Nintendo, which has sold nearly 100 million Wii devices since 2006, made its first move beyond games with the announcement that its new Wii U device will come with an entertainment service called TVii.
The Wii U will go on sale Nov. 18 in the U.S. for $300, with a deluxe version for $350, just in time for holiday gift-giving.
Nintendo has a lot riding on it, since second quarter sales of its predecessor were half of the 1.56 million sold in the same quarter of 2011. The original Wii was the first product to bring motion-controlled gaming to the public and quickly became the best-selling console.
The Wii U will be more expensive than the competing two consoles that led the way to doubling as a media hub: Sony’s PlayStation 3 starts at $250, and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 starts at $200, with motion-control peripherals costing extra.
Nintendo shared a preview of TVii at E3 earlier this year. As detailed at Thursday’s launch event, TVii will not require an additional fee and will support YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant and cable television.
Unlike most of its competition, TVii allows multiple people to have different playlists and other personalizations on the same device. See the video below for more details.
Nintendo Wii U – http://www.nintendo.com/wiiu
Engadget – Nintendo unveils ‘Nintendo TVii’ for Wii U
Wall Street Journal – Nintendo’s New Wii Has TV Ambitions
VentureBeat – Nintendo targets the living room with Nintendo TVii