Hulu Plus comes to the Wii U, with GamePad integration

Steven Loeb · November 21, 2012 · Short URL:

New users get a free week trial

After months of anticipation, the Wii U finally arrived this past weekend. With all that is riding on the console, it seems that, so far things, are going well for the console, and for Nintendo, with Wii U selling out a day after it was released. But there have been some complaints as well, specifically about the lack of streaming options, with only Netflix available at launch.

An announcement from Hulu that Hulu Plus service is now on the Wii U will hopefully put some of those complaints to bed for the time being.

Wii U users will be able stream Hulu Plus on both their television and their Wii U GamePad. As they browse through their selection, more information will come up on the GamePad. While Hulu Plus is being streamed, the GamePad will display timeline and options, including captions and changing the quality.

Even more impressive: the show can be switched to the GamePad screen, meaning that users can take it with them on the go (or to the bathroom).

Hulu made this video to explain how it works:

“Nintendo’s Wii U offers developers like us an exciting opportunity to build an innovative second screen experience for you through the versatile Wii U GamePad controller,” Dave Herman, Living Room Product Lead, wrote. 

“The Hulu Plus integration with the Wii U GamePad is one of my favorite features — it allows you to quickly discover more information about your favorite shows while simultaneously watching them on your big screen at home. The console’s second screen controller also enables you to take the TV viewing experience with you to another room in the house with just the click of a button.”

In the lead up to the console’s debut, Nintendo had said that it would be unveiling Nintendo Tvii, an app that will integrate with the Wii U, and will essentially become the users entertainment platform. Nintendo Tvii will allow users to bring all of their video content, including streaming, live TV and recorded shows, together into a single interface.

When the console was unveiled, though, not only was Nintendo Tvii missing, so were streaming options for YouTube, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu Plus, which Nintendo said would become available over the next few weeks.

Hulu Plus costs $8 a month, but is offering a one week free trial for Wii U users who are new to the service.

What is riding on the Wii U?

Not only is the Wii U the first major game console to be released in years, but, depending on its success, it may alter what gaming looks like from now on.

Gaming is shifting to phones and tablets, where they don’t cost $50 a pop and no one needs to pay hundreds of dollars for an extra piece of technology.  If the Wii U fails, it might signal that the market for gaming consoles is gone for good.

The Wii was first introduced in 2006, and was immediately seen as a giant leap forward for video games; one that would finally motivate kids to get off the couch.

The system was a big success, selling over 600,000 consoles in its first eight days. It became the worldwide leader in sales less than a year after being released. At the time, Nintendo stock was worth $56.85. It would hit a hit of $78.50 in October 2007.

Wii sales have recently stalled, though, with handhelds outpacing sales in 2011. In January, the company projected its first annual loss in 30 years. 

The video game industry overall is not doing any better.

In September, NPD Group reported that sales of new video game hardware, software and accessories in the United States fell for the ninth straight month in August. Overall sales fell 20 percent from the year before to $515.6 million.

In addition, the hardware sector dropped 39 percent year over year to just $150.6 million, indicating a big loss in the number of consoles.

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