Apparently, it’s not enough for Nintendo to be the grandfather of modern video games. Now they have to step into the TV arena as well. Nintendo TVii, the free app for your Wii U that integrates with your existing TV providers, will be launching tomorrow in the United States.
Unfortunately, the app is missing a couple key features. Netflix and TiVo are not integrated, and the ability to sort through your DVR recordings also seems to be absent. It is unknown as to whether or not Nintendo will integrate these features at a later date, but it is likely.
The obvious advantages to using Nintendo TVii lie in its ability to use the Wii U gamepad as a sort of Micro Tablet. It lets you search through programs visually and control a variety of services including normal cable providers and Internet streaming services. The app also lets you view extra information about what you are watching, much like Microsoft’s Smart Glass application. Finally, it integrates social networking into your TV programming, allowing you to chat with other Wii U users that are watching the same program.
Nintendo calls it a revolutionary new way to watch TV, but will it catch on? The Wii U Game Pad is already a TV remote. The idea of the Wii U being the central hub for TV watching says a lot about how game consoles are evolving.