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Nintendo TVii is finally here: what do you think?

Although arriving later than promised, Nintendo Tvii is finally here…at least in North America. Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime has gone on record stating, “After Dec. 20, you’ll never look at your TV the same way again.”

Nintendo Tvii promises to be an all-in-one entertainment hub of sorts, brining together your video streaming services like Amazon Video and Hulu, along with your cable channels, into one streamlined interface on the Wii U gamepad. This initiative into the broader world of entertainment is quite different for Nintendo, which have historically been strictly about video games and the gaming experience offered on their consoles.

Many view this is a necessary move for the company. Nintendo already got away with a 2006 Wii launch that lacked DVD functionality, fast-forward to 2012 and failing to address the ever growing number of entertainment services – and the wants and needs of their subscribers – could have been a massive oversight. If Nintendo wants their system to be the prevalent device of choice in living rooms, then the TVii initiative is definitely a step in the right direction.

TVii also offers the ability to post to Facebook, Twitter, and MiiVerse in real time on the Gamepad while viewing content on the TV screen.

Netflix functionality and Tivo support are two missing pieces of the TVii puzzle, but other than that, Nintendo has mostly delivered as promised. The absence of Netflix doesn’t seem like too much of a big deal as a Wii U app for the service already exists.

What do you guys think of TVii so far? Let us know in the TVii Forums on WiiUForums.com. We’re really interested in hearing your feedback! Be sure to check back later for our full and imminent review of Nintendo TVii.

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  • [000]

    I don’t know; It’s still downloading.

  • X3Charlie

    I can’t wait! It’s funny I just realized this exactly what you need to create information addiction and lack of focus. We really are gonna need that new Brain Age game XD

  • DANCRAD

    I hope they add TIVO support soon.

  • Tyler Hindman

    I’d love to use nintendo tv, but the remote function doesn’t connect to my dish network VIP722 HD DVR….

    • Christian Pena

      You have to go to your tv remote setting and reset it after they added the TVi feature this will let you connect it to your dish.

      • Tyler Hindman

        I have tried that, but none of the three signals work for dish.

  • Captain Falcon

    Xfinity support please, Nintendo? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/sinuousgrace Kevin White

    I’m as enthusiastic as I was when I first heard about it on September 13. Which is to say, not at all.

    Can’t think of a reason I’d ever use it.

  • kyuubikid213

    I love it.

  • RoadyMike

    Dunno.Don’t have a Wii U yet
    But even if I did,or rather when I get it through mail soon(thnx a million dad)I don’t think I’ll ever use TVii at all.I already have a cable service and I’m perfectly fine using it the way I’ve been doing up till now

  • AlienFanatic

    It has potential.

  • Jack R

    it doesnt work for telus satellite either for the hdpvr 9241 which is the same box bell uses so it seems odd, they need to get more support for satellite boxes esp in canada and make sure their remote function list is up to date and acurate. A huge reason why i wanted a wii u was for its all in one control function and i cant even have it with my satellite service which is a fairly big service up here

  • http://www.facebook.com/art.sharrard Art Sharrard

    I am in a small town with no cable, and no local broadcast, so I guess I’m screwed. Can’t even use the service, what a waste!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/E7R6EJVLYURHGMOQUEQVNQHSBY Jimmy Clauson

      Where do you live? Africa?

      • http://www.facebook.com/art.sharrard Art Sharrard

        Nope. Drummond, Montana

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8803617 Daniel Schwarz

    So far, I’m impressed.  But until Nintendo integrates other must have services like DVR, Netflix, and HBO GO, Nintendo TVii won’t be the complete television solution.  Hopefully we don’t have to wait too long…

  • Junior Donalds

    So far, not so great.  I’m in Canada (Rogers) and they don’t list the stations properly. Some are correct, but tons more are missing / incorrect. I’m still *VERY* disappointed with the TV function as it would be so nice for them to support HD Receivers. I can’t change the volume or input settings of my receiver via my Wii U which makes the TV functions (and TVii) kinda useless at this point. Perhaps later they’ll add more universal remote like features and improve TVii… but for now, the potential is not felt at all.

  • http://rickvug.com Rick Vugteveen

    I like the idea but it doesn’t practically work for me. The Wii U gamepad does not interface with my receiver, negating some of the functionality. The Gamepad also does not track the context of whether I’m already watching TV or not like a Harmony remote would. Finally I’m using over the air cable and there is no way for me to tell TVii which stations I actually receive  The “watch now” functionality was giving a lot of false positives.

    I’d love to see Nintendo continue to evolve TVii into a more robust solution, both on the remote and streaming side. There’s a ton of potential here.

