News Article

Nintendo Unveils TVii Service for North America

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

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?

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User Comments (39)

zezhyrule

#1

zezhyrule said:

Why on earth would there be a monthly fee for an app that gives you a different way to look at something you're already paying for?

DarkEdi

#3

DarkEdi said:

then netflix channel will be over? if this TVii has a lot of content like netflix (and spanish language) then i will cancel my netflix.

ThomasBW84Admin

#5

ThomasBW84 said:

I just clarified this section - "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."

rjejr

#6

rjejr said:

@bezerker99 Must be hard to play videogames if you threw your tv out the window.

I'll admit I was really excited when I first saw this, but the more they showed - and they showed too much for too long - the more it just looked like an app as zezhyrule said. A cool app to be sure, and I'll use it, but nothing they should consider charging extra for. Will be interesting to see how it actually works. This is really more of a selling point for me than Nintendo Land. I have enough mini-game collections but I don't have a unified tv remote.

Squiggle55

#7

Squiggle55 said:

This is great for us simply putting hulu plus, amazon prime, and netflix under one roof with one search engine. For people with all of these AND cable/satellite and a DVR, I'm sure this app will prove to be very, very useful. The only thing I'm left wondering is how long it will take to get to a piece of content from WiiTV. Do you quickly stream your netflix stuff basically straight from WiiTV, or after you choose something from Netflix does it have to boot up a separate Netflix app?

AddADashOfSalt

#8

AddADashOfSalt said:

Cool, but my house has 2 TVs. One for the Wii, one for actual shows. The one for the Wii can't show shows, so I doubt that NintendoTVii will work for it.

Zyph

#9

Zyph said:

Nintendo Video doesn't even work outside the states unless you set up a VPN on your router. I hope this one does. :|

DarkEdi

#10

DarkEdi said:

Only USA and Canada? that´s not NorthAmerica? Where is Mexico? i think i won´t cancel my netflix suscription then :(

Squiggle55

#14

Squiggle55 said:

Lots of confused people. I think Nintendo needs to explain this service like they're explaining it to a child so kids don't try to tell their parents the Wii U has free TV or something. You have to keep your netflix subscription. You still have to pay for netflix, hulu plus, cable TV, etc, but now it's all gathered into one convenient app.

DavidRY

#17

DavidRY said:

The real issue is how all of these features will work with each individual's set up. It seems like a lot of the things they were showing, especially the live twitter-like feed and all the sports stuff for TV, would need support from your cable provider as well as possibly a Tivo account too. I assume you'd need to be paying A LOT of money to many different services to take full advantage of this. What I want to hear from nintendo is how many tv providers they have on board for this, otherwise it'll be limited to just using netflix and/or hulu plus the same as you would be doing now anyways.

GreenDream

#18

GreenDream said:

Wow, Xbox Live does this as part of its subscription, while Nintendo Network does this for free... Xbox Live is getting crappier by the minute...

Abcdude

#19

Abcdude said:

"Free with every Wii U, no monthly fee"

Can't use it if you don't have netflix, netflix isn't free.

AntiGuy

#20

AntiGuy said:

You see, this is interesting, but I already own a big box that can reproduce images for my entertainment... although nowadays there's nothing entertaining coming from that box...

KAHN

#21

KAHN said:

cable sucks. i got rid or it a while ago. now i just watch my shows online for free

ouroborous

#22

ouroborous said:

free?? well i like that... guess it depends on what you'll actually be able to watch for free..

scrubbyscum999

#23

scrubbyscum999 said:

This is good for sports and stuff like Netflix. It looks like it will be very useful. Too bad cable and satellite television sucks now.

gefflt

#25

gefflt said:

Well, I don't use Netflix, Hulu or any other of these apps/programs so I can't say Nintendo TVii looks very interesting to me...

Henmii

#26

Henmii said:

"this looks set to include the surprising move to allow connections to social networks such as Twitter and Facebook"

Bah, at least Miiverse doesn't connect to Fakebook (rubbish made by Suckerberg)!

Setrodox

#29

Setrodox said:

That iTV link was pretty helpful!
What I still can't figure out: For those who don't subscribe to any cable or video streaming service(s), what does this free service have to offer?

grimbldoo

#30

grimbldoo said:

@Abcdude #19
If you are paying for Hulu Plus and Netflix, it is good to have an app that allows you to access both at the same time for no cost.

Token_Girl

#31

Token_Girl said:

It'll be interesting to see if this will work with cable/satellite/fios DVRs or just Tivo. It's handy to have everything in one place, that's for sure. It'll be nice to just see what's on netflix without having to actually go into a channel and search it.

I loooove all the "no fee" comments. Take that XBL. I just hope this isn't covered with ads, or trick you into thinking "hey, you can access this show right now," only to run into a paywall at the last second. This could easily just turn into an obnoxious money grab, by putting things that are subscription only (to subscriptions you don't have) up front on your homepage and search.

DestinyMan

#33

DestinyMan said:

This Tvii service sounds very broad and cool. The ability to watch sports players' positions on the GamePad sounds interesting, and I bet sports fans would love that. What strikes me about it is that it's all going to be free, and it has a ton of perks for it be completely free. It's also notable that it supports Facebook and Twitter as well. I don't know if I'll use it a lot, but it sounds and looks great and I'm looking forward to trying it out.

I want to watch Wreck-It Ralph on the Wii U TVii in the near future.

capitalism

#34

capitalism said:

This really impressed me today. I never thought Nintendo would go all out on a service like this. It's innovative and it looks like something that I would use all the time. The sports section is perfect and I love the whole sharable and interactive nature to it. Being able to post polls about content is awesome and I see it as the spiritual successor to the Everybody Votes Channel on the Wii. Good job Nintendo.

LittleIrves

#37

LittleIrves said:

Anyone know if this will work with OTA (Over-the-Air) broadcast? Just cut the cord on my cable to save money, and I'm loving the HD networks and cool, weird local channels I get to watch for free (after buying a digital antenna for $15). But I think I heard you need to log into your cable provider for Wii U to pull the show info from their servers, or something? Will be neat for Netflix anyway, but I might not get to use all the Live TV engagement... oh well. Very curious how this actually works "in the wild," and not in a demo. Will be surprised if it's as smooth and full-featured as it promises.

BJQ1972

#38

BJQ1972 said:

@A-Hungry-Banker the only hope would be a similar deal with either Sky or Youview. The new Sky+ app on iOS has some similar functionality and they could integrate Zeebox into it - don't hold your breath though.

gunslingerned

#39

gunslingerned said:

No one uses TiVo anymore! Xfinity is the new TiVo. This needs to work with DirectV and Dish, because cable is basically dead. We've all switched to digital and HD channels. This is a major selling point for me. If the TVii service doesn't work on my tv, I might as well tell them to take the Wii U pad out of the box and sell me the console by itself.

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