Officials from California technology company Sonic Solutions have announced that Nintendo has chosen to use the company's software to allow a "future version" of the Wii console to play DVD movies.
The Wii was originally announced to play DVD movies as standard, before the feature was then described as only being accessible by using a separate, presumably hardware based, peripheral. Little was heard of these plans following E3 2006, and it was assumed that with DVD player penetration already, high Nintendo had decided the feature was no longer important.
However, as recently as late October
, details reported in the UK edition of Edge magazine indicated that the company was planning a second version of the Wii console featuring DVD playback, initially only to be made available in Japan. Comparisons were immediately drawn with the limited edition Panasonic Q console, which was also only sold in Japan and added DVD playback to the GameCube console.
Sonic Solutions has now announced that the company's Sonic CinePlayer CE DVD Navigator software will be used in a alternate version of the Wii console to be released "in the latter half of 2007", although no further indication was given as to whether it will be sold in the West. Why a new hardware version would be needed for a software update is unclear, and may imply further changes to the console unrelated to Sonic Solutions.
"To be involved in Nintendo's ground-breaking gaming console is extremely gratifying and a testament to the efficiency, flexibility and dependability of Sonic's technology," said Jim Taylor, senior vice president and general manager of Sonic's Advanced Technology Group. "Game consoles represent a fresh market and platform where we can introduce a new audience of potentially millions to the quality of our brand and the power of our digital media applications."