Nintendo’s Wii U isn’t only on a mission to change how we play, the new console also wants to change how we watch. Wii U owners have been waiting patiently for Nintendo TVii to hit their hit their download queue, and Nintendo has confirmed that the service will be available in North America on December 20th. For those of you without a calender, that’s tomorrow.
“After Dec. 20, you’ll never look at your TV the same way again,” said Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime. “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.”
Nintendo says the free service will maximize Wii U owners’ current cable, satellite and video-on-demand services by pulling all of their available content sources (Comcast cable or Hulu Plus, for instance) into one place. There are also social features that let you comment and share about what you’re are watching on Miiverse, Facebook and Twitter. For instance, when someone dies in “The Walking Dead” you could comment about how surprised you are, which could be pretty fun if enough people are watching at the same time.
At launch, Nintendo TVii will support cable and satellite providers in both the United States and Canada, as well as direct integration with Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus subscriptions in the United States. Unfortunately, Netflix and TiVo won’t be integrated until “early 2013,” but the Netflix app will still work independently.
Something else to point out is the fact that you won’t need any other equipment to get Nintendo TVii up and running. Nintendo says all you’ll have to do is define which services you subscribe to during setup – including your specific channel lineup – and you should be good to go. We’ll know for sure come Thursday, so stay tuned.