News Article

First Ever 'Reggie Asks' Delves Into TVii

Posted by Andy Green

Channel surfing, TV Tags, Miiverse integration and more

President of Nintendo Satoru Iwata has been running the highly informative and occasionally hilarious (laughs) Iwata Asks interview series for a while now, and so far he's been the only one conducting the interviews. That all changed today as President of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime was given the reigns, as he explored the upcoming TVii feature with its key developers.

During the 'Reggie Asks' interview he explored the various features of the new application, including how the GamePad integrates with your TV viewing and how you may interact with people who are thousands of miles away.

Zach Fountain, Director of Network Business at Nintendo of America, explained how people are consuming more video content than ever before with cable and satellite TV subscriptions, as well as streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.

The process of finding and controlling a program has become too complicated. Then, once you are watching, most viewers are now using a second screen to augment the experience, both socially and in the search of information. Nintendo TVii addresses this changing landscape by bringing together everything you need – a personalized guide, a super remote, and a social TV experience – into one seamless application on the GamePad. This makes watching TV easier and fun.

A key area that Wii U has addressed quite a lot is the social aspect surrounding gaming, with many players using the Miiverse to share their experiences with other people on the fly. This can also be done with TVii as the service has its own Miiverse community that will also appear in the WaraWara plaza. This will generate even more buzz when you turn on your Wii U as you'll see what people are watching and what they're saying about it - and we're sure we'll see plenty more fantastic pieces of artwork too!

In the same way that Nintendo Land uses tags for each of its mini games, so too will TVii, singling out programmes or even specific things about them for tagging treatment. Masaki Okahata, Project Manager at Network Business, delved into the TV Tags saying they will allow people to see context when they see a comment from another user. For example if somebody randomly blurts out "great catch!" you don't really have any clue as to what they're referring to - they could be talking about their pet dog catching a Frisbee for all you know. A simple TV Tag could have it filed under "Jets vs Seahawks", allowing you to see that someone in that NFL game's made a great catch.

Another interesting aspect of TVii is the user profiles, which attach themselves to your Miis. They can naturally be given parental controls allowing parents to control what content their children are watching. Each Mii can create their own profile which can be personalised to suit them. This allows users to tell the application what their favourite shows are, their favourite movies, sports teams and which social networks they use, making it a whole lot easier to see what's on right now and which of their favourite programmes are available to watch.

Zach Fountain describes the GamePad as a "super remote control that spans your cable or satellite box, your DVR, and Wii U applications."

The TVii service has rolled out across Canada and the United States today, 20th December, and will be coming to selected regions in Europe at some point in 2013.

What are your thoughts on the TVii application, North America? Let us know how you're finding it in the comments section below.


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User Comments (27)



SMW said:

Oh, yeah! I've been waiting all day for this. I love Iwata Asks and I love Reggie and hes the perfect man for this Asks. Reading now!



Gearborn said:

Yeah, their idea is great, but their execution is unbelievably poor. The gamepad can't control my receiver and Nintendo TVii doesn't work with Netflix or Tivo right now. I don't use Hulu, but I do use Amazon Prime... so how does their all in one solution work with the one service I can use with it right now? It's terrible. Nintendo TVii doesn't know if something is available to Prime users for free, which means it's worthless for Prime subscribers since you can't actually search for the free videos. Even if they eventually do pull that information, it'd still be painful to use since Nintendo TVii kicks you out and opens the Amazon app instead of being all integrated. Combine that with the slow menus and it's nearly unusable. Also throw in the fact that when I tried it, when it kicked me to the Amazon app, it still had my previous Amazon search on the game pad rather than what I had clicked on in Nintendo TVii... so the integration itself doesn't even work properly.

They should have sat on it another few months before releasing a service that leaves this bad a taste in my mouth.



Redeye1904 said:

I totally agree. It boots up, but it is not allowing me to use my cake channels after actually selecting my cable provider. Even the channels that's have on demand do not work. Big issues N, big issues



Redeye1904 said:

Example.... I have Showtime on demand, but when I select my show (which I had to find manually) the only viewing option is renting it off Amazon. But I can watch it for free on my box. What's going on?



