News Article

Netflix Wii U App Update Goes Live

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Spot the differences

Gone are the days of slotting in a cartridge and simply playing a game, as consoles have become multimedia devices for surfing the web and watching slightly different TV. The Wii U's Netflix app does a pretty decent job with the service, happily handling the HD streaming and being nice and functional all around. But still, everything can be better.

The app has received a minor update — in Europe and North America — that downloaded and installed within a few minutes on our machine. Unfortunately it's not the fancy new layout that's graced some devices, but appears to have added two little buttons when browsing content; next to an item's description there is now a big '+' button to add that show, series or film to your own "My List", which switches to a minus should you want to take it away. In the case of a TV series entry you can also jump to a list of all available programs even if you've watched it before (Update: it's been pointed out these aren't new, so we may have simply not been paying attention pre-update, see below). The GamePad display when watching content appears to be unchanged.

It's minor stuff, admittedly, while it's also possible that these buttons were there all along and we only noticed them now; if that's the case then it's a mystery update, perhaps simply improving stability.

Has your Netflix app updated on Wii U and, if so, can you spot any notable changes?

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User Comments (73)

lunarkitty

#3

lunarkitty said:

Any way to turn the gamepad off immediately yet so that it's not using up its charge ? (Haven't used this feature in months)

nomeacuerdo

#4

nomeacuerdo said:

Until they implement the profiles feature (they're long overdue) I'll stick with Netflix on the PS3.

ECMIM

#5

ECMIM said:

Update Amazon Prime, please, if only to deal with the horrendous, inexplicable, lag.

Kodeen

#6

Kodeen said:

Confirmed for North America. I'll have to play around with it once it finishes, pretty sure the +/- button was already there ...

Edit: Yeah, that button was there. I don't see anything different with this version.

TreonsRealm

#7

TreonsRealm said:

It would be nice to see:
-A Wii Remote option for pointer controls so it could operate like the Wii version of Netflix (and eliminate the battery issue of the GamePad)
-An option to continuously play without user input (would be very useful when doing a marathon on a TV series)
These seem like obvious upgrades but they are still missing.

SMW

#8

SMW said:

So they didn't add profiles yet? Guess I won't bother to load it up and update it then. :P

AltDotNerd

#9

AltDotNerd said:

I'm still waiting for the option to use the Wii Remote to browse Netflix. Gamepads don't last nearly half as long as the remotes.

JaxonH

#11

JaxonH said:

I love Netflix on Wii U. I don't use it on any other console, even my PS4 (though I do plan to activate it on Vita one of these days when I get around to it) Wii U is my entertainment hub, primarily due to the Gamepad and off-TV capabilities, but also the fact I can power on the console, TV, cable box and change inputs, channels and volume from the Gamepad without even turning on the Wii U, not to mention it's pretty much all I play. I love browsing the Netflix catalog on the touch screen, and being able to swipe the videos down to the Gamepad, then back up to the TV at will. I browse, start my show then set the Gamepad on its' charging cradle next to my chair, where it stays when not in use.

vio

#12

vio said:

Really? Still no option to control the app with a Wii Remote? So lame...

SphericalCrusher

#13

SphericalCrusher said:

More than anything, I want the ability for WiiU Netflix to continue to play shows without having to press a button in between every episode. Every single platform I own that I use Netflix on has this... but why not my WiiU? Crazy.

JaxonH

#14

JaxonH said:

@lunarkitty

No way to turn off the Gamepad, but, I'd just put it on the docking station while you watch your shows. That's what I do. Same place the Gamepad would be anyways, right? Got my charging cradle near my chair, so I just reach over and grab it as needed, pick my show, start it, then set it back on the cradle.

SCAR392

#18

SCAR392 said:

I just checked, and the update isn't here.

The only thing I think they need to add, is surround sound options, and maybe 3D.

brandonbwii

#19

brandonbwii said:

I was on Netflix the other day. Then "My List" was still being called "Instant Queue" on the Wii U platform.

Wii received a minor update as well a couple days ago. It must be a behind the scenes thing.

RR529

#22

RR529 said:

The Wii U app doesn't have seperate profiles or the new layout yet? That's odd...

Mahe

#24

Mahe said:

The Netflix app would be so much better with Wiimote support.

Mahe

#25

Mahe said:

@KeatonTS That's ridiculous and cumbersome, and also doesn't turn the Gamepad off completely. And it returns to full power if you even tap it lightly, or just need to pause the video for a moment.

