One of the biggest announcements to come out of Nintendo’s press conference yesterday, apart from the Wii U price and release date, was that the company plans to launch its own free video service, dubbed the TVii.
It’s a rather ambitious service, and one that looks to keep Nintendo competitive in the entertainment arena. TVii allows players to select video content from a variety of sources: Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and even live television from your cable or satellite provider.
The Game Pad included with the Wii U will act as the portal for all of this video content; you’re able to search for TV shows, movies, and so on, and choose where you’d like to play it from. You’re also able to record shows with the TVii service by way of a TiVo DVR.
Unfortunately, there’s some bad news for those of you in Europe: Nintendo says that, initially, TVii will only be available in North America. That’s likely to change, but Nintendo gave no word on when.
Speaking to Engadget, Nintendo director of strategic partnership Zach Fountain said that “all” major cable and satellite providers will be supported: All you have to do is enter your account information, and you’re good to go. Fountain made no mention of any of the smaller providers being left out, so it sounds like almost everything will be covered.
Social interaction is also a big feature of the TVii service as it is with the Wii U. Using your Game Pad, you’ll be able to share what you’re watching on various social networks, see what shows your friends are watching, and things of that nature.
Of all of the Wii U features we’ve heard about, the TVii is by far the most exciting. Nintendo was lacking in entertainment offerings with the Wii, but they’re clearly not about to make the same mistake twice.
To see the Wii U’s TVii service in action, check out the video below.