Netflix on Wii U available now; Youtube, Amazon, Hulu 'coming soon'

Nintendo Wii U
Placeholders next to the real thing

Nintendo's Wii U video game console launched on Sunday to an enthusiastic reception, with a packed midnight debut in New York and many stores reportedly selling out quickly.

But all was not fun and games on Wii U launch day, as Nintendo fans quickly discovered that some of the console's promised features weren't yet available.

The absence of several of the Wii U's video on demand apps, including Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and Youtube, first came to light Friday, when Nintendo promised each would arrive "in the coming weeks."

But contrary to Friday's report, there actually was one streaming video app available upon the Wii U's release: Netflix.

Beating the odds

It's unclear why the U's Hulu, Amazon and Youtube apps were missing from the console when the new Nintendo system was released, but early adopters were no doubt glad that Netflix managed to get its app out regardless.

Netflix's Director of Product Innovation Chris Jaffe on Sunday wrote in a blog post, "Nintendo products are popular with our members and today we are happy to announce that Netflix is available on Wii U!"

Jaffe highlighted the advantages of using Netflix on Wii U, including 1080p streaming and playback controls accessible from the Wii U's GamePad controller.

The GamePad also features a full touch keyboard for Netflix searches and the ability to play video directly on its small but beautiful screen.

Get with the program

So what about the Wii U's Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant and Youtube apps?

The Wii U's dashboard at launch featured placeholder icons for the three missing video on demand apps, and the Wii U's eShop digital storefront displayed "coming soon" over images for the absent apps.

TechRadar has reached out to representatives of all three companies to find out if they have any news to share regarding when the Wii U's video on demand apps will become available.

Meanwhile, the Wii U's much-touted TVii feature, which Nintendo promised would provide a personalized, aggregated video and cable hub upon the Wii U's launch, is currently unavailable as well.

No doubt Nintendo's "in the coming weeks" prediction applies there as well - one can hope, at least.

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.