For years, Nintendo has been considered as the lowly step-child with its lack of multimedia capabilities. But no more! With the new Wii U, Nintendo hopes that it will become the newest TV Hub in your home.

While Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 already offers movie and TV streaming from Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video, Nintendo’s Wii  only had Netflix. It was evolutions away from its counterpart consoles. But now, Nintendo’s Wii U has caught up. It’s not just a game console anymore… it can now become your extra TV screen.

What makes the Wii U unique is their new controller called the GamePad. The GamePad looks like a Nintendo DS but can be used 3 ways: as a controller for the game you’re playing on your TV, as its own gaming device (although you can’t take it around town with you as it still needs to be connected to the console) and as an additional screen! So if you’re right in the middle of a game and someone wants to watch TV, you no longer have to give up the small screen and can continue your game on the GamePad. The GamePad also allows you to use it as a second player screen eliminating the split screen option that annoys many gamers.

But what really is innovative on the Wii U is the Nintendo TVii.

“Nintendo TVii is something entirely new,” said company rep Marc Franklin. “It’s very new for Nintendo, but at the same time, it’s very Nintendo…The problem is that consumers today have so much to watch, so many channels, so many pieces of content, so many devices, it’s overwhelming for the average consumer to approach TV. TV used to be simple.”

The company is hoping the new Wii U has brought that simplicity home. Basically, with Nintendo TVii, the Wii U can sort through all the  possible sources of a specific TV show or movie (whether it’s on Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video or your cable provider) and then show all the possibilities in one easy menu. Not only will it play streaming material, but if the episode or movie you want is already on your DVR, the Nintendo TVii will allow you to access your Tivo DVR recordings and play back on your GamePad.

The Wii U will be released on November 18 with a basic version of the console selling for $299. A deluxe version which includes additional memory, a stand and charger for the GamePad and the ‘NintendoLand’ game will go for $349.

From the sound of this move, the game console is slowly becoming the entertainment hub for the home with all these added capabilities beyond game playing. But is it worth the price? Time will tell this Christmas season if the Wii U will become the must have console as its predecessor, the Wii, was years ago.


Source: Tech Radar