    • Ford Crews

       Amen, With direct tv, it’s almost worthless, it won’t let me take out the 900 channels I don’t get, won’t let me map what my local channel numbers actually are, etc.    The guide is horrid, contains a million ppv channels, sports channels, premium channels I have zero interest in.    No supporting audio video receivers/switch-boxes, is unforgivable.  I wish they had had the forethought to put in an hdmi input, so you could have put your directtv/cable box’s out put into it, and it could have either directed it to the tv, or the controller, and let you play games while watching tv on the controller, in a pnp window on the tv, etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-Baker/100004880075999 Matthew Baker

    i was not impressed most services u have to pay money so yeh

  • audie bowler

    wii dvd no nintendo console has ever supported generic disc play back cd dvd or bluray or anything else same goes wiiu total avoidence of licence fees from the licence holders of those techs they did it again with wiiu there own custom disc and media by 3rd partys and free net providers presto nintendo went multi media without costs to 3rd partys THERE CLEVER BASTARDS 

    • AlienFanatic

      I keep wondering, though, why Nintendo couldn’t just sell a DVD playback licence in their online store for $20. I mean, the idea for Nintendo is to keep the price down at the initial point of sale, but I can’t see why they wouldn’t just provide a DVD/Bluray playback codec pack to with a fee that covers the licensing.  The hardware is more than capable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003601566934 Chris Bollinger

    Tvii can’t automatically change to the channel that your show is on, or even broadcast it to the Wii U! Tvii is useless to me! All it is is some stupid guide.

    • http://www.facebook.com/travis.easton Travis Easton

       TVii automatically changed my TV to the channel that the show was on….  so I don’t know what you’re getting at.  Of course it doesn’t broadcast it to the Wii U, it was never supposed to do that.

      • AlienFanatic

        While that’s technically true, the way Nintendo has marketed it sure made me think they’d be routing all the video through the Wii-U.  My hope had been that they had worked out agreements with providers to put as much streaming content as possible in the tool.  Techically, I know that’s not possible for cable boxes, but with services like XFinity and with how TiVO can stream to other TiVO devices, I didn’t think the Wii-U was going to be just a giant touch-screen remote control and not much more.  (The guide is nice, but the lack of Netflix support right now is jarring.)

        • Wayne Beck

          I’d be more than willing to bet that streaming On-Demand programming is coming. It’s not something they can really avoid if they want this to be successful.

  • AlienFanatic

    Before I wrote “it has potential” below, I had written a rather scathing initial review.  Upon reflection, though, I’d just like to say that from the comments thus far, and from my own experience, it seems Nintendo is making really poor choices in how it rolls out this system. From the day one update, to the poor implementation of chat, to the poor implementation of TVii thus far, it just seems Nintendo is rushing features to market before they’re ready.  Reggie Fils Aime is a master showman, but as usual his word choices are more about hyperbole than reality.  The TVii works less like a ‘one-stop media center’ than a really fancy touchscreen Logitech remote. 

    In reality, to watch anything but Hulu+ or Amazon Instant, the Gamepad just becomes a big infrared remote.  For TiVO, which isn’t even supported yet, it’s kind of pointless because TiVO has had an app to do exactly the same thing for Android and other devices for over a year now.  Other cross-platform devices like the Roku and even the TIVO itself can search across multiple providers to find content.  In fact, if you have a TiVO Premiere,  you can pretty much do everything the TVii promises right now (other than internet connectivity)

    I’d like to hear more from people who have used the TVii with live TV.  I mean, does it deliver anything for sports on the Gamepad that seems valuable?  Also, do ANY of the TVii apps allow you to turn off the Gamepad so that while you’re actually watching the TV you don’t end up draining the Gamepad’s battery dry?

    • AlienFanatic

      Oh, and also I’ve not heard of any support for YouTube.  Will the TVii even integrate searches for YouTube content?  Nothing I’ve read so far has even mentioned it, and it’s clearly not in the current version.

  • Naren Dikkala

    Not working with my DishVIP 222k receiver. I tried all three signals and the 21 echostar (my box manufacturer).

  • Sidney Majurie

    Let me sum up most of the posts on this comment thread: “WAAAAAAAAAHH! This completely free service that I wasn’t expecting till it was announced this past September doesn’t completely work perfectly in every way for every one, WAAAAAAAHHH!” It works just fine for me :D

  • runman1271

    It works fairly well.  I purchased the Wii U expressly to try this service. The Tvii has a few more “miles” to walk before it is ready.

    The DVR function would have been really cool, my Wii U says it’s coming, so I will just have to wait.

    The search function is pretty cool.  Google TV has it already too.  Wii U will not search Netflix, but will search Amazon, Hulu and you r service provider for the shows you want to see.  I wish it did Netflix too.

    Google TV will search Everything but not Hulu and will also search local information (your computers that are hooked up) and attached USB storage for the information.

    If Wii U could stream and search local information than it would be close to perfect.

    When searching for programs, the Wii U gives me channel choices that are not part of my DishNetwork package.
     
    For free, it is a good program.  Since I paid a lot of money for a system that included this service, I wish it was better.

    The big draw back it the 4 hour battery life of the Wii U.  Who ever head of a mufti-function remote only lasting 4 hours.  If you want to limit the amount of time you watch TV each day, this maybe the one you are looking for.