Nintendo Wii U owners can now play Hulu Plus

Wii U video on demand
Play what you will

Hulu announced Tuesday that the Hulu Plus app was officially available on Nintendo's new Wii U gaming system.

When the Wii U launched in the U.S. on Sunday, several of its promised features, including three of its four video on demand apps, were missing.

Netflix was available on the system right out of the box, but the Wii U's Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and YouTube apps were represented by placeholder icons with messages that said the apps were "coming soon."

Thankfully, Hulu Plus is now available to Wii U users, and the app brings with it some unique functionality to take advantage of Nintendo's new hardware.

Hulu Plus on two screens

The Wii U Hulu Plus app uses the game console's second screen - located on the unique GamePad controller - to augment streaming video with information about what's being watched.

In addition, playback controls can be found on the GamePad's touch screen, and playback can be switched between the TV and the controller, making the Wii U Hulu Plus experience somewhat portable (as long as you don't take it out of the console's range).

"Nintendo's Wii U offers developers like us an exciting opportunity to build an innovative second screen experience for you through the versatile Wii U GamePad controller," wrote Hulu's Living Room Product Lead Dave Herman in a blog post Tuesday.

The Wii U Hulu Plus app will also feature the new Hulu Kids selection, with current season Nickelodeon programming helping to comprise over 43 kid-friendly shows.

More Wii U apps coming (someday)

Hulu is offering free one-week free Hulu Plus trials to Wii U owners who want to check out the service, but once Amazon Instant and Youtube are up, the competition will be stiff.

TechRadar reached out on Monday to representatives for Youtube, Amazon and Hulu, and only Hulu's rep got in touch by Wednesday (though by that time the message was redundant).

There's been no word from either Youtube or Amazon about when the companies' Wii U apps will become functional.

Meanwhile, Nintendo's own "TVii" function on the Wii U, which promises a personalized, aggregated feed of all the video users could ever want, is expected to arrive "in the coming weeks," according to the game company.

Nintendo's new console is certainly off to a rocky start, but it's only been a few days - there is plenty of hope for the future still.

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.