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Nintendo's TVii Finally Launches Tomorrow, but Lacks Some Features

Illustration for article titled Nintendos TVii Finally Launches Tomorrow, but Lacks Some Features

After a monthlong delay, Nintendo's TVii service for the Wii U arrives in North America tomorrow, but some features touted earlier this year still won't be on board when the service launches. Notably, it won't support Netflix or TiVo subscriptions, nor will it allow users to program or access content stored on DVRs.


Netflix and TiVo are projected to join TVii in early 2013, Nintendo said in an official news release. DVR support is something that requires a deal with cable and satellite TV providers, a Nintendo of America representative told the Los Angeles Times.


TVii is a second-screen experience using the Wii U's GamePad, connecting all TV and streaming services into one location. Additional content relevant to the program—movie reviews, IMDB and Wikipedia entries and sports scores are examples cited—is served over the handset. Social media also is tied in, so folks can gab about what they're watching on Twitter or Facebook—or within the Wii U's Miiverse—as they're watching it. TVii may be personalized for everyone in the household using it, serving up recommendations and saving favorites for each one.

At launch, the service will support cable and satellite providers in the United States and Canada, as well as direct integration with Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus subscriptions in the U.S. Users can still watch Netflix content over the Wii U's regular app, as they have since launch. TVii is free and requires no additional hardware.

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I'm excited for this, but the lack of DVR control and Netflix hurts. It's unfortunate Nintendo is delivering such a hobbled experience. I mean, I'm sure they're doing all they can to have it as competent as possible, but this doesn't seem like a lack of polish. This sounds more like a half baked app. Eh, I at least like using the gamepad as a remote.