entertainment network, providing music, games and new revenue opportunities to over 35,000 bars, restaurants and retail locations in North America.

So, while it doesn't appear that you can compete against a multi-nation network of players, the system does offer some potential revenue opportunities for bar and restaurant owners. Imaging if you needed a credit card to get an NTN Buzztime Playmaker.

And TouchTunes is in a larger number of locations than NTN Buzztime - 35,000 locations is nothing to sneeze at. So what's the nearest location in my area? I don't know - I couldn't find a "SiteFinder" equivalent on TouchTunes.

And compare @playportt's Twitter presence with @buzztimegirl's. At least in the social media area, NTN Buzztime has the greater presence.

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