Airbus A380 concept design includes Nintendo Wii games area

By David Flynn, December 18 2013
Airbus A380 concept design includes Nintendo Wii games area

An Airbus A380 with a dedicated Nintendo Wii gaming zone? It'd certainly take some of the tedium out of long-distance flights, and loaded up with the right games it could also offer some welcome inflight activity rather than remaining stuck in that chair for over 16 hours (as is the case with the world's longest A380 flight).

A team from Hamburg University has cooked up this intriguing concept, which is a finalist in the annual Crystal Cabin Awards "for innovation in the field of aircraft cabins".

The concept is to create a sport and fitness area on the superjumbo's upper deck, where passengers can play on the Wii or lean back on the wooden supports and watch others play.

"The Wii can be used during non turbulent parts of long-haul flights", suggest Hamburg University. "It offers additional opportunities of entertainment and movement."

"Because of the easy and intuitive handling the Wii can be used by nearly everybody. It will change the flight into a more interesting and exciting event."

With travel becoming ever more competitive and airlines always keen for ways to differentiate themselves, Hamburg University suggests "with this concept the operating airline can set itself apart from other competitors, upgrades its own cabin and become more attractive for the passengers. "

Of course, the economics of foregoing revenue from a half-dozen rows of seats could be a stumbling block for many airlines.

But if you've got your eye on buying a private Airbus A380 as your VIP ride, we suggest this would be a great complement for the spa and the bowling lane.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Sep 2012

Total posts 18

A Wii? My ... how last-gen of them. :P

Maybe Microsoft should jump onto this bandwagon with some of their new third-party achievements: "Play Ace Combat 6 while in-flight" would be something I'd book a ticket for ... :)


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2199

Very droll, Minister. This is a no-go.

Why? Simple - you lose seats. Cabins on airliners are a bit like the House of Commons - the worst thing that can happen is for you to lose seats. This costs you revenue, which requires you to raise fares, and so on. Vicious.

David is spot-on with the stumbling block remark. Gimmicks like the A380 lounge (QF) or showers (EK) work because that weird space at the front is impossible to use for seating. Sacrificing main cabin rows? No way.

No way.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 240

It's a cool idea and it's great to see design being championed, but I've seen this time and time again. Someone comes up with an ingenius idea for a cabin layout and then the economic reality of trying to cram as many seats as possible in sets in.

Still kudos to AustBT for a cool story.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 733

It's not a cool story, it's a pointless story; another uncritical regurgitation of a random press release.

Clearly the economics of this wouldn't work out, so what's the point? You can invent any number of things which could theoretically be stuck into an aircraft cabin, but unless you can invent something that can justify in higher fares the extremely expensive real estate it occupies, it's a silly exercise. (And seriously, a Wii? This is cutting edge stuff from 2006...)

Rough idea of the economics here: this looks like it's taking up about five rows of a 777 economy class cabin. So that's 45 seats out of 350 that you've just lost. So you've got to pump up every airfare by a bit over 10% to justify the Wii area. But there's only one Wii area, and there's 350 people on the plane, so on an eight-hour flight each person is going to get to use the Wii for an average of eighty-two seconds.

Quibble on the details if you like, but that's the order of magnitude we're looking at -- over a hundred bucks on each ticket for an area which will either get used by everybody for a ridiculously short time, or more likely just get monopolised by a few people for the entire flight.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2199

"Cool story"? More like "cool story bro".

18 Dec 2013

Total posts 1

With Emirates already planning on cramming 11 abreast in Economy on their A380 and already having 10 abreast in their 777's along with the likes of Air France and KLM, this fantasy is NEVER going to happen. Boycott any airline which crams in more than the original design spec and enjoy a better flight. Fly a decent airline which does not treat economy passengers like live cattle exports.

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1242

Just what the travelling public needs - unescapable noise in a contained cabin.

24 Nov 2011

Total posts 8


  1. They'd be better off having an Xbox One with Kinect. Much cooler range of actions that people can be more "active" in when playing.
  2. It's a dumb idea to begin with. Turbulence can still pop up, people would monopolize the time if they can, or people would have too short a time (unless it was some sort of quick game), etc.
  3. Essentially, airlines should focus on prioritizing the areas that are most important in flight: leg room, food service, customer service, etc. 

Of course the economics are bad for such an idea too. It'd be nice if better, more realistic concepts were made...

(Oh, and this particular article, as far as I know, had terrible rendering of the comment input box in IE11. It just wouldn't work. You guys got to fix that.)

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