What on Earth is Nintendo TVii, and why is it written that way? Well, the second question is easy to answer by simply saying it's Nintendo being Nintendo. Now, what is it all about? This "third pillar" of the Wii U system was discussed at length during today's Wii U preview event so here's what you need to know.
Nintendo TVii is a new initiative that will run on the GamePad. It is meant to be a new way to interface with you television media and watching habits. When booted up, the application lists a few basic buttons: TV, movies, sports, and search. For TV, you will be able to see all the upcoming listings for shows (for the sources available to you). From this, you will be able to click buttons that allow you to "tune in" to the station where the show is on, or queue it up to be recorded or played from a DVR device (only Tivo was mentioned). Apparently "moments" and descriptions of live shows will also be vieweable. This means that brief summations of what's happening and screenshots for an episode will be stored. It's not known what shows will get this feature, as certainly not everything could. This is all basically remote control functionality, not streaming TV.
For movies, it was announced that you'll be able to interface it with your existing Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Instant Video accounts. When looking up movies you will be able to quickly check out reviews and information from IMDB, as well as watch trailers on the GamePad itself. Again, it will only show items from sources that you actually are subscribed to. Once you're ready to watch something then all you need to do is select it and start watching on your TV.
With the sports button you gain access to a whole lot of information. The main screen shows off the current scores for games. Your favorite teams will show up as the first scores too, so you don't even have to search. Once a game is on you'll be able to use the GamePad to pull up all kinds of statistics on the current game and players. Sports also have the same feature of TV shows where moments will be recorded if you want to catch up on a play you missed.
To help make the best of Nintendo TVii, players signed in with their personal Miis will have all information tailored to them. Shows and movies will be recommended based off their set preferences. If you don't want to be profiled, you can choose a setting to not log in when using TVii. If you're into social networking, you can also set up your Twitter and Facebook accounts to update statuses while checking out shows and movies. Finally, all of the features of this application are free to use.
Does Nintendo TVii seem appealing or is it a glorified remote control?