WiiU

Why Nintendo TVii Could Be Really Cool

by Neal Ronaghan - September 17, 2012, 12:07 pm PDT
Total comments: 20

At a minimum, you're getting your cable, Netflix, and Hulu all in one place. Awesome, right?

Nintendo TVii was unveiled last week for the Wii U and most responses seem to range from "Oh, neat" to "Well, that's dumb." After thinking about it and talking with some of the folks at Nintendo behind the service, I'm somewhat of a believer in the potential of Nintendo TVii, even if I have some mild pessimism about its wide reach.

I reached a really clear moment of Nintendo TVii adoration on the last episode of Connectivity, where I explained it to the other people on the segment (pay attention; you might hear the lightbulb go off in my head when I realize this could be amazing). At a minimum, I told Scott, Zach, and Patrick, it's a cool app that brings your cable TV and other video service providers under one roof. If it's just that, I think it's worthwhile. Currently, I use Netflix and Hulu on my game systems as my primary way to digest movies and TV shows.

But there's even more to it. If you've got friends that have Wii Us and use Nintendo TVii, then you have this awesome social experience where you can recommend each other content and possibly interact while watching said content, maybe even asynchronously. I might be in a unique position for that, though. I have a bunch of friends across the country (hey NWR staff!) that are all likely to get a Wii U and use it online. If you don't have that kind of collection of friends, the really awesome features of Nintendo TVii sort of evaporate. And then we're back to square one, where it's just a nice wrapper for your cable TV, Hulu, Netflix, etc.

Then there's the part Nintendo focused on, with having family interaction on the Wii U. You know, there is a chance this works, and Wii U becomes the true successor to the Wii and Mom, Dad, Sarah, Andy, and Grandma all share what they watch using Nintendo TVii. I don't think that's too likely, though, and at best, we're a ways out from seeing that all come to ultimate fruition, since launch units should be tough to get.

That potential for having gaming, watching, and social media all on one device that also plays Mario and Zelda excites me. If that happens, that could be really cool.

Although I'm not too optimistic that that could happen, as there are a lot of variables. Nintendo needs to make sure they get it right. The functionality needs to live up to what it promises. Users need to use it. But if it all clicks, then Nintendo TVii could be incredible. Regardless, I'm curious to see where this all goes and remember, at a minimum, we're getting a neat wrapper for TV, Netflix, and Hulu.

Talkback

KlonoahedgehogSeptember 17, 2012

Here's another reason: You can watch Ponies, on Nintendo.

Quote from: Klonoahedgehog

Here's another reason: You can watch Ponies, on Nintendo.

You just sold my brother on it.

geoSeptember 17, 2012

I mentioned it on the RFN thread, but I think it's more appropriate here:

I like TVii better than other services not just because it's free and an aggregate of all of the services, but because nintendo does not have its own agenda to SELL you its own digital content (like amazon/googleTV/apple/Zune/etc).  It is the unbiased middleman that isnt trying to sell you any media product other than the system itself.  The fact that it wont be pushy/redirect me to buy content/display ads for its own service make this stand out among the competition.

TurdFurgySeptember 17, 2012

I just wonder how they get the TV(cable/Satellite) connected in with the experience. And by my DVR do they mean "TiVo" or do they mean my generic DVR that comes with my cable plan?

TJ SpykeSeptember 17, 2012

Quote from: TurdFurgy

I just wonder how they get the TV(cable/Satellite) connected in with the experience. And by my DVR do they mean "TiVo" or do they mean my generic DVR that comes with my cable plan?

At the press conference they just said TiVo, I don't think they mentioned DVR's in general.

TurdFurgySeptember 17, 2012

Quote from: TJ

Quote from: TurdFurgy

I just wonder how they get the TV(cable/Satellite) connected in with the experience. And by my DVR do they mean "TiVo" or do they mean my generic DVR that comes with my cable plan?

At the press conference they just said TiVo, I don't think they mentioned DVR's in general.

I watched it twice and they said "Your DVR", but all they showed was the TiVo logo.

SonofMrPeanutSeptember 17, 2012

They're in talks with all cable providers.  They'll likely not have every one on board with deep integration, though it's in Nintendo's best interest to have the support of big players like Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon by launch.  At the very least, the listings will be immediately available for every provider and the participating top 100 shows will still support the social connectivity features.

TJ SpykeSeptember 17, 2012

SOP, they already said all of the major cable and satellite providers will be included. So Comcast and Time Warner are almost certain to be included. Verizon is less certain as it's only sixth in the country in terms of subscribers (behind Comcast, DirectTV, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable, and Cox). Still, that is 4.6 million people who would be left out.

LouieturkeySeptember 17, 2012

You leave out Amazon Instant Video?  Prime members pretty much get close to the same offerings as Netflix plus being able to purchase other videos as well.  It's got a lot of stuff, a lot more than you would think.  It's going to be as big as Netflix at some point I think.

TJ SpykeSeptember 17, 2012

Amazon Instant Video only has a fraction of the number of titles as Netflix, though it only costs $79 a year (the cheapest Netflix plan will be $96 a year).

Quote from: Louieturkey

You leave out Amazon Instant Video?  Prime members pretty much get close to the same offerings as Netflix plus being able to purchase other videos as well.  It's got a lot of stuff, a lot more than you would think.  It's going to be as big as Netflix at some point I think.

For me, it wasn't mentioned because I don't have it. It's included in "etc."

I have Netflix and... T_T

BlackNMild2k1September 18, 2012

I have Netflix & Amazon Instant Video, although I've never checked out Amazon's offerings for myself....

I'm sure I will do that as soon as I pick up my Wii U and search for things to watch on TVii.

purevalSeptember 18, 2012

If this works with Directv (they have a history of being jerks to products like this, see the Roku) and they are able to get HBO Go to work with it I will love it. Otherwise I will probably never use it.

CericSeptember 18, 2012

If this works with DLNA servers then I won't have to worry much about some compatibilities.

cucon13September 18, 2012

What if my family has a cable box in the living room and other rooms but not my room. Can i still use the Cable?

TJ SpykeSeptember 18, 2012

Sounds like you don't plug your cable cord into the Wii U, so shouldn't be a problem.

greybrickNathan Mustafa, Staff AlumnusSeptember 22, 2012

This is basically the same functionality offered by the Logitech Revue. While I was initially excited to use it, the fact that I don't have cable, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Prime meant that a video aggregate service wasn't all that beneficial. Still, it can't hurt.

Quote from: greybrick

This is basically the same functionality offered by the Logitech Revue. While I was initially excited to use it, the fact that I don't have cable, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Prime meant that a video aggregate service wasn't all that beneficial. Still, it can't hurt.

I feel like I'll be the same way with it. I have Hulu Plus and Netflix, so it has some value. The sports stuff could be cool, too.

This service may get me to actually look at Amazon Instant Video, which I've had access to for years and I don't think ever once used.

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