One of the big focuses of the Nintendo press event today was to show off the streaming video feature of the Wii U, dubbed TVii.
Microsoft and Sony have been in the TV game for a few years now, while Nintendo’s offerings have previously been pretty sparse.
With TVii, they’re making up for lost time and jumping in in a big way that will at least bring Nintendo up to speed and in some ways improve on the competition.
Of course, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video and Netflix were assumed to be a part of TVii and were in fact there in full force. A surprise, though, is that TVii can also interface with your Tivo to record and watch shows. This is a great idea, but with so many different DVR devices on the market, Tivos are less and less common, making this feature useless for the majority of potential consumers.
Aside from TV and Movies options on TVii, there’s a whole section devoted specifically to sports. Our own Joey Davidson tweeted during the conference, “Man, sports on NintendoTVii look awesome.” While watching your sport of choice on television, you’ll be able to see stats, events, and current play information on the GamePad. If this takes off and is well supported, this is a great way for sports fans to get more out of the game.
Nintendo’s angle, as always, is to focus on the human element of the experience. Each user will have, connected to their Mii, a TVii profile that will show their recordings, their favorite shows, and their bookmarks. You can also access the Miiverse via your Wii U GamePad and comment and tweet about the content. The different profiles are interesting and potentially quite useful for a house full of different TV users, while the social media options are likely to fall by the wayside pretty quickly.
The TVii service is free with the Wii U system, though it’s unclear what services will be available when the system launches on November 18 this year.