Nintendo Wii owners will be able to watch the BBC’s catch up-TV service – the iPlayer– on their TV by streaming programmes through their games console.
The deal with Nintendo means that all BBC programmes transmitted over the last seven days will be available to the 2.5 million homes with a Wii.
The BBC says that early versions of the service are available now and that more polished software will be released as the service is developed.
A message will be sent to all Wii consoles in the UK currently connected to the internet to notify users of the availability of the iPlayer service. It is only available in the UK to licence-fee payers.
Existing Wii owners will then be able to access BBC iPlayer via the internet channel on the Wii main menu.
New users may be required to download the Wii internet channel.
Once installed, users click through to the iPlayer site and search for the programme they want to watch.
Erik Huggers, the BBC’s Group Controller for Future Media and Technology, said: ‘The BBC’s catch-up TV service can now be accessed on an increasing number of different platforms – from the web and portable devices to gaming consoles.’
Which? Technology Editor Matthew Bath said: ‘The ability to watch iPlayer programmes on a TV using the games console will be a major boon for Wii-owning consumers.
Check to see if your broadband provider has any download limits
‘However, we’d advise consumers to check to see if their broadband provider has any limits on the amount of data they can download, and to note any download limits that could be exceeded by watching lots of iPlayer programmes.’
New BBC research also reveals that the iPlayer has enjoyed significant growth since its Christmas Day marketing launch.
The total number of requests for downloads and streams of BBC programmes in March was 17.2 million, rising from 14 million in February, and 11.2 million in January.