Announced by both Nintendo and Hulu earlier today within a press release, the gaming company is rolling out support for the Hulu Plus video streaming service on the Nintendo Wii. Consumers can visit the Wii Shop Channel to locate and download the Hulu Plus application. While the application is free to download, the Hulu Plus service costs $7.99 a month for access to complete seasons of network shows currently in production. However, non-members will be able to take advantage of two free weeks of the Hulu Plus service as an initial trial offer during the first month after today’s launch.
As mentioned on the Hulu blog in a post titled “It’s on like Donkey Kong,” the interface on the Wii has been optimized so users can “easily point and click with the Wii Remote” as they browse through Hulu’s library of television and movie content. According to Tony Elison, Nintendo of America’s senior director and general manager of Network Business, he stated “The Wii console is the hub of the living room, and with the addition of Hulu Plus, millions of households now have even more options for streaming premium TV shows and movies.“
Since the Wii offers standard definition resolution only, all Hulu programming will be limited to lower resolution streams than seen on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3. Prior to this announcement, Hulu Plus was launched on the Xbox 360 during April 2011 and on the PlayStation 3 during November 2010. As an alternative to Hulu Plus, Netflix has been available on the Nintendo Wii for nearly two years and costs the same monthly fee for streaming access to a library of movies and television shows.
The press release also mentioned that the Nintendo 3DS will gain the Hulu Plus application later this year, but did not specify a particular month. The 3DS did add Netflix support during July 2011 as well as support for Nintendo Video. With the upcoming launch of the PlayStation Vita, Sony has yet to announce when Netflix will launch on the handheld and the app hasn’t appeared on the PlayStation Store as of yet. In addition, Sony nor Hulu have made any announcement in regards to a Hulu Plus application for the Vita.