After a month-long delay, Nintendo (NTDOY) will launch its Nintendo TVii service for the Wii U on December 20th in the U.S. and Canada. Nintendo TVii is the company’s take on organizing all of the various video streaming and DVR services a user might subscribe to and then displaying them in an easy-to-navigate touchscreen-based interface on the Wii U GamePad. With Nintendo TVii, Nintendo hopes to make content discovery an easier task, rather than a chore. At the same time, Nintendo TVii will offer new “second-screen” experiences (similar to Xbox SmartGlass) with built-in social sharing options to Facebook (FB), Twitter and the Wii U console’s Miiverse.
Nintendo TVii will support Amazon (AMZN) Instant Video, Hulu Plus and cable and satellite providers on Thursday, but Netflix (NFLX) and TiVo (TIVO) support won’t hit the U.S. until “early 2013.” Nintendo didn’t state when TVii support for the latter two will hit Canada.
For the consumer’s sake, we hope the download for Nintendo TVii doesn’t take as long as past system updates.
Nintendo’s press release follows below.
Nintendo Makes TV Smart and Social – Nintendo TVii Launches Dec. 20
New Wii U Service Gives Every Member of the Family His or Her Own Personalized, Easy-to-Use Second-Screen Viewing Experience
REDMOND, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The company that changed how we play is about to change how we watch. On Dec. 20, Nintendo will introduce Nintendo TVii, a free, integrated service for the recently launched Wii U console that combines what you watch and how you watch into one seamless, second-screen experience on the revolutionary new Wii U GamePad controller.
The rapid increase in both the quality and availability of video entertainment content – hundreds of satellite and cable channels, a seemingly endless amount of video-on-demand options – has made finding something to watch a complex and occasionally frustrating process. The solution to this problem is coming from perhaps an unexpected place: a video game console.
“After Dec. 20, you’ll never look at your TV the same way again,” said Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime. “Wii U owners have already experienced the transformative effect that the GamePad has on game play and social interaction. Nintendo TVii shows how the integrated second screen of the GamePad can also transform and enhance the TV viewing experience. Welcome to the new world of TVii.”
Nintendo TVii maximizes Wii U owners’ current cable, satellite and video-on-demand services by pulling all of their available content sources – such as a Comcast cable package or Hulu Plus subscription – into one place. This empowers Wii U owners to focus on whatthey want to watch and not how they want to watch. And once users find the show, sporting event or movie they want, they press an icon and Nintendo TVii does the rest.
In addition to greatly simplifying finding and watching video content, Nintendo TVii also includes a series of social features that enable Wii U owners to share experiences and exciting moments with friends as they are happening on live TV. People can engage with others by commenting and sharing on Miiverse, Facebook and Twitter. Or they can comment, post or tweet about an incredible touchdown, a remarkable performance or a shocking plot twist, all using the personal screen of the Wii U GamePad.
Nintendo TVii requires no additional equipment and can be enjoyed with very little setup, demonstrating what’s possible when the second screen is truly integrated with the TV. Wii U owners can also discover more information about what they’re watching by easily accessing information on the GamePad via an Internet connection, including cast details, movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes and sports data such as live stats and scores.
Nintendo TVii launches in the United States and Canada on Dec. 20. At launch, the service will support cable and satellite providers in both regions, as well as direct integration with Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus subscriptions in the United States. Further integration with Netflix subscriptions and TiVo are expected in early 2013 in the United States. Wii U owners with a Netflix subscription can still access the Netflix application from the Wii U system’s main menu and enjoy their favorite content accordingly.
All elements of the Nintendo TVii service are included in the purchase price of the Wii U system. Users will define which services they currently subscribe to – including the channel lineup in their cable package and video-on-demand service subscriptions – as part of the setup process.
Nintendo TVii observes the Wii U system parental controls, and additional options specific to the Nintendo TVii features can be chosen in the Nintendo TVii settings. Every member of the family can create a different viewing profile. For more information about this and other features, visit http://www.nintendo.com/wiiu.