Mizore

#26

Mizore said:

I only use this when I'm not at home and don't have my computer with me, which is rare...so, yeah. lol

Samurai-Kinopio

#27

Samurai-Kinopio said:

@JaxonH No.
Not where it would be, anyway. The Wii U's version of the Netflix app is lacking - for instance, you can't pick a TV series and just hit play, and it rolls on, one episode to another --- each time an episode ends, you have to select the (A) button to start the next. First world problem, but the PS3 has this, same with most, if not all hardware I run Netflix. So, in short, it would be nice if we could turn of the effin' controller, while the episode is running, then quickly smack it on and hit A to advance --- or heaven forbid, Nintendo gets Netflix to let us stream ep. to ep..I would love to have the controller by me, and not on the cradle, but just off. It's not a big request - it's little things like this that make people look at the Wii U, laugh, and then buy a different console ---- and as a Nintendo fan, this freaks me out.

JonSpangler

#28

JonSpangler said:

I never had a problem with Netflix. Especially with the Super HD now. Biggest nitpick is sometimes it takes 10/15 seconds for the hd to kick in.

I only used the wiiu app and my phone app. If I want to watch multible episodes I am happy it automatically advances the episodes.

As a nintendo fan I am very happy.
now if they would just put in the wwe app.

freaksloan

#29

freaksloan said:

I do not have any platform were Netflix will play episodes continuously without any user input.
That is my biggest complaint with Netflix,

unrandomsam

#31

unrandomsam said:

@KeatonTS Does that get rid of all the latency associated with the gamepad ? (First I have ever heard that it can be switched off). I don't want to replace a 30ms Plasma TV but I also don't want noticable latency. (Sucks Sony cancelled their CRT equivalent HDTV technology the only thing that could redeem them as a company to me).

KeatonTS

#32

KeatonTS said:

@unrandomsam Well all it does is put it in sleep mode, It doesn't turn off all the way. The little blue light will brighten and darken on it but that's about it. But if you touch the screen or a button, it will turn back on. I would guanatee that it saves it some battery when it's not in use, The screen isnt on so it not distracting and it doesn't make any noise or vibrations. How ever, I think it still does the notification light blink when a friend is online or a new message/call. I usually just let my gamepad die, then play the system using my pro controller since you can use that with everything on the Wii except the system settings and the Eshop.

KeatonTS

#33

KeatonTS said:

@Mahe Ridiculous as it may be, it's the only way unless you just remove the battery to turn it off yourself. It's the only practical way to conserve battery besides turning down the brightness and sound.

Besides, You don't have to use the game pad to pause a netflix video. A wii remote or a pro controller works too so you could just leave the wii U on the stand without waking it. If you want the entire system OFF while you want to use the Wii U then you will have to trick the gamepad.
I've done it. If your wii U is in a some what frozen state or a loading state, hold the power button on your wii u and it will turn off. Or walk away from your Wii U until your game pad says it cannot connect. then turn the gamepad off and return

DerpSandwich

#34

DerpSandwich said:

There are SO SO MANY things the app could do better. Simple things that every user could point out to you. Features that are present on every other device out there. Options that you would think were common sense additions. Yet this adds none of them. Great. Thanks, Netflix.

Bligow

#35

Bligow said:

The update installed , I spot absolutely no difference. The "+" has always been there for me . As for binge watching the 360 I sold would automatically play the next episode, in 7 seconds, after I played the initial episode. My iPad does the same. I'm curious to know when they will add the profiles & the auto-play feature. To agree with a previous poster it scares me too. People look at me and smirk when I say I have a Wii U. Nintendo needs to have a tremendous 2014 (I think they will). More multiplayer games & they need to work on their online gaming. Ghost mode in Mario 3D was lame, it'd be cool to be able to play with my nephews who are 1,500 miles away.

Remisio

#36

Remisio said:

Just thought I'd say here: Phoenix Wright Trilogy is being re released on the 3DS with minor 3D effects. It will cost approx 40$ in Japan, and looks to be getting a physical release. (Over there) I want it lots... It's coming out April 17th in Japan apparently... I hope we get it soon... And through this manner there's an excuse to release: AAI1 and AAI2 along with AJ in another collection eventually, which could make it to the west! HOPE!

Diddy_kong

#38

Diddy_kong said:

I have a Wii U for one reason: so that I can play Nintendo games. I'm not interested in that particular box doing anything other than playing Nintendo's outstanding first-party software. I'll happily stick with my PS3 when it comes to Netflix.

Bligow

#39

Bligow said:

Confirmed. Nothing changed. "People who watch Netflix on a computer, phone or tablet, or stream it onto their TV using Apple TV, Nintendo Wii or Wii U, won't have the updated experience." Per Huffington post.

Will-75

#41

Will-75 said:

I prefer Netflix on my Wii U because of the gamepad I love the off tv option as well I like using the gamepad touch screen for me the Wii U is the best choice , my PS4 seems to do the same thing the PS3 did alot of time in the middle of a movie it will stop and have to load the stream again I thought it was my internet yet it dont happen or hasn't happened yet on Wii U, still the off tv of the Wii U is just awesome .

JaxonH

#43

JaxonH said:

@Samurai-Kinopio Just trying to be helpful. Didn't realize this was turning into another bashfest. Sorry for trying to offer a practical solution. Please, carry on telling everyone why a stupid Netflix app feature is the reason people laugh at Wii U and buy other consoles.

Btw, nobody's laughing at the PS3/PS4 for not having the ability to power on your TV, cable box, change inputs, volume and channels, or swipe the media down onto a second screen when leaving the room, things that would be considered very useful features for an entertainment hub, and things Wii U can do without even being turned on. So it's give and take, and that's what you're giving up to save pressing the A button for next episode. Hey, whatever more important- I'm not here to judge. I'm just saying, there ARE benefits, helpful ones, to using Wii U for Netflix.

Will-75

#44

Will-75 said:

@JaxonH I agree - the Wii U is a great entertainment hub we liked the Wii U so much at our house we own two , we got one for our livingroom and one in our bedroom it really is a shame the Wii U has not been used to its full potential yet it really is an amazing system I hear people on these sites saying derogatory things about Wii U but when friends and family stop by our house they want to play our Wii U I've not had anyone say they didn't like it I've only heard how much they would like to get a Wii U .

JaxonH

#45

JaxonH said:

@Will-75 Right. I've had THREE co workers buy one after seeing mine, and my best friend bought one. There's a couple million irrational fanboys who hate Nintendo on the internet, and people think all 200 million console owners in the world are like that. The vast majority of Wii, PS3 and 360 owners don't go to fan sites, don't know all this intricate stuff about video games, don't know what generations are, etc. We're just exposed to ignorance all the time, so it SEEMS like everyone is anti Nintendo. They're not. And most NORMAL people who casually pick up a Nintendo or PS console couldn't care less about pressing A in a Netflix app. They're more concerned with what we SHOULD be concerned with- it plays fun games.

I've been going to Pushsquare lately to talk Nintendo. Sony fans are actually bigger fans of Wii U and 3DS than people on this Nintendo site. Don't have to listen to attacks all day long. That's pretty ironic

Sir_Deadly

#46

Sir_Deadly said:

Yes, those two buttons were there before the update. So i wonder what the update did? They need an update to where the next episode automatically plays after the previous episode. All the other versions have it, why not the Wii U?

luke88

#47

luke88 said:

@JaxonH Totally agree with you, my only problem with using my Wiiu for netflix is that I often seem to have connectivity issues with it. It's basically next to various other devices- all of which connect fine- yet so often it struggles to load/connect/ play without frequent buffering; no idea why.

luminalace

#48

luminalace said:

I just put in on briefly and the update had insatlled but I didn't notice any differences!

Gameday

#49

Gameday said:

Is this even worth being called an update, nothing new here really... The fact that the continuous play never made it in the first place is be on me... It gets so old quick when your comfy then your episode ends and you have to reach around for a pad not even the wii remote... Shhh i use to use the wii mote on wii nexflix app underneath my blanket without even aiming it. I mean seriously if no one can spot the difference in the update when i seen what they did on my xbox360 months ago then.. really thats kind of lame my friends ~

TreesenHauser

#51

TreesenHauser said:

@JaxonH Well spoken! I use Netflix exclusively on my Wii U nowadays, mainly because my PS3's built-in wireless is so unreliable that Netflix viewing sessions are impossible. With that said, it's really not that bad of an experience on Wii U. I'm not so lazy that I'll complain about having to actually pick up a controller and hit a button to continue watching shows. Even though the layout isn't exactly new-looking, it's not an inconvenient eyesore like some folks make it out to be. The Netflix app works and does its job for me. I have nothing to complain about with it.

Plus, it's not like I can pull up the show on my PS3 controller and leave the room. ;)

Warruz

#53

Warruz said:

Was hoping for profiles

Now if Hulu could get an update to stop crashing on commercials and Amazon Prime could get an update to not be so slow we could be getting somewhere!

edcomics

#55

edcomics said:

Maybe it was outside factors, but I had trouble streaming immediately after the update.

TreesenHauser

#56

TreesenHauser said:

Finally checked out Netflix with the update installed. It might not have the amenities available on other devices, like profiles and an updated design, but I noticed two subtle differences:

-The on-screen text and formatting is a little cleaner.
-TV Shows and Movies take less time to transition into HD.
-On that note though, I did notice there was a one-or-two-second delay when unpausing a program. On the upside, that didn't cut off the HD stream.

Maybe it's just me, but those are the subtle yet considerable differences with the update. I'm sure user experiences vary.

P.S. Come to think of it, I did have a minor nagging issue with adding/removing titles to My List. It would give an error message even though it indeed added or removed titles.

