Nintendo launching TVii on Wii U tomorrow

Nintendo has confirmed that Nintendo TVii, their long-awaited entry into console-based television services will be available with a new system update tomorrow, December 20th.

The services, which were delayed from their original release with the launch of Wii U, include s the ability to view TV Guide-like descriptions of content from your cable or satellite provider. The app runs almost exclusively on the GamePad, but will of course let you watch shows on your big screen television.

“After Dec. 20, you’ll never look at your TV the same way again,” said Reggie Fils-Aime. “Wii U owners have already experienced the transformative effect that the GamePad has on game play and social interaction. Nintendo TVii shows how the integrated second screen of the GamePad can also transform and enhance the TV viewing experience. Welcome to the new world of TVii.”

Perhaps bigger than the core functions of Nintendo TVii are the social components. People can engage with their friends and others on Miiverse about what is happening on TV in real time. They can also share to Facebook and Twitter, which is functionality we’d be shocked to see missing. This kind of app is exactly what we’re expecting to boost Twitter posts about live shows that attract hundreds and thousands of tweets at a time. Reality shows and sports events will probably be the most talked about, along with season premieres and finales of just about every other show.

Probably the best part about all this is that it is completely free with your Wii U, regardless of whether you picked up the Basic Set or the (obviously better) Deluxe Set. It is also provided in addition to the video on demand content we already have with Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, and Hulu Plus.

We’ll have a review of Nintendo TVii once we’ve had enough time to play around with it.