Netflix on Sunday announced its service is now available on the Wii U home screen with the Wii U launch in the US and Canada. Netflix members can use the app immediately by just signing in. If you are not a Netflix member, you can sign-up for a free trial right on the Wii U.
The company says it has made sure it takes advantage of the two-screen experience on the Wii U console: the app supports up to 1080p on your TV as well as the screen on the Wii U’s GamePad controller. This means that when you’re using Netflix on the Wii U, information detailing movies and TV are shown on both your TV and GamePad controllers. When you’re actually playing content, the video is of course shown on your TV, while controls (play/pause/stop, episode selection, play scrubber) and title information are available on the GamePad.
For example, if you want to skip through or rewind what you’re watching, you can do so using the touch screen on the GamePad. As you do so, however, everything you change on the GamePad is reflected on your TV for everyone else in the room, as you’d expect:
Yet the GamePad doesn’t have to be used as just an assistant. You can play video on the GamePad exclusively if you’d like, turning it more into a small video tablet, if you will. To do this, just tap the “Play on GamePad” button and playback switches to the GamePad with sound through the speakers on the GamePad (or the headphone jack).
The GamePad supports all the controls you’d expect: play, episode selection, rating capability, and add to queue. Certain functions are accessible by both touching the screen or using the buttons on the GamePad. The bottom of the screen provides access to the search feature and Netflix Just for Kids, which provides a “safe” search experience coordinated with the main navigation on your TV as well.
Netflix search on Wii U has a full keyboard on the GamePad and all search interactions and results are presented on the TV in real-time. As on other consoles and devices, results include TV shows, movies, actors, and directors.