Nintendo integrates cable TV and Web video programming with TVii interface

Nintendo said it will launch its TVii service on Thursday, which will allow cable and satellite TV subscribers who buy its Wii U gaming console to navigate programming from Comcast  (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) and other video providers.

While Nintendo will use infrared blasters connected to the Wii to control cable and satellite set-tops, it doesn't have agreements with pay TV providers that would allow users to access programs stored on DVRs or cable video-on-demand programming. Nintendo has a deal with TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO) that will see it integrate the TVii interface with TiVo DVRs early next year, and the company said it is talking to multichannel providers about similar agreements.

Consumers who buy the Wii U console will be able to use a touchscreen controller to navigate subscription video programming. It uses a recommendation engine to suggest TV and Web video titles to viewers based on their viewing habits, and owners will be able to create individual profiles to customize content recommendations for each member of a household. That's similar to the strategy Cox Communications is adopting with an updated version of its Trio interactive program guide, which uses a recommendation engine from Think Analytics.

Nintendo said it has integration deals with Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus and that it expects to complete its integration with Netflix early next year.

For more:
- see the release
- The Los Angeles Times has this story

Special report: Top 10 connected TV interfaces: Do Apple, Google, Microsoft make the cut?

Related articles:
Nintendo challenges cable IPGs with TVii user interface
Time Warner Cable to deploy video gateways, IP set-tops
Westlake: Microsoft negotiating more deals with multichannel providers for Xbox