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Nintendo Wii U's video, TV features delayed

November 16, 2012|By Ben Fritz
  • An attendee plays a video game using Nintendo's Wii U controller at E3 2012 in Los Angeles
An attendee plays a video game using Nintendo's Wii U controller at… (Jae C. Hong / Associated…)

Nintendo's plans to make its Wii U a new way to watch TV and movies are on hold, at least for a few weeks.

After previously saying the features would be available when the new video game console goes on sale Sunday, Nintendo said Friday that the Wii U's video-on-demand and interactive TV options will come online later.

The Japanese video game giant said the Wii U's ability to interface with popular Internet VOD services such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu Plus will launch in "the coming weeks."

A much-touted application, called TVii, that lets users browse, select and interact with television shows and sporting events will become available sometime in December, the company said.

The delays are a blow for Nintendo as it prepares for the high-stakes launch of the Wii U on Sunday. Sales of the company's previous living-room console, the Wii, faded quickly after a fast start. 

Nintendo needs to regain the interest of gamers who now spend most of their time on Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's Playstation 3. Both of those devices feature an array of video-on-demand features, along with better graphics than the Wii.

Still, the Wii U's success or failure rests largely on gamers' interest in its new controller, which features a touchscreen that measures 6.2 inches diagonally and can show different video than what appears on a television in order to add new perspective on a game.

The console has 29 titles available at launch, including exclusives such as "New Super Mario Bros. U" and "Sing Party" as well as altered versions of games already popular on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, including "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" and "Batman: Arkham City."

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