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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

November 16, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Nintendo Wii U video features delayed

Key features of Nintendo’s new Wii U console are delayed and won’t be ready when the system goes on sale Sunday.

Nintendo said today that it’s not ready to ship software enabling its new console to play video from companies such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.com. Icons for the services are on early versions of the console’s GamePad but aren’t activated yet.

Those services will be made available “in the coming weeks.” The system will notify users as each service is activated, Nintendo said in a release.

The Wii also has a video application called TVii that adds a program guide, remote control and social networking linked to TV content. That’s delayed until December, when it will be added through a software update.

Wii U black.jpg

The Wii U GamePad controller has a 6.2-inch color display that’s used to control games and a TV set attached to the Wii U. It is also supposed to stream video from services such as Netflix, but that’s not going to work until the software is complete.

Game consoles — like PCs, tablets and smartphones — are continually updated with software patches delivered via the Internet or with applications.

But it’s unusual to launch a new hardware platform before one of its cornerstone features is complete.

Still, Nintendo may have challenges meeting demand for the Wii U this holiday season.

GameStop, a major game retailer, said earlier this week that it has 500,000 people on a waiting list for the Wii U and more than 1.2 million Wii U games reserved.

Comments | Topics: Netflix, Nintendo, Wii U

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