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Hands-On with Nintendo TVii: Is It The Revolution That Was Promised?

Nintendo of America’s president Reggie Fils-Aime promised Wii U users everywhere that Nintendo TVii would change the way we watched TV for ever. Why? Because TVii can make the gamepad interact with programs viewed on Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, and your cable provider. The ability to interact with other people through the Miiverse, Facebook, or Twitter about everything that happening live on your favorite TV shows and movies is an interesting concept and if you are watching sports, which I do yet TVii does not consider professional wrestling a sport, then you can use the gamepad to follow stats, game times, and other fun stuff.

For those who have yet to experience Nintendo TVii, you will find that Nintendo made the experience user friendly. You just launch the TVii app from the gamepad and then pick your country, enter your zip code, and select your cable provider before being invited to favorite your shows, movies, and sport teams. That day I realized then that my viewing tastes were not popular but that’s another story.

It has been now some time since Nintendo TVii launched on December 20, 2012 so let’s get an update on the TVii revolution. To be honest with you, TVii is not the reason why I was captivated by the Wii U and after trying it for a while I just went back to watching regular TV. Interacting with your TV shows or rather commenting live on them as it happens on Facebook, Twitter, or the Miiverse is an awesome concept and TVii does it well I find. I commented mainly in the miiverse and interact with other Miis but it wasn’t as revolutionary as I had hoped it would be. What I mean by that is typing messages and sharing it with other miis who aren't on your friend list made the experience a bit less intimate for me but that's because I have the social skills of a baboon.

When watching a TV show, the gamepad keeps you updated on what is going as well as taking select pictures for you to leave witty comments on. It also works the same way for movies. Sports are adapted by TVii in a more interesting manner because you get your team’s stats, their games, and even quizzes while watching the games live. TVii is mainly used for live programming. If you pick a show, move, or sporting game yet to come then the gamepad gives you the information on when it will be aired but there is no reminder so you will have to use your memory to remember. That might not be a big deal to the rest of you but I have only so many brain cells remaining which are not dedicated to gaming, parenting, or working so my incompetent mind can use a reminder or two…oh well, perhaps in the next update which hopefully will also bring Tivo and Netflix (although the gamepad does have an app) to the table.

Overall, TVii is an interesting app and proves that the Wii U is more than a gaming console, but it is just not my cup of tea. On a side note, I do enjoy using the gamepad as an oversized TV remote which will never get lost.


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