Tech companies love to announce major rounds of layoffs and service disruptions in the breezy hours at the end of a workweek, and Nintendo joined that proud tradition on Friday by nixing the weirdest service attached to its beleaguered Wii U console: Nintendo TVii.
In an announcement at both TVii’s official support site and its Miiverse page, Nintendo confirmed that TVii, a TV Guide-style interface meant to help users sort through live and streaming video listings, would no longer function after August 11. “Every service has a life cycle, and it is time to focus our resources on other projects,” the support site’s FAQ read; we suppose that means Nintendo thinks a full three years is pushing it in terms of “life cycle.”
That being said, the free service had been swirling down a figurative toilet for some time. In particular, TVii received a considerable, stealth downgrade in 2014 that removed its most interesting feature: the ability to search for a TV show across a number of sources, from a cable box to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. With that feature stripped, TVii existed mostly to offer basic cable-box TV listings and provide a strange, TVii-only forum for sports fans to vote and comment on live matches. The service never even launched outside of North America, in spite of repeated promises by Nintendo for a European TVii launch.
The service got off to a rocky start after missing the Wii U console’s November 2012 launch, in spite of the console adding a giant “TV” button to its gamepad. That button will continue to work after TVii is removed via a console update, Nintendo said, but it will only function as a basic IR blaster for TVs’ volume and channel controls.