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Nintendo's TVii for Wii U to launch in December with video on demand, TV remote capabilities

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Nintendo's TVii app for the Wii U will launch in December, the company revealed today. Originally announced in September, the software combines a TV programming guide, remote control functionality, and social interaction into an end product that Nintendo promises "will transform how people find, watch and engage with TV shows, movies and sports." Whether that hyperbole holds true remains to be seen, but the app is an ambitious project for a company whose gaming machines have traditionally gotten the cold shoulder from home theater enthusiasts. That could finally change with the HD-enabled Wii U — Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video will all be available on the console "in the coming weeks" according to today's announcement.

Nintendo's finally catering to the home theater crowd

In addition to tapping into live TV listings, TVii will factor in content available on those video on demand services in its quest to help users find shows and movies to watch. Nintendo has also said the app will be compatible with TiVo DVRs. A teaser video for the service released a few months ago showcased TVii's ability to set DVR recordings directly from the Wii U Gamepad. The clip also revealed other niceties including individual user profiles and live sports statistics that can be displayed during televised games.

Naturally Nintendo is also placing a heavy emphasis on engagement with TVii. Users will be able to comment on what they're watching via Twitter, Facebook, and with their Miiverse friends. They'll also have a chance to learn more about whatever's on the screen through built-in Wikipedia functionality. All in all we're excited to see how well these features come together when TVii for Wii U launches next month.