Nintendo TVii to Launch Today

Nintendo TVii Logo

Nintendo pulled the curtain back on one of their newest initiatives, Nintendo TVii, back in September, and since then, I’ve tried to learn more about what this means for Canada. The Wii U launched just over a month ago with no sign of the program in sight, with only the reassurance that it would come before the holidays.

And today, on December 20th, we will all finally get to experience it for ourselves.

From Nintendo’s press release:

The rapid increase in both the quality and availability of video entertainment content – hundreds of satellite and cable channels, a seemingly endless amount of video-on-demand options – has made finding something to watch a complex and occasionally frustrating process. The solution to this problem is coming from perhaps an unexpected place: a video game console.

Nintendo TVii maximizes Wii U owners’ current cable, satellite and video-on-demand services by pulling all of their available content sources into one place. This empowers Wii U owners to focus on what they want to watch and not how they want to watch. And once users find the show, sporting event or movie they want, they press an icon and Nintendo TVii does the rest.

The press release also boasts that no additional equipment is required to set up Nintendo TVii, and with the Wii U GamePad, viewers will be able to talk about and share what they are watching through such social applications as Facebook, Twitter, and of course, Nintendo’s own Miiverse. Additionally, the GamePad’s second screen can be used to look up information about what you’re viewing online, such as reviews from Rotten Tomatoes or stats and scores for sports.

In Canada (as well as the U.S.), the service will launch with support from cable and satellite service providers. Netflix is expected to be added in early 2013, but until that time, users can continue to view movies and television shows via the regular Netflix app on the Wii U’s main menu.

“All elements of the Nintendo TVii service are included in the purchase price of the Wii U system,” Nintendo states. “Users will define which services they currently subscribe to – including the channel lineup in their cable package and video-on-demand service subscriptions – as part of the setup process.” The service also adheres to the console’s parental controls while providing further customization options within the program itself.

“After December 20th, you’ll never look at your TV the same way again,” said Nintendo of Canada Vice President and General Manager Ron Bertram. “Wii U owners have already experienced the transformative effect that the GamePad has on game play and social interaction. Nintendo TVii shows how the integrated second screen of the GamePad can also transform and enhance the TV viewing experience. Welcome to the new world of TVii.”

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David Oxford

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