Nintendo's systems have always struggled to offer the same breadth of entertainment and streaming apps as rival consoles, though for a spell the Wii U reasonably well in that area. As the system heads towards its inevitable discontinuation, however, licenses and services could start to go offline.

That'll be the case with the BBC iPlayer app, a UK catch-up service for content from the Beeb. No doubt with pragmatism at the core of the decision, it's been confirmed that the app's service will end in early 2017; it had already disappeared off the eShop as a download a month ago.

We would like to inform you that due to an end in the license agreement between the BBC and Nintendo, as of 31st August 2016 the BBC iPlayer application on Wii U is no longer available to download from the Nintendo eShop.

The BBC iPlayer service will continue, for those users who have it installed on their Wii U console, until 16th January 2017, after which the service will be fully discontinued.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for enjoying the BBC iPlayer application on Wii U.

More and more TVs are 'smart' nowadays, it should be noted, and therefore include services and apps like these as standard. Nevertheless, some Wii U owners may be disappointed and miss out from early next year.

Hat tip to Ryan Millar for the heads up.

[via iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk]