Last night’s launch of the Wii U signified a new direction for Nintendo’s console business. The Wii was wildly successful, and it introduced video on demand services like Netflix and Hulu Plus to its users. With the release of the Wii U, Nintendo’s latest system is primed to build on that installed base, and take the way people watch video on their console one step further by trying to take over their TVs. However, things haven’t gone exactly as planned so far.
Originally announced as features that would be included in the day one firmware update, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and Nintendo’s own integrated television application Nintendo TVii have been pushed back into December to get them ready for primetime. Last night, at the Wii U’s launch event in New York City, Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime, explained that even though the features are still coming, their delay speaks to how the Wii U will be constantly evolving throughout its lifecycle.
During the interview I asked him about how the Wii U will be the go-to device for its owners, with Nintendo hoping its owners will picked up the GamePad at least once a day. Specifically, I inquired about the applications, how they will evolve and what we can expect to see in that space. He had this to say,
“Wii U is a living breathing system, and what I mean by that is the experience that consumers will have tonight as they first open the system will be different than the experience that they have two weeks from now, it will be then even more different two years from now. We believe that its our responsibility to continue bringing new experiences, to continue refreshing the experiences that we have, and in doing so, I think that’s what’s going to have consumers continue to pick up and engage with that gamepad every single day.”
He later went on to address the VOD services delay directly,
“One of the things that we were criticized for yesterday was for the lack of some of the video on demand content, but I can tell you that when consumers buy their system, Netflix will be live. I share that because it really reflects how this is a living and breathing system. In the days and weeks ahead, the other three video services will be up and running. We’ve said that Nintendo TVii is coming in December, and so it truly is a living, breathing system that will bring more and more elements to bear over the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.”
Anyone that has purchased a new system in the last 24 hours, or is planning on doing so in the next few weeks, should rest assured that these services are coming, and coming soon. Once they’re added, it seems like there’s much more to come from the Wii U, we’ll just have to wait and see what Nintendo has in store.
Check back tomorrow for more with our interview with Reggie.