Nintendo Introduces TVii - Pushing into Social TV Realm with New Wii U

written by: Richard Kastelein

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At a press conference in New York Thursday, Nintendo revealed that the new Wii U will make use of an application called Nintendo TVii, which will let users control, record and interact with TV and movie programming using the Wii U's tablet controller.

At the event, Zack Fountain, Nintendo's director of network business showed how Wii U owners will be able to use the machine's GamePad controller and its touchscreen to browse and search across video services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video as well as satellite channels and recorded TiVo shows for the programming they want to watch. But not only that, Nintendo TVii will offer a personalized program guide for each user of the household.

Nintendo TVii, which will be entirely controlled on the GamePad, will let you access movie reviews or watch a movie trailer on the touchscreen as you select what you want to watch. You can read these reviews and watch these trailers also while watching other programming on the TV.

Critics note that the lack of space (8 and 32 gb) means people can't use it as a DVR such as similar products on the market like the PS4 and "720".

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The service also includes a social component that captures individual images from the TV program or sports event you're watching which can then be commented on and shared to Twitter and other social media.

"Nintendo TVii is bringing together how you watch and what you watch into this seemless second-screen experience," Fountain said.

"This is the most different non-gaming initiative Nintendo has ever introduced," said Nintendo President Reggie Fils-Aime adding that the company will be "rolling out" the application to all Wii U home consoles in the United States and Canada, though he did not specify a date.

Nintendo TVii will be included in every Wii U purchase with no additional cost or monthly fee.


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