Netflix on Wii U: How it works

30 Nov 2012

Netflix subscribers taking home a Nintendo Wii U will be able to access the video streaming service via the new console, with unique features that capitalise on the Wii U’s dual-screen capabilities.

Netflix comes pre-loaded on the Wii U, which is available in Ireland from today. From the home screen, Netflix members can sign in for access and view content in 1080p HDTV where available.

The buttons and touchscreen on the GamePad are used to control interaction and, as users browse and scroll through the content available, this will be displayed on both the connected TV screen and the GamePad simultaneously. Some key controls, such as ‘Play’ can be accessed either by touch or by pressing the right button.

A primary navigation bar at the bottom of the GamePad screen gives users access to the search function, which brings up a full keyboard on the GamePad’s touchscreen while results are displayed on the TV screen, and the Just for Kids section. This section changes the Netflix interface to a child-centric experience with character-based navigation.

Netflix for Wii U

What’s unique about Netflix on the Wii U is that users can easily switch from a group viewing experience to solo viewing and vice versa. A ‘Play on GamePad’ button instantly switches playback to the GamePad screen for personal use, playing audio through either the GamePad speakers or via the headphone jack. When viewing on the TV screen, the GamePad screen displays further information on what you are watching.

Netflix for Wii U

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.