Nintendo Launches 'Nintendo TVii' Video On Demand Service with Wii U Console

Nintendo (NTDOY) is adding some value to its Wii U console with the launch of Nintendo TVii, which essentially uses the GamePad controller with its second screen and touch capabilities as both a remote control and a content aggregator.

Nintendo TVii pulls in content from all over a user’s available sources, including cable or satellite TV, on demand content, and online streaming services, and lets them sort through and navigate them all with the GamePad. On top of that, Nintendo built in social features so users can post to Miiverse, Twitter, or Facebook during and about programming as well as extra data such as sports scoreboards or IMBD-like information on shows and movies.

The cost for Nintendo TVii is already included in the Wii U’s purchase price, so it’s essentially a free service.

Nintendo TVii

The Wii U--specifically, it’s GamePad controller--has always seemed a little clunky. Plenty of folks already have a tablet floating around the living room, so the whole second screen thing seemed somewhat redundant, and the Wii U controller is as bulky as a tablet is svelte. However, if there was ever a killer app for the console, Nintendo TVii is it; it’s nothing revolutionary, but putting all those content options in one place is wonderful and makes the Wii U seem like more of a great media streamer that plays a lot of games as opposed to a game console that can stream media.

It’s also remarkable how many puns and bits of wordplay Nintendo has managed to milk from those two lower case “i”’s. Wiis, Miis, and Tviis, oh my.

Nintendo Wii U

Nintendo TVii launches today in the U.S. and Canada and supports cable and satellite providers in those regions as well as Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus; additional support for Netflix and TiVo are coming early next year.