Hulu Plus coming to Wii and 3DS

Gamers will soon be able to watch thousands of TV episodes on their Nintendo gadgets, including many the day after they are live on the air.

An app for Hulu Plus, the premium version of the free streaming site, will be available for the Wii and 3DS by the end of the year, Nintendo has announced.

Along with adding an enormous collection of archive TV shows and movies, one of the main draws of paying for Hulu Plus is that it enables users to stream the content on Internet-connected TVs, game consoles, set-top boxes, and mobile devices, instead of restricting it only to computers. The service costs $7.99 per month.

This newest app will sit alongside Netflix in Nintendo’s expanding list of non-gaming content.

Nintendo has always insisted on creating products that are for gaming only. That was one of the main reasons it did not include DVD movie playback support on the Wii and why it refused to focus on strong Internet connectivity with the console.

But as the PS3 and Xbox 360 have grown increasingly into complete entertainment products that can do gaming, social networking, movies and TV shows, and Internet browsing, Nintendo has been forced to play catch-up.

In addition to forging partnerships with Netflix and Hulu, Nintendo is working to update its systems with exclusive content deals, including a new initiative with Dreamworks to bring 3D video to the 3DS.

No specific launch date for the Hulu Plus app was announced.