WiiU NintendoTVii Seeks to Revolutionize TV Viewing
At Nintendo's release date announcement event in New York, NY for the WiiU, the November 18, 2012 date and $299 and $349 price points were not all they brought. A wide variety of games came along for the ride, and Newsarama was there to try out several of them. Over the coming days you'll get to read all about those games, with our hands-on impressions and new information on many of those launch window titles.
When you pull up the TVii main menu, your WiiU gamepad instantly becomes the ultimate universal remote control. However, instead of unifying multiple hardware components, this is unifying all of your content delivery systems. The Search tab tells the story of the device pretty well. By searching for an individual tv show or movie, the example used in both demos was Modern Family, your WiiU will search all the services and devices you have registered. The search showed possibilities for watching on Hulu+, Amazon, Netflix, Live TV (if it happens to be airing at the time), and perhaps the coup de gras, your DVR. While TiVo brand DVRs were specifically shown for the demo, a spokesperson for Nintendo said that they are working on contracts with "Comcast, Fios, Time Warner, all the major providers," and that the software will eventually work with virtually all DVRs.
Movies promise to work much the same way, and even allow you to browse for a movie on the gamepad, including reading Rotten Tomatoes scores and reviews and watching trailers, all without changing what's appearing on your TV, so you can queue up your next adventure.
The Wii managed to make its way into living rooms faster than either the Xbox 360 or the PS3, but without true HD and limited storage options, it never got into the multimedia market the way those two consoles did. With NintendoTVii, that looks to change, and families that add the WiiU to their preferred entertainment hub will likely be pleasantly surprised by all it has to offer outside of games.