How the next Xbox can win the cable TV war

The battle for the future of television is just beginning, but it looks to be a long one. One of the key players is Microsoft, which has spent the past several years morphing its Xbox 360 from a straight-up gaming console into one of the best video-streaming boxes you can buy.

Of course, the current Xbox 360 is getting long in the tooth, and the next-generation model is expected to be announced soon, and to be available as early as the end of 2013. And TV services look to be just as central to the core of that device as … Read more

Nintendo TVii comes to the Wii U, finally

Nintendo TVii, the feature that could transform the new Wii U into a full-fledged entertainment box in the living room, is coming to the console tomorrow.

At that time, TVii will be made available in the U.S. and Canada, Nintendo announced today. The feature allows Wii U owners to access all of the programming in their home-entertainment setup, including content from their cable or satellite companies, and decide from the Wii U's GamePad what they want to watch. In addition, the GamePad can double as a remote, allowing users to control volume and change channels, among other features.… Read more

What the Wii U needs next

After using the Wii U for about a week, I've had a decidedly mixed experience.

The positive future-forward idea of a tabletlike GamePad that works away from the TV, Nintendo's fun family-oriented ideas of same-room party play -- well, so far, those benefits have been outweighed by a lot of question marks.

You've probably heard about some of the issues in our still-unfolding Wii U review. The Wii U, as it currently stands, is a new game console that's in need of a confidence boost. It needs to compete against the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and even Apple's devices, and be good enough to succeed.

Here's what I think it needs most, and what's standing in the way of success.… Read more

Netflix is immediately available on Nintendo's Wii U

In the flurry of news on Nintendo's Wii U launch this weekend, one aspect stuck out: streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, and Amazon Instant Video, along with Nintendo's TVii service, were to be delayed for a few more weeks.

However, Netflix announced today this is incorrect. Contrary to the news reports, there will be no delay for Netflix on Wii U's launch -- the company announced that the service became available on the console this weekend.

"Netflix is available today on the Wii U home screen with the Wii U launch in the US … Read more

The 404 1,167: Where we tell him about the Twinkie (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Hostess liquidates assets, Twinkies no more.

- Anti-stress stations in Italy let people pop bubble wrap.

- Homeless dude arrested for public charging.

- Nintendo ships incomplete Wii U, missing TVii service and more.

- NY good Samaritan treated like thief by cops, he says, sues for $1 million.

Bathroom break video: That's a big TwinkieRead more

Wii U to ship incomplete, missing Nintendo TVii service and more

Just like the 3DS before it, Nintendo's Wii U console will ship with limited functionality, falling short of what the company promised would be available on launch day this Sunday, according to a Nintendo press release.

Most notable from the release is the absence of the Nintendo TVii service, the free program the company had said would be available from day one. TVii will be activated for the Wii U sometime in December. As you may recall, TVii is the live TV, TiVo DVR, and streaming service integration that aims to become the jumping-off point for your living-room entertainment. … Read more

With the Wii U Nintendo is now an 'entertainment company.' Again.

Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime stopped by CNET's New York office on Thursday to talk about the company's upcoming console launch, the Wii U. The system marks the first new home gaming hardware introduced to the U.S. market in six years.

The Wii U also represents a major shift in strategy for Nintendo, deviating from the strict games-only design of previous systems. The Wii U will not only be just for playing games, but also controlling your TV and discovering and streaming other content from the Internet.… Read more

The 404 1,130: Where Wii play with power (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Ho-hum. The iPhone 5 isn't going to wow anyone

- Don't kid your selves, Apple's dock connector change is awful

- Planning for winter: the worst accessory for your new iPhone

- "Tupac hologram" maker Digital Domain files for bankruptcy

- Emoticon creator says emojis are "ugly"

Bathroom break video: 770 pounds of eggs spill onto the road in China, gets lootedRead more

Nintendo sets Wii U price, unveils TVii

Wii play around for Thursday's Nintendo news roundup:

Nintendo announced that its new Wii U game console will be available in the U.S. on Nov. 18, coming in two flavors. The white "Basic" bundle is $300 and comes with a GamePad and Wii U with 8 GB of memory. But it makes more sense to pick up the $350 black "Deluxe" bundle, which includes a 32 GB Wii U system, charger, stand and Nintendo Land. Nintendo Land is a pack of 12 mini games which use the GamePad and allow 5 people to play … Read more

Nintendo TVii tries to succeed where Google TV has failed

As expected, Nintendo finally announced pricing and a release date for the upcoming Wii U, but the biggest surprise of the company's press conference was the announcement of TVii -- Nintendo's pitch to be the centerpiece of your home entertainment experience.

It's no shock that Nintendo is integrating streaming-video services like Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, and YouTube into the Wii U, but TVii is a far more ambitious platform, capable of cross-platform search through both streaming-video services and live TV listings, providing complementary second-screen information on the GamePad screen, and controlling your DVR and other home … Read more