Today, Nintendo launches Nintendo TVii on the Wii U in North America. To celebrate this event, Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime, hosted an interview segment of ‘Reggie Asks’ (his version of ‘Iwata Asks’) to discuss the features of Nintendo TVii.
Among those interviewed were, Zach Fountain, the director of Network Business at Nintendo of America, his project manager, Masaki Okahata, and Brad Pelo, the CEO and founder of iTV, whose partnership with Nintendo led to the creation of Nintendo TVii.
The discussion mostly revolved around how Nintendo TVii, which, according to Okahata, is a “one-stop shop for everyone watching TV.” They focused on how Nintendo TVii brings all of your TV watching apps and devices together, as well as providing social media integration.
Nintendo believes that most people keep their Wii U in their living room so that everyone can use it. To optimize Nintendo TVii for all users, Pelo explained how each person can use the device to interact with other TV devices:
“So the easy way to think about it is that each person who approaches the console will have established their own profile about what they love to watch,” Pelo said. “Then you’re presented with all the sources, whether it’s that show playing on television—live linear television—or that show’s available from one of the video service providers you subscribe to on the console, or maybe you’ve recorded that show and it’s sitting on your local DVR.
So I would select the show, it would be presented then with the sources for where I can watch that show. If it’s on linear television, simply tap the GamePad. The infrared that’s built into the GamePad will actually fire off and change the channel for you and immediately you would see the show on television.”
With social media becoming increasingly prevalent in our society, Nintendo TVii aims to provide users with more social options that make it easier for people to interact while watching television. Throughout the interview, the group often explained that sometimes people’s messages on social media seem like “shouts in the dark.” Someone may say something like “Awesome shot!” or “I can’t believe that just happened” and you don’t always know what they are referring to.
To address this problem, Nintendo TVii’s TV Tags will link users’ comments to specific television programs, or even moments during a program, so others know exactly what they are talking about. These comments can be shared across the Miiverse, Twitter, and Facebook.
To accomplish this, Nintendo TVii will tag specific moments like a touchdown in a football game or a plot twist in a drama, and when users make posts while watching these programs, their posts can be linked to the specific moments. According to Nintendo, this TV Tag function will be integrated with the top 100 shows in the US market at launch.
Reggie mentioned that ratings are not the only deciding factor in picking these programs, it also relies on what Nintendo thinks is “hot.” Fountain went on to how this service works while watching a sports game:
“One area of TV Tag that was built during our collaboration was the sports experience,” Fountain said. “It’s a special part of Nintendo TVii where the right half of the screen on the GamePad discusses moments as they unfold—it could be about a great touchdown catch, or a controversial call.
And as we previously discussed, viewers can then engage with those moments socially and in the search for more information. Then, the left half of the GamePad deepens the experience —a shot chart in basketball, a drive chart in football, all the stats, scores from around the league—all on the GamePad and synchronized with the game you’re watching.”
Are you excited to experience Nintendo TVii? What features are you most looking forward to using?