Nintendo Unveils TVii Service for North America

Free with every Wii U, no monthly fee

Nintendo's New York press conference for Wii U didn't just focus on games, but unveiled an ambitious new application for North America called TVii. This application will use the GamePad in particular to allow a range of new interactions with TV content, and seems like a big step forward in Nintendo's efforts to take over the living room.

The concept of TVii is to pull together varied content from different providers (such as Netflix and other services to which you subscribe) and improve how you interact with it. For example, it'll include an interactive TV guide that allows you to recommend shows to your friends through an online service; this looks set to include the surprising move to allow connections to social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Another neat feature shown was interactive stat tracking when watching, for example, American Football, with a demo showing the GamePad screen displaying player positions on the field.

With social networks, collection of content into one interface and a concept of online sharing, this was possibly the most ambitious Wii U software revealed. The fact that it'll be free with every system — no monthly fee — is also significant. It's currently only confirmed for North America, but hopefully equivalent services will eventually arrive in Europe and elsewhere.

What do you think of TVii? Is this an exciting new idea that you want to try, or an extra that you can live without?