Nintendo received plenty of criticism over the November 18 launch of the Wii U due to the console’s lack of promised apps that would take advantage of the console’s second screen, the tablet-esque GamePad controller.
But on Tuesday, Hulu jumped on board with the Wii U and rolled out Hulu Plus on the console for
its subscribers. Not only can you stream content from Hulu through the console app, you can also get more information about the
show you’re watching—such as episode guides—on the Wii U’s GamePad. Or, you can watch shows directly on the GamePad as you carry it around your home.
Hulu is offering a free one-week trial for Wii U owners who want to try the premium version of service, normally costs $7.99 a month.
Netflix was the first streaming company to immediately offer a Wii U app. Nintendo’s own TVii, a free service that combines streaming media, live TV, and a
social network for gamers called Miiverse, won’t be ready until December. The console also still lacks apps for Amazon Instant Video and YouTube; those are
expected to arrive in an upcoming software update.
Nintendo wants to make the Wii U an all-around entertainment hub, complete with a Web browser and chat client, and tighter integration with
Miiverse. Regular updates to the console will deliver additional features well into the future, much like how Microsoft and Sony continue to release
updates for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, years after their respective releases.
Nintendo North America President Reggie Fils-Aime told Bloomberg that “the value of Wii
U goes well beyond day one. Nintendo will be enhancing the Wii U experience with continuous updates and new services for Wii U owners.”
Early adopters of Nintendo’s new console, which starts at $300 for a basic 8GB version, didn’t let the missing apps detract them from snapping up the Wii U
in droves—the console is mostly sold out
across the U.S.
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Caitlin covers Apple news, health and fitness tech, and social networks from IDG's New York bureau.