Nintendo TVii Preview: How Wii U Will Rule the Living Room
Posted on Friday, September 14 @ 09:07:37 Eastern by Anthony Severino
Nintendo Wii U: Owning the Living Room One Gamepad at a Time
Out of the Nintendo Wii, the Xbox 360, and the PS3, all battling for their place in consumer’s living rooms everywhere, the Nintendo Wii, while transcending traditional gaming and ushering in a new casual market, was the last place you’d look for “entertainment” beyond games. Sure it had Netflix, but its entertainment offering was limited.
Nintendo looks to change all that with the Wii U, offering a specialized TV app for free with every Wii U system sold, called Nintendo TVii. And by doing so, it’ll beat Microsoft, Sony, and even Apple to the living room as the first console to rule it all.
The Wiimote, while innovative and industry-changing, gets put away after the gaming session is over. Naturally after time, particularly if games aren’t currently holding the consumer’s interest, it’s easy to forget about a console sitting there collecting dust.
Not with the Wii U.
Wii U Gamepad: The Window to Entertainment
It all really boils down to the Wii U Gamepad controller. The touchscreen interface and visual entranceway to entertainment is the key to the living room. It means that the controller is always out; always in the hands of consumers; always acting as the central hub to all entertainment—which also provides a constant reminder that “Hey, we can play games on this too!” It doesn’t let you forget about the games. It doesn’t allow for the console to collect dust.
While this may not mean much for the hardest of hardcore gamers, more casual consumers, socialites, or parents of young gamers will find this feature incredibly useful and engaging.
Nintendo, in partnership with i.TV, are building Nintendo TVii into the Wii U, and it’ll be there from day one. It acts as a window to all your entertainment options—everything from cable or satellite TV, to Amazon Video, Netflix, Hulu, and more. It also encourages constant engagement with the programs you’re watching, and even the ones you aren’t.
It lets you set up a personal profile and select favorites, while it eventually learns what you like and suggests similar movies and television shows. Not quite sure about Nintendo TVii’s recommendations? It’ll provide links to IMDb, Wikipedia, and even show Rotten Tomatoes’ review scores, trailers, and more. If the show you want isn’t live at the moment, it’ll tell you where else you can find it.
It’s even more appealing to the sports fan. Select your favorite teams, and you can see real-time player info and stats on the game you’re watching. Glued to the big home team game at the moment, but really want to find out how your fantasy football league’s quarterback is performing? Nintendo TVii brings in an entire league’s scores in real-time, right on the Wii U Gamepad, all easily scrollable and switchable to the action at any given moment.
Nintendo TVii: Living in the Moment
Nintendo TVii also lets you live in each moment yourself. The service captures select “moments” and lets you react to them socially. Leave comments on the service itself, see Twitter reactions, or even tweet your own thoughts right as you watch. And since this happens on the Wii U Gamepad, and not the TV screen, your enjoyment of your entertainment is never interrupted.
All of the information, guides, scores, etc. is all pulled in over an internet connection thanks to the collaboration with i.TV, a company best known for their iOS app, the most downloaded TV guide app on the Appstore. Download it now and take it for a spin, and you’ll get a small glimpse of what Nintendo TVii will offer come November.
But it’s only a small portion of what Nintendo TVii offers, because Nintendo TVii is actually connected to your entire living room entertainment hub. The Gamepad features a built-in IR blaster that can change channels on your set-top box, control the volume of your TV, even switch source inputs based on where and what the content you want to consume is located on. It’s really that simple.
These days, video game consoles need to extend far beyond the games they’re initially designed to play themselves. Whether it’s watching cable programming through the Xbox 360 or streaming Hulu Plus on your PS3, nothing comes even remotely close to what the Wii U will offer on November 18th, when the console releases in North America. And while the games are ultimately what will sell the Wii U in the first place, Nintendo TVii will add tremendous value out of the box and keep consumers active on the console itself, preserving its usefulness and longevity.
Nintendo Innovation: Again Setting Trends
It's also worth noting that Nintendo TVii is the Wii U Gamepad's motion control. When the Nintendo Wii released, it brought about the first in motion-controlled video gaming. Now you find motion controllers with every console. The sort of window the Wii U Gamepad provides for console's entertainment options beyond gaming is going to be something that the other console manufacturers need to immitate or risk being left behind in the next generation. The dawn of consoles ruling the living room is on the horizon, and it begins with the Wii U.
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