Alongside the North American launch of Nintendo TVii on the Wii U today, Nintendo posted a "Reggie Asks" interview between Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime and the North American TVii development team detailing the service.
Wii U players can use the GamePad to view statistics and additional information about the shows they are watching, as well as change the channel and choose the applications, such as Netflix or Hulu, they wish to watch from. Users can create personalized profiles for each Mii and setup what they prefer to watch, allowing them to quickly see schedules for the content they prefer to watch.
TVii profiles can be customized to keep track of favorite television shows, movies, sports teams, channels and social networks. The app will tell viewers what on their favorites' list is on when they sign on, what will be on soon and what they previously watched.
The app includes parental controls that be set to a maximum show and movie rating and restrict access to social networks.
According to the interview, Nintendo TVii content and services will be "drastically different" in each region. TVii was built accordingly for the landscape of each region's television industry. This is because the viewer market is different between Japan and the US. In Japan there are less television channels and most are viewed over the air. The US has more cable and satellite providers and many more channels in addition to Internet-based video streaming services.
Players can use a feature called TVii Tag to flag certain moments in the content viewers are watching, such as a play in a sporting event or plot twist in a fictional show. Using the GamePad, viewers can tag the moment and engage directly with others watching and discussing the same moment.
TVii Tag features a unique setup for sports, in which the right half of the GamePad screen is a chat log of viewers posting about the on-screen content, while left half displays figures, charts, score and other statistics.
At launch, TVii Tag will cover the top 100 highest-rated shows in the US, as well as professional football, basketball, and NCAA basketball and football. TV Tag moderators will flag moments in content that they feel may be useful. Viewers can comment on these tags and share them on Facebook, Twitter and Miiverse, and use their Mii to emote. This "buzz" created around certain topics and programs will be reflected in WaraWara Plaza, where Miis will congregate and display their comments for everyone else viewing the program to see.
There is also a Nintendo TVii community in the Miiverse app, where users can view posts from others watching TVii. Users can browse topic tags for each show to pick out certain moments.
Reggie described Nintendo TVii as a "living, breathing service" that will continue to add more features in the coming months. The development team is aiming to unify the different ways viewers watch things, and plans to add compatibility with cable and satellite services, time-shifted viewing and DVR compatibility and integrate services including Hulu Plus and Netflix.
Nintendo plans to add TiVo compatibility in January and Netflix in early 2013.
At launch today, Nintendo TVii is functional with cable and satellite services, and Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video are ready to use.