No Disc-Based Movie Playback for Wii U

So you want to watch a disc-based movie on your Wii U when it is released sometime next year? Well apparently Nintendo’s new console won’t support DVD or Blu-ray playback capabilities. Unlike Sony and Microsoft’s current generation game consoles, Nintendo apparently has no interest in creating a multi-purpose entertainment machine that does anything beyond gaming.

This news was revealed during an investor Q&A:

"We feel that enough people already have devices that are capable of playing DVDs and Blu-ray," explained Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s president, "in 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."

Iwata also addressed weak sales of its 3DS hand-held. Iwata admitted that sales of the system have not met Nintendo’s expectations, adding that he expected more early adopters to buy the system.

Iwata assured investors that this should change as new services and software become available.

"I think that we’ll be able to show you that as Nintendo eShop and 3D video services come online, and a number of key software titles become available, we’ll be able to regain momentum for this hardware."


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  1. 0
    axiomatic says:

    Well the worst part about this is that Nintendo mareting has created a shit storm spending more time telling us what this new system DOESN’T do versus what it actually does do. Thats 100% marketing failure.

  2. 0
    aphexbr says:

    It’s a good move and a mistake. A good move because it keeps the price down.

    A horrible mistake because most people don’t own everything. A lot of people bought the PS3 instead of a 360 or Wii purely because it’s an affordable Blu Ray player. A lot of people in the market for a Wii U (casual people especially) who already own a Wii and a DVD device might upgrade purely because of Blu capability being associated with the Wii brand. Most casual users don’t want multiple gaming devices attached to their TV and so might buy a PS3 or a non-gaming Blu player next time they upgrade and not bother with the new Wii.

    When Sony were messing around with the first Blu drives, this would have been an understandable stance. Now, with the technology being relatively mature, it seems shortsighted. Especially for a manufacturer whose hardware is usually profitable from day 1 and so don’t need to depend on fgames sales to drive their income…

    Opinion will be divided here, especially from early adopters/tech geeks who already own multiple capable devices already. But for the causal market this seems troublesome in the long run if the new controller doesn’t capture the imagination of the public.

  3. 0
    SeanB says:

    The Wii plays DVD’s just fine, but only if you hack the system. It’s a freaking DVD drive, with the DVD functionality turned off. All you have to do is re-enable it.

    The wii does a lot of things nintendo never intended it to do, and so will the Wii-U. If you make a system intentionally crippled, customers WILL find a way to fix it.

  4. 0
    josh111888 says:

    That a good idea if it keeps the cost of the system down.  As a couple of people said before;  I have my 360, PS3, computer and something called a DVD player to watch movies.

  5. 0
    MechaCrash says:

    I currently own one device capable of playing Blu-Rays, and that’s my PS3. I can see, without moving from this spot, four devices capable of playing DVDs, and there’s more throughout my house. I’m willing to forgo adding another player if it means knocking twenty or more bucks off the price of the final product.

  6. 0
    djnforce9 says:

    Not a huge issue I guess if you really do have other devices to play your DVD and BluRay discs. However, I do know some that bought a PS3 simply because it made a good blu-ray and DVD player as well as a game system. Nintendo would certainly have that advantage too if they included the feature but I guess they figured it just wasn’t worth the money.

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