Redeye1904 said:

No wonder The Japanese never showed off any reviews on YouTube. This service sucks. Hahahahahaha



Redeye1904 said:

If my cable remote breaks, then I might find a use for this. Until the batteries die in my remote, the gamepad is a pad for games. Lol



Metal_Slugger said:

Not much yet to offer me yet. I got netflix, and hulu plus. I pretty much know what I am going to watch before I even turn anything on so it's just a hoop I have to jump through. Load times are much faster to just go right to the appropriate app and go to what I want to watch. Well for now in time I am sure it will get better. I hope. I already had hulu plus freeze on me I had to unplug my console it was the only way out it. The gamepad would turn off but the console wouldn't. I would love to see satellite integration. No cable here.



EvilLucario said:

Wow, judging from reactions here, TVii seems really flawed and broken...

I hope Nintendo get's their act together and release a patch to fix all of these niggles. But from the earlier news about the OS patch not happening, I just don't think it'll happen anytime soon.

Prove me wrong, Nintendo. I'm planning on getting a Wii U for Christmas, so bring on the goods before it's too late.



Jaco said:

I feel that today's release was to get things running before Christmas, it isn't complete but its a sign of what to come, and so far I think it's pretty cool. All I have is Netflix so I'm disappointed that it isn't working yet but being able to surf through the guide while watching tv is great (Full screen TV, not the little box when you bring up the guide normally) Once DVR support is integrated I think this will be the way I will watch TV.

Yes it's flawed right now, but it isn't complete. Hopefully the future services come sooner rather than later



BrightBeing said:

Reggie: "That's great! That's great! That's great! Oh, That's great!" Could he have said that more??




I guess I'm the only one here with a positive post for TVii. It works great for me. It picked up my cable programming and all my customized settings. The in game stats and Miiverse posts worked exactly as advertised. Now I'm just waiting for DVR and Netflix functionality.



Gearborn said:

@Jaco Even using the gamepad as just a channel guide is terrible. It always starts at channel 2, which for me is hundreds of channels away from where I want to be since all HD channels for me start at channel 1000. That means I have to swipe scroll hundreds of channels. And the swiping to scroll/page is terrible since about one out of every four swipes triggers a click/press instead and goes to whatever I had accidentally pressed rather than continuing to scroll. So for me, Nintendo screwed up even providing a basic channel guide. They desparately need to provide the ability to click buttons on the gamepad to control more of the navigation such as using the triggers for paging and the analog sticks for scrolling.



OptometristLime said:

I noticed a typo / stealth pun: "That all changed today as President of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime was given the reigns--"



Redeye1904 said:

I think this service works best right now with people that only have basic cable. If u have any on demand channels, or high def channels, u are SOL until they fix it.



Tony3DS said:

I'm really pleased that it DOES support over the air TV (broadcast was the second option), now if it could just adjust my antenna w/o me having to get up.



rjejr said:

If it helps - I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7" in part b/c it has an infra-red port to control your cable and tv like the Wii U is supposed to do (I think the app is called Peel) . I tried it twice and it failed miserably both times. I don't see how my $200 portable touchscreen computer can be worse than my cheapo $10 universal remote from the drugstore.

So while I do have high hopes for this, I expect a few updates before it works well for the majority of people. Nintendo has been adding the occasional update to the 3DS so hopefully they'll continue to improve functionality with the Wii U.



Wolfgabe said:

To all the complainers stop crying about no DVR. Nintendo said Tivo is coming next month. Did you really think something like Tvii would be perfect right out of the box. Stop whining, it will get better



CharbroiledEwok said:

@krunchykhaos: I don't think it's a matter of "spoiled". Nintendo hyped this up for so long (how "revolutionary" it would be, etc.), then it was delayed - not released with the system at launch, as promised. Now we have it, and it's a convoluted, half-functional mess. For myself, it's just plain disappointment...



kdognumba1 said:

That was an interesting interview, it really shines light on the different regions tv differences.

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