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Wii U Will Launch Without a Few Things We Thought the Wii U Would Launch With

TVii? Nope. Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix video streaming? Nuh-uh. Games? There are still games? PHEW!

You mean I'll have to keep using a remote control like some mere commoner? THIS IS NOT THE FUTURE I WAS PROMISED, NINTENDO.
You mean I'll have to keep using a remote control like some mere commoner? THIS IS NOT THE FUTURE I WAS PROMISED, NINTENDO.

It is never a good omen for a console to launch without things that had, up to the few days prior to said launch, intended to be included at launch. People certainly made plenty of fuss when Nintendo delayed the 3DS eShop until post-launch, and I imagine those people will be making equal fuss about the fact that the Wii U, scheduled to release this Sunday, will now ship without several of its multimedia features.

Specifically, the TVii feature, the one big trump card Nintendo's been touting for this new box over the last couple of months, has quietly been pushed to a December launch. Why? No idea. Nintendo buried the information in a general purpose press release touting the console's myriad gaming benefits, and hasn't followed up in the time since the release went out.

Similarly, the system's Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, and Netflix video streaming support will not be available at launch either. Those services will debut in a more nebulous "in the coming weeks" time frame.

While the video services are hardly a deal breaker for most (after all, how many of us already have at least one of those video services hooked up to another console), the TVii features have been a unique selling point for the Wii U since they were unveiled. The service, which allows you to control your cable/satellite television services using the Wii U's GamePad, certainly had people talking for a bit there. And while a couple of weeks isn't a huge delay, it's still kind of crazy that such vaunted features are being quietly pushed back on such short notice like this. It's just weird, really.

Alex Navarro on Google+