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Nintendo Wii U Doesn't Have DVD, Blu-ray Playback
Nintendo Wii U Doesn't Have DVD, Blu-ray Playback
June 15, 2011 | By Mike Rose




Nintendo has confirmed that its upcoming Wii U console will not support DVD or Blu-ray playback, as both features "didn't warrant the cost."

As part of a Q&A session at E3 last week, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata explained that the costs involved due to patents mean that the upcoming console will not be able to play Blu-ray or DVD discs, much like the Nintendo Wii.

"Wii U does not have DVD or Blu-ray playback capabilities," Iwata said. "The reason for that is that we feel that enough people already have devices that are capable of playing DVDs and Blu-ray, such that it didn't warrant the cost involved to build that functionality into the Wii U console because of the patents related to those technologies."

The company unveiled the new console at E3 last week, with the new controller which features HD graphics and a built-in 6.2" touchscreen, and is meant to offer "a new structure for home entertainment".

Later in the week, the company was forced to admit that it put too much emphasis on the controller for the newly revealed Wii U console, noting that it "should have made more effort" to explain the console better.


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Comments


Peter Saumur
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Fair enough. Most people, by now, already have a DVD or Blu-Ray player. Will people be able to playback HD digital content through it, however? This is an important question to ask.

Sean Kiley
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Good move, just keep netfilx and downloadable media.

Jonathan Escobedo
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I have no need for it anyway. I usually use my computer to watch my DVDs anyway.

Todd Boyd
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No DVD = fail

No Blueray = meh, who cares

E Zachary Knight
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"No DVD = fail"



Not really considering that Nintendo would have to pay licensing fees for the patents. That would mean one of two things: 1) Higher prices for the consumer. 2) Lower profits for Nintendo.



I don't see them wanting to do either of those.



The Same would go for Bluray, with the added cost of the needed hardware.

John Martins
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Why does DVD take priority over Blu-ray? It's doing well enough that it may become standard within a few years. It's not like we're talking HD-DVD here, this is something that people actually buy.

Cody Scott
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well i can now buy a dvd and bluray combo pack for the same price of a new dvd (a few years ago prices for dvds that is) so now i just have to buy a blu-ray player which can play dvds anyways so id have to say that its is really close to being standard.

Andrew Hernandez
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I don't see how not having a DVD player on the console would automatically put off someone from purchasing it. Judging from what you put up it would seem that's the case. Besides, i'm pretty sure downloadable services will help the console outlive any expectations concerning the DVD format.



And then there's Blu-Ray which could very well be the next format for all movies to be based on. Time will tell of course. For all we know, we may never have disc formats anymore, but that's just outward thinking.

David Brown
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Hrm if they really want this to be the universal "Living Room Box"... these two technologies are a must. I think they are trying to keep the price down, because that controller looks like it will be extremely pricey. Hard to comment though, I haven't really attached to Nintendo since the N64 (I think I'm out of their demographic now :P). It will definitely be interesting to see how they do though.

Josiah Jackson
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Yay, I can't wait to start swapping discs again.

E Zachary Knight
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And that has what to do with no dvd or bluray playback?

Josiah Jackson
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"As part of a Q&A session at E3 last week, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata explained that the costs involved due to patents mean that the upcoming console will not be able to play Blu-ray or DVD discs, much like the Nintendo Wii."



Storage. I can only assume, because that's all Nintendo will allow us to do, that the quoted statement means that DVD and Blu-ray are unsupported formats, which means are options are.........



We're talking about mainstream titles that are likely to be on multi-platform titles, like BF3, on a console that doesn't support the two most supported physical media formats.

Even DVD is an archaic format that's drastically showing its age. Take FFXIII XB360 vs. PS3. DVD vs. Blu-Ray.

Before we go further into speculating that we'll be using downloads as the predominant method of acquiring games, let me remind you of the poor internet penetration stateside. Broadband isn't as readily available in homes across the United States as people would like to think, our infrastructure is decades behind the rest of the world.

So unless it will be using blu-ray or dvd, but not allowing movie playback, which takes a leap to assume based on the above article, then all we can do is speculate further on their physical media format. Which if it is anything less than blu-ray, expect disc swapping on future titles.

Josiah Jackson
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Believe me when I say that I would rather be wrong.

E Zachary Knight
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Nintendo has already said they are using a proprietary disk format with 25gb of storage. So very few games, if any, will require disk swapping.

Josiah Jackson
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Then I retract my previous statement. I would have preferred all of this in a nice neat little presentation with tech specs, price points, and release dates; rather than hunting for tid-bits of information amidst the chaos of speculation and hacker attacks proliferating headlines now-a-days.

E Zachary Knight
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It was made clear the day of Nintendo's E3 press event.

Josiah Jackson
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Maybe the day of, somewhere, but not at the press event, which is what press events are meant for, clearing the air and clarifying information. Not only did they not do this, they allowed an open forum for developers to contradict themselves about what the console couldn’t do, which was again revealed after the fact. They not only didn’t clarify anything, they filled the world with more confusion. Even they admit to that:



‘Later in the week, the company was forced to admit that it put too much emphasis on the controller for the newly revealed Wii U console, noting that it "should have made more effort" to explain the console better. ‘



So why are we beating a dead horse?

Kim Pallister
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One thing I haven't heard people discussing is that when companies start developing clients for the streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, etc), the WiiU remote could make a very cool remote control.

Kale Menges
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I don't know that disc-based media can honestly be called must-have tech anymore. Seems like everything is becoming virtualized, and streaming is apparently becoming the media format of choice anyhow. It would seem like a wasteful redundancy for Nintendo to up the cost of their hardware just to include arbitrary tech. As long as they do continue to support Netflix, etc., I don't think disc-based playback will ever be a concern to the majority of their potential customers.

Alexander Radkov
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That was my biggest disappointment with the original Wii. Luckily enough I have a PS3 now :)

Amy Austin
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Playback doesn't bother me so much. I think the bigger question is the capacity of the disc that the Wii U will use. Will it only be 4.7GB? Or will it be 25GB? HD doesn't really mean anything without the storage space on disc available to take advantage of the HD resolution. Which is why exclusive PS3 games have higher quality graphics than games that are also intended to be played on the XBOX. There's more space on the blu-ray disc for such details.

Craig Page
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Are they staying away from DVD and Blu-Ray because of patent costs? Or because of piracy costs?

Matthew Mouras
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Meh.... just wait for inevitable hack and you'll eventually have your DVD player at least.


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