Netflix has launched an app for its video-on-demand service on the new Nintendo Wii U. At the moment it is limited to users in the US and Canada, which is to be expected, as the console does not go on sale in Europe until the end of November.
The app appears on the Wii U home screen. Existing Netflix members can start using it straight away, while new users can sign up for a free trial via the console.
According to Netflix, the app has been “designed to take advantage of the console’s unique two-screen experience.” It uses your TV output for high-def playback (at up to 1080p). You can browse through menus on the TV as well as the GamePad screen.
While playing the content, the GamePad will control playback and also show more detailed information about what you’re watching with the small touchscreen display. Key features such as Play are also accessed using one of the GamePad’s physical control buttons.
This means you can use the GamePad as a glorified remote control, a bit like the iPad app for PVRs such as TiVo. It supports traditional Netflix features, including TV episode selection, rating, full keyboard search and adding titles to your queue. The child-friendly Netflix Just for Kids section is also available.
However, the GamePad can also show Netflix video itself, by selecting the “Play on GamePad” option – sound is relayed over its speakers or to headphones if you plug them in.
There’s no word yet from Netflix on when the app will appear for British users, though it didn’t take long for it announce a rollout of its Kindle Fire app once that device went on sale in the UK.