LittleIrves

#57

LittleIrves said:

Am I the only one who HATES the automatic-play feature of Netflix on other platforms? It drives me crazy when one episode finishes and immediately there's a countdown of 10 seconds before the next one starts to play. I like to watch one episode and go do something else. I also like to watch the ending credits. I like to hear the full bit of music. But I guess I'm in the minority. Man, I don't get how all these people just binge watch shows for hours and hours and hours...

LittleIrves

#58

LittleIrves said:

Anyway... .sorry, that got a bit rant-y. Please, Netflix, update the Wii U app to use the Wii Remote!!! My number one most-wanted feature.

TreesenHauser

#59

TreesenHauser said:

@LittleIrves I agree with you actually.

And @Emblem, are you referring to the Wii U browser? If so, Netflix doesn't play on that. I just tried it myself and it went on about certain requirements.

skjia

#60

skjia said:

@LittleIrves We can binge watch shows because we don't have lives! :P
But I agree, Wiimote control needs to be added more than anything else.

Emblem

#61

Emblem said:

@TreesenHauser My Netflix has recently expired and i'm using XMBC & Kissanime for now but i'll take your word for it. I'm sure i was using the browser for netflix last year.. I must be getting old and confused with my pc and tablet :/ .

TreesenHauser

#62

TreesenHauser said:

@Emblem Yeah I was actually sorta disappointed haha. I was able to sign in, access my profile and choose from titles, but when I went to go play one I saw the requirements message.

gatorboi352

#63

gatorboi352 said:

A couple of things Netflix on my Wii U has brought to my attention:

-No surround sound. Netflix does not support 5.1 PCM audio (the only surround option the Wii U has) so everything either outputs in stereo or mono. Can't we at least get Pro Logic II audio?!?

-No way to fully power off the GamePad. I like watching movies. Lengthy movies. Not having them in surround sound is bad enough, but draining my GamePad battery at the same time is a deal breaker. Walking out of range of my system just to fully power off the GamePad is NOT a viable option. Neither is docking it repeatedly, as we all know the battery inside the GamePad has a limited number of times it can be charged.

I think I'll be sticking to my TV's built in Netflix app for the time being.

theadrock13

#65

theadrock13 said:

Weak update.
Still no "auto-play the next show in the series" (which is perfect for little kids while parents are trying to sleep on Sunday morning). Xbox version has had this feature for 2+ years.

JaxonH

#66

JaxonH said:

@TreesenHauser

Yeah, Netflix is great on ANY system. My brother prefers PS3, but that's because he's been using that console as his hub for years. I prefer Wii U over my PS4, because for one, it's more convenient to access Netflix from the console I spend the most time on, and for two, I like browsing on the gamepad and I like the description info on the gamepad during play. And being able to change inputs from the gamepad is invaluable. I mean that's really huge. That right there is THE reason I won't consider using any other console as my Netflix hub. Until I get an Xbox One of course- I believe that console can change inputs through Kinect if I'm not mistaken...

I can appreciate that some would prefer to not have to press A to play the next episode- so would I, but let's keep it in perspective. We're talking about the single press of one button. Is it REALLY that big of a deal? I think not. But, if people want that feature bad enough, they should take it up with Netflix. It is their app after all, not Nintendo's. Reminds me of people getting angry at Nintendo over random 3rd party games that don't get localized or ported, as if it was somehow their decision.

JaxonH

#67

JaxonH said:

@Dark-Link73

Yeah I noticed you could do that, but I'm not too worried about minimizing power consumption. I get a good 4 hours already, and I have 2 extended Gamepad batteries on backorder through the NA Nintendo Store (been backordered since Dec, but they'll come eventually). Not to mention, I just set the Gamepad back on the charging cradle when I'm not using it, so it stays charged. Only time I ever have to worry about it, is when I game for more than 4 hours straight, and then I just grab the charger out of the base, and plug it in.

AzureShadow

#68

AzureShadow said:

@TreonsRealm That is definitely what I've wanted for a while when I had Netflix and was doing a marathon of The Twilight Zone. I hated having to get up while laying down just to hit the 'A' button on the Gamepad.

mac_hine

#70

mac_hine said:

I did notice that if you hit the down arrow on the d-pad it changes playback from the tv to gamepad. I never noticed this before seems new to me from the update but not 100% sure.

Artie

#71

Artie said:

Since the update, shows will not resume if I stop them instead starting over. When I first load it, it hangs for a minute or so. Twice now it has put me on the wrong episode from where I was watching. When I try to pause or change episode during play (which i've been having to do because of the reasons above) it hangs for 20-30 seconds before acting. And if you try to tap it again while hung, when it responds it takes all of those taps a and executes all of them in quick succession, moving through multiple menus and usually landing on and playing something else entirely.

ajmetz

#73

ajmetz said:

I watch so much on Youtube via the Internet Browser, that I miss having the video on both GamePad and TV when I switch to Netflix.

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