Nintendo pulls the plug on the Wii U’s TVii service

27 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Nintendo TVii is going the way of the dodo.

When Nintendo released its Wii U console in 2012, it included a little feature that promised to “transform how people find, watch and engage with TV shows, movies and sports.” It was called TVii, and it even got its own dedicated button on the Wii U Gamepad. The company has announced the shutdown on their Miiverse website which reads, “After nearly 3 years of finding, watching and engaging with Nintendo TVii, we will be ending the service on August 11, 2015 at 3:00pm PT.The news doesn’t come as too much of a surprise given that Nintendo had already pulled support for the service in Europe months back, but while the feature had promise, it failed to draw the attention of a consistent audience.

The product was an unusual one for Nintendo, which, unlike Sony, has never really tried to use its consoles gain a foothold in the home theater market. (The GameCube, Wii, and Wii U can’t even play DVDs.) But TVii sought to change that — the second-screen app let users search through the catalogs of streaming video services and peruse the TV guide right from the Gamepad. It even had customized recommendations and an odd social aspect that let you discuss and vote on shows and sports matches with other Nintendo users through Miiverse. In a FAQ, the company explains the decision to shutter TVii curtly: “Every service has a life cycle, and it is time to focus our resources on other projects.” We wouldn’t say that TV-viewing and second-screen apps are quite so passé, but it seems Nintendo decided it just wanted no part in your home theater stack. TVii will disappear for good on August 11th, but you’ll still be able to watch streaming video content from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and others even without the service.

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