First off, the let’s get it out there: the name is terrible. Um, TeeVee-eee?
Bad name not withstanding, Nintendo is finally delivering its video hub app, TVii, tomorrow after it’s conspicuous absence on the initial shipments of Wii U. In addition to being a cross-nav app for over-the-top apps like Hulu and (eventually) Netflix, TVii also has social TV hooks. This is not surprising since the app was developed by a company called i.TV, which does both branded and white label social TV/second screen apps. In addition to having Facebook and Twitter integration, TVii also integrates Nintendo’s own social gaming network, Miiverse.
It will be interesting to see how much Nintendo users engage around TV content.While Nintendo will not release data anytime soon on engagement, my feeling is that engagement will be higher with a built-in social TV app on a touchscreen controller like with the Wii U vs. a user downloaded app on a tablet. Why? Because I think gamers are naturally predisposed to be more interactive around TV content when using a console, particularly since their first option for navigation is the Wii U gamepad (as opposed to normal social TV apps on tablets, which are secondary and generally not the command remote).
Since there hasn’t been any breakout winners in social TV, it might be that the Nintendo has a chance to create the biggest – and one of the most active – social TV network communities.