Unlike its competitors in Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo has always focused on its consoles as game machines and pretty much nothing else. With the Wii U, the company took a step away from that with Nintendo TVii.
At the start, TVii sounded promising: a second screen experience not unlike Microsoft’s Smart Glass that allowed users to search TV listings and streaming services from the Wii U gamepad. In practice, it was always a little clunky, and in Europe, the service never got off the ground.
In our 2012 review of TVii, we called it an “impressive start,” but it never really got much better. It seems that Nintendo was well aware of this, as it has decided the pull the plug on TVii for good.
“At 12:00pm PT on August 11, 2015, the Nintendo TVii service will no longer be accessible,” reads the FAQ on Nintendo of America’s Wii U support site. “Soon after, a system update will remove the Nintendo TVii icon from the Wii U Menu and the Wii U GamePad controller’s HOME Button Menu.”
Don’t worry: This doesn’t mean that Nintendo is completely giving up on the Wii U as an entertainment machine. The current streaming services supported on the console — Netflix, Hulu, etc. — aren’t going anywhere, and Nintendo writes that if you’re using the Wii U’s remote control features, they will continue to function as well. The dedicated TVii button on the gamepad will now launch the remote control functionality.
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As for why the service is being shut down, Nintendo is being fairly coy. “Every service has a life cycle, and it is time to focus our resources on other projects,” the FAQ reads.
The company is similarly cryptic regarding whether it plans to replace TVii with another service, simply saying that it has “nothing to announce at this time.”