Nintendo to launch Wii U gaming console without TVii OTT option

Michelle Clancy | 18-11-2012

Despite its plans to make its new Wii U gaming console into a living room hub beyond gameplay, Nintendo has delayed the rollout of its TVii service that would bring streaming video options to the mix even as it gears up for the North American launch.

Taking a page from Microsoft's Xbox 360 approach, TVii will be a suite of online streaming options that include Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video, along with broadcast TV hook-up and DVR through TiVo compatibility.

It also offers an interactive TV guide to find programming across every available content provider, and connectivity to a range of Web apps, including social media, IMDb and Wikipedia, directly from the TVii app. In addition it has a timeline feature that shows what's been going on in a show so far, and any social commentary appears live through the timeline.

Meanwhile, the sports module offers stat syncing so that fans can watch the game, and see all the latest scores from the last week, Twitter reactions, questions about the current game and illustrations of the latest plays.

However, not all of those services will be available when the Wii U hits store shelves. Nintendo TVii will instead launch sometime in December, with the integrated video-on-demand apps being rolled out "in the coming weeks".

The new Wii U may also be missing a host of additional features at launch, like an online game store, Miiverse social networking, video chat, a Web browser and the ability to transfer content from an old Wii to the new platform, which is waiting for a downloadable software update expected any time.