It was only a few months ago that Nintendo and the other game console manufacturers (Microsoft, Sony), gave lengthy press conferences with plenty of fan fair at E3 2012. Afterwards, many left thinking Nintendo may have finally been overtaken and left behind by Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s Playstation consoles.
Now, those same months later, Nintendo held another press conference to announce the release date and price point for the Wii U consoles. The event lacked some of the fan fair, but felt very much like an E3 type presentation with guest speakers, live gameplay demos and a bevy of game trailers all designed to induce excitement in a console that has, up to this point, lacked anticipation.
Give Nintendo credit, they didn’t waste much time after E3 in pushing entertainment integration to the list of features for the Wii U. The Wii U console will now feature Nintendo TVii for streaming media, television, movies and sports all powered by user’s existing sources of media consumption.
Services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, as well as existing DVRs and TiVos will be accessible from the Wii U GamePad and playable on either the GamePad itself or on a traditional television connected to the Wii U console.
The nearly hour long presentation surrounded a number of different Wii U aspects, not least of which was Nintendo TVii. Reggie Fils-Aime, president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America, explained that Nintendo TVii wasn’t presented at E3 because they were waiting for the technology to be perfected. While that’s plausible, our opinion is that this move is more reactionary to the the other consoles huge entertainment push at E3.
Nintendo TVii Features
Regardless of why Nintendo TVii is being added, the fact that it’s being offered is good news. While no date was given for Nintendo TVii’s debut, other specifics were shared during the presentation that are worth noting.
The most notable specific is that Nintendo TVii will be free with all consoles. That means no subscriptions or monthly fees in order to use it. That move is a direct shot across the bow of anyone who charges a fee to watch TV shows and movies from a third party service that they already pay for. The most glaring example being Xbox Live.
Zach Fountain, Nintendo’s director of Network Business, demonstrated Nintendo TVii along with it’s personalization features. Each user has their own specific mii or avatar and as such, programs and viewing preferences are saved specifically to that mii. Essentially the personalized settings mean dad can focus on sports and the kids on cartoons and they never mix.
Each mii will have their own personalized show listings and history.
Nintendo TVii was shown to have five viewing parameters of Favorites, TV, Movies, Sports and Search. Wii U GamePads have unique touchscreen options for controlling favorite additions, episode recording (via DVR), friends and sharing with friends for added engagement.
Show selection works across sources to ensure users only have to search once for a show. As an example, if a user searches for Bones, search results will display availability on both Netflix and Hulu Plus along with other sources where Bones is available. Along with show selection is a built-in circular disc shaped remote for controlling rewind, fast forward and other DVR type functions.
Finally, the GamePad will display show information while watching programs on the television as an accompaniment. Information may include movie previews, cast details, stats and scores, or any number of factoid type information relating to the program being viewed on the television. Tune into a program late? Nintendo TVii lets you backup so you can catch up.
If you enjoyed or found this article useful, please show us some support by liking us on Facebook or by sharing us on your favorite social website. Thanks!