News Article

Nintendo Considering Wii U TVii For Europe and Japan

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Details possible "in the not-so-distant future"

While Nintendo of America's Wii U release date reveal featured a substantial section outlining TVii, the app that promises to give intuitive extra functionality to existing TV services, the equivalent European and Japanese Nintendo Direct broadcasts focused almost exclusively on games. The simple reason for this was that TVii was only announced for North America, leaving plenty of potential Wii U owners elsewhere wondering whether they'd have the opportunity to use a similar service.

As a flagship part of Wii U's non-gaming functionality, it seems that Nintendo's aware that a similar service should probably be made available elsewhere. As part of a briefing no doubt designed to appease investors, Satoru Iwata gave a strong indication that an equivalent TVii service may well be on the way to Europe — hopefully including other PAL regions too — and Japan in the future.

We are currently considering offering Nintendo TVii in Japan and Europe by taking into account how people watch television in each region, and I believe I will be able to share more details in the not-so-distant future.

In this sense, many partners, including third-party publishers and non-gaming partners, as exemplified by VOD service providers, are seeing a lot of potential in Wii U, especially because it can also be used freely in the living room even if the TV is in use, and there are many possibilities, such as a shopping service or some other service that uses the internet.

With tough competition from other games systems, as well as a variety of other devices, it seems important for Wii U to offer as many different services as possible. For those of us that simply want to play games, Wii U looks promising, but TV and internet services won't do its chances any harm.

[via computerandvideogames.com]

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User Comments (33)

Mk_II

#2

Mk_II said:

i would be very disappointed if the didnt do something similar for Euro TV viewers but i fear the worst. I understand a large part of the Wii U R&D was done in the USA and it would be very sad if they only focussed on their own homemarket.

ei8htbit

#6

ei8htbit said:

Living in North America and reading this article, I just realized how easy it is to take the TVii feature for granted on Wii U. I'm looking forward to using this feature, I would feel really short-changed if they didn't offer it knowing that other regions do have it.
I've used the i.TV app for iPad (the basic engine and tech that Nintendo licenced for TVii) and it's pretty slick and best of all it's very accurate and literally pulls in programming as region specific as your very postal code, so small-towners can enjoy the feature as well as major market folks..
Anyway, I hope it works out for other regions or at least an equivalent functionality (perhaps this is karmic payback for Europe getting the sweet Japanese Super Famicom SNES design while North America got that ugly boring beige and grey brick with soul-crushing lack of coloured buttons on the controllers).

Varia01

#8

Varia01 said:

Please have Cable. Because I wanna watch my favorite shows on Hub, Cartoon Network, and Disney XD!

Cipher

#9

Cipher said:

Would be really nice if it came to the UK, especially with YouView starting to enter more homes. BBC iPlayer (and other catchup services), Netflix, LOVEFiLM, Sky, TiVo, YouTube, YouView, maybe even the likes of BT Vision... it's not like we don't have any services for TVii to support.

LavaTwilight

#13

LavaTwilight said:

I admit, it won't affect my decision to buy one, but it will definitely be well used if and when it arrives! It makes sense to include it and I feel like they should, to remain competitive and a cut above the rest, if nothing else.

LeasTwanteD

#15

LeasTwanteD said:

You better be, Nintendo. Depending on how exactly it works i might even pay a few bucks more for the system than i've planned so far.

THENAMESNORM

#17

THENAMESNORM said:

UK TV seems so messed up at time with the way it's set up, however I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to put an equivelant to freeview or freesat in there.

ScreamoPichu

#18

ScreamoPichu said:

Nintendo TVii looks sick! As a North American gamer, I'm pretty sure it'll be one of the most used apps on my Wii U. Glad to see Japan and Europe should get it.

citizenerased

#19

citizenerased said:

Given how extremely scattered services are in Europe — hell, we don't even get many of the best shows — I'll stick to downloading. (And I do buy boxsets to support the industry.)

ei8htbit

#20

ei8htbit said:

I can understand there being limitations with negotiating usage rights for international programming, but to be honest I'm surprised that at the very least Nintendo TVii isn't available at launch in Europe with Netflix and Hulu considering they already have a strong relationship with those two providers.

Iwata suggests that they want to better research viewing habits in Europe and Japan, but I'm not sure where the hold up is releasing the service because essentially Nintendo TVii isn't about actually providing the content, it is simply a universal remote that aggregates programming schedules, and those programming schedules should be readily available.

Clearly there is more to it than that though otherwise this would not be an issue. Most likely it is because they are using the i.TV tech to do all the work aggregating program schedules and that company doesn't seem to have clearance in the UK or the rest of the world at large at this time (just go to i.tv on the web to see what I mean).

JavierYHL

#21

JavierYHL said:

whatever u do just drop the stupid region lock,its really a pain when u cant even play a game cos of this and u cant import it when its not available in your country...thats where sony consoles really shine...u can import any games and any limited edition consoles...

Hokori

#25

Hokori said:

Yeah I'd like an anime thing as long as its free and not just tied to your TV since I don't have an anime channel

TheAdza

#26

TheAdza said:

I think many Aussies will be waiting a long time for any kind of TVii services.

RetroGBHippie92

#27

RetroGBHippie92 said:

@TheAdza I think you got that one right.... We don't get all the gimmicky Wii channels etc that everyone else gets so would Nintendo bother with us?

MAB

#28

MAB said:

I already have another HDTV setup next to my gaming HDTV strictly for watching freeview/T-box programs anyway so it doesn't really bother me if Australia gets it or not. I only watch sport while playing games at the same time ;) not a fan of watching nerdy drama/reality TV shows :P

LEGEND_MARIOID

#29

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Even if they give it the go ahead, I reckon it'll take at least two years to appear in the EU. Sorry for the negativity :)

erv

#30

erv said:

Only if it means unlimited hd movies. Full hd. And 3d. And recent ones. At a low price.

Oh wait, not interested.

ei8htbit

#31

ei8htbit said:

@Hippie/MadBloke/erv:
Clearly Satoru has reason to investigate International entertainment viewing habits further (at least in the Southern Hemisphere) judging by your apathy for the feature;) At some point though, if I'm being honest I have to agree with you that I will generally only be playing games content on the WiiU and using other means for watching movies, etc. I do like the sports application integration though, that might be worthwhile, but at that point I guess anyone could just be watching the game on TV while playing a compatible game on the pad...

aaronsullivan

#32

aaronsullivan said:

This could be a killer app for many casual gamers. It's a nice bonus for our family as it works with Tivo, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Instant Video all of which we utilize and I'm looking forward to it, but it's the games I can't wait to play. For others who visit and check it out, though, I could see them being wowed by Nintendo TVii. Nintendo is smart for looking to expand with it.

MeloMan

#33

MeloMan said:

Didn't know only NA was the lucky one this time as I thought it was elsewhere. Well, spread the love I say, it's a novel idea from what I can tell so far.

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