Nintendo cancels European Wii U TVii launch

February 16, 2015 // 11:02 a.m.

Tags: #console #games-console #home-entertainment #nintendo #nintendo-anime-channel #streaming-video #tvii #wii #wii-u #wii-u-gamepad

Nintendo has officially cancelled its planned TVii launch for Europe, claiming that the 'extremely complex nature' of its localisation is too much to bear.

Designed to turn the company's Wii U console into the centre of a user's home entertainment experience, in much the same way as its rivals Microsoft and Sony's respective consoles, TVii launched in Japan and North America in 2012. Installed on a Wii U, the TVii Channel offered the ability to search for programming on popular video streaming services and their chosen TV provider for instant display on the TV or Wii U Gamepad. The latter device, a tablet-like controller and secondary display bundled with every Wii U, also offered various interactive features including display of relevant content from sites including the Internet Movie Database, review site Rotten Tomatoes, and Wikipedia.

Nintendo had originally planned to bring TVii to Europe in 2013, which it followed with an apology in January 2014 with the promise that more details would be provided soon. Now, over a year later, those details have arrived - and it's not good news. 'Due to the extremely complex nature of localising multiple television services across a diverse range of countries with varied licensing systems, regrettably we have taken the decision not to launch the Nintendo TVii service within the European region,' the company has announced. 'Although on this occasion we did not anticipate such challenges, we will always strive to develop a range of entertaining experiences for all our users to enjoy.'

By way of apology the company has announced the launch of a video-on-demand service dubbed the Nintendo Anime Channel. A free download, the Anime Channel offers on-demand streaming of content from franchises including Pokémon, Kirby, and Inazuma Eleven, with the promise that 'new content will be added regularly.' For those who have not bought completely into the Nintendo ecosystem, however, the launch will come as cold comfort: the channel is available exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS, and owners of the Wii U for which TVii was originally promised will need Nintendo's hand-held to make use of the service.
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