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Wii TV guide launches

Japanese Wii owners get programme-planning tool, and the ability to use the Wii Remote with their televisions.


Since the Wii's launch, Nintendo has been pushing out nongaming features to gamers via the Wii's channels, letting users check the weather, cast votes on a wide range of mundane subjects, and even get onto the Internet to check e-mail.

Now, in Japan at least, Wii owners have one more thing to do with their Wiis when not keeping fit or guiding plumbers through space; the TV No Tomo service is now live. This new, free, downloadable Wii channel not only allows for the viewing of TV schedules for the week ahead, but also allows for bookmarking of upcoming shows using Miis to mark out personal preferences. If you have an enabled Internet connection for your Wii, then this bookmarking can be taken one step further: The new channels allow online sharing of viewing information between friends and for the automatic reminders to be sent via e-mail or text message.

When the TV guide channel is running, the Wii Remote will also function as a basic TV remote that can change channels and volume.

The software is available in Japan now for free download via the Wii shopping channel.

Unlike Sony's upcoming PlayTV service, there will be no option to record programming for later viewing or pause live broadcasts due to the Wii's limited hardware. Likewise, no tuning capabilities are to be included, given that the service is entirely software-based.

When the service was publicly discussed at the Dow Jones Consumer Technology Innovations Conference last year, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Amie said there were no plans to expand the service to North America, and Nintendo UK has confirmed today that it currently has no plans to roll out the service in that region.

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