Wii U passing on DVD, Blu-ray

Nintendo says it will not include video playback formats in next console due to current ubiquity of such devices.

When Microsoft and Sony were engaged in the HD DVD vs. Blu-ray format wars at the beginning of the current-console generation, Nintendo opted to abstain from video playback entirely with the Wii. Now, it appears as if Nintendo plans to carry over that strategy to its next console, the Wii U.

Blu-ray discs need not apply.

Today, Nintendo posted an interview transcript from the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo in which company president Satoru Iwata confirms the Wii U will not support the DVD or Blu-ray video playback standards.

"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."

When the Wii U was unveiled at this year's E3, Nintendo said that games will be delivered on a proprietary high-density optical disc format similar in size to a DVD. The device will also be able to download and play software.

Check out GameSpot's extensive breakdown of what's known of the Wii U for more on Nintendo's latest console.

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Discussion

390 comments
ollie2000000
ollie2000000

Yes Nintendo stick to gaming experience i feel the wii u will be another Nintendo great like n64 snes ect

jadaski1
jadaski1

Actually, disregard my previous post. The Wii-U will have proprietary 25gb optical discs. I misread the article, thinking that Nintendo was going to fall back to a less effective storage format.

jadaski1
jadaski1

While I wouldn't mind losing a potential Blu-Ray player, this will result in lower capacity game discs. A game developer will attempt to fit as much of their game onto as few discs as possible, sometimes even going so far as to cut content in order to avoid adding an extra disc. I can easily see this having a detrimental effect on Wii-U games.

Agent-M
Agent-M

Well if they don't want blu-ray or DVD playback, at least give us access to the hard drive so we can either 1)store media and play it on the Wii U and 2) Allow said data to be streamed to other devices such as laptopns, the Wii controllers, etc. We also need a wide range of support for the current video/audio formats on the market.

mrsothankful
mrsothankful

Haha, wasn't expecting this, but it is a game console after all. Plus I have a dvd player :)

Chaos_Dante_456
Chaos_Dante_456

interesting, I wonder how much the system along with that controller is costing for them to make this decision...also I wonder if the console will just come with this pad controller or will it also include a wii controller. however looks like Nintendo being stubborn again they always hold out on something internet, wifi, now this lol @GodGundamNT1 good points, it's crazy how many people don't realize all their PS3s are capable of. It really is a all around "entertainment system" in the truest sense of the phrase.

Darth_DuMas
Darth_DuMas

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Darth_DuMas
Darth_DuMas

hmm, didnt think they'd do this. I can't imagine what they use will differ greatley from DVD. MSs use of DVD to play from disc on the 360, leads to drive wear, noise and possible other issue due to the high speed required. I'm greatful for the disc installs on the 360.

sirius237
sirius237

i just hope the games are worth it...

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Interesting! WiiU - It only does.. gaming? Fair enough I say, it is a games console after all. Out with the old and in with the new :)

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@GodGundamNT1 (GS is acting all weird for me, so sorry if this pops up multiple times). Nintendo clearly cares more about sales than catering to their fans. Otherwise the Wii wouldn't have happened. There's nothing really wrong with this, it's what businesses do. When you're trying to grab as many customers as you can, having a feature to boast is never a bad thing. A whole lot of americans would likely see DVD playback as a plus, even if most of them would never use it. That is, unfortunately, just what many markets are like. Simply saying that "nintendo knows its customers" doesn't mean much when half the developed world is potentially its audience. Using DVD's rather than a proprietary format would cut costs, so that would be a good decision right there, and DVD playback simply couldn't hurt at that point. Also, you could get reliable, cheap DVD burners well before 2005.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

GodGundamNT1
GodGundamNT1

@parrot_of_adun It wasn't just capacity it was security as DVD burners were ridiculously expensive to regular thiefs back in 2000, 2001, 2002. 2003 is when DVD burners started to come down in price but most of those burners were mediocre at burning DVDs and they could burn out forcing you to buy a new one again. I purchased a high end Plextor DVD burner back in 2005 and that thing died on me after a year and a half of use, really pathetic.

GodGundamNT1
GodGundamNT1

@parrot_of_adun No its NOT a wise "business decision" Nintendo knows its customers and its target audience and they don't want further useless features when these customers have numerous movie playing devices in their homes already. Therefore they do not benefit, Nintendo's primary goal is to sell their hardware and software, not to sell movies. so get over yourself. Sony does that because they also make movie players, they offer a high end home theater experience and yet there are a bunch of gamers who are blind to those features even in 2011, yeah its amazing I have had to train alot of people into knowing what their PS3 can do and how to buy and play Blu Ray movies.

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

@El_Conrado "Oh God, no! Please reconsider!" You think that you are clever or something? I thought this page was for voicing opinions? What is the matter with you? I didn't praise the Wii U after my first impression, so you feel that you have the right to try and be sarcastic back at me? Is it that important to you for everybody to love everything Nintendo, no matter what they produce? I bet you love the Virtua Boy too? lol

rarson
rarson

@Zerabp Did it ever occur to you that using a less-secure format would require additional cost in the form of alternative antipiracy measures? It's not like optical drives are some giant engineering puzzle. You get an OEM to write you a custom firmware... whoopty-doo! I'll bet that costs less than format licensing.

rarson
rarson

Well, at first I thought it was a shame since that controller would be great for watching movies, but then I realized that most of my content is on my hard drive anyway, so as long as the Wii U can play content streamed over a network, I won't mind.

jhpeter
jhpeter

@trdrstv, cool, thanks for the info, I never used any of my systems for movies withonly exception with ps3 wich is my only blu ray player. Great that next Wii will have space in the discs, this info I think I just pass it.

jhpeter
jhpeter

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

firstclassgamer
firstclassgamer

Its funny how I mostly use my PS3 only for blu-ray dvd but I do have to admit PS#3 did keep selling their console due to the fact that it was a Blu-ray player but the company also lost a lot of money with all that expensive equipment on it and price drops

daabulls23
daabulls23

Not a bad move, but it would have been sweet to stream movies right to your controller. Maybe Netflix will work like that.

TimboII
TimboII

Seems kinda stupid to me...just like the Wii 'not having dvd playback' however it can via homebrew. Also I would think Nintendo might want to consider going with bluray technology anyway seeing as how a lot of HD games on 360 dvd's no longer fit on just one anymore...now it's 2-3. Then again I guess they are new to the current gen...

DreadDLordD
DreadDLordD

It's good to hear this. Nintendo shouldn't be investing too much and will easily be able to maintain a consistent revenue at this rate.

Zerabp
Zerabp

anyone who thinks this is to keep the price down consider this, DVD is and old outgoing technology and any licsencsing fees would still make it 100 times cheaper then whatever R&D and manufacturing costs of a proprietary format. They are doing it solely to prevent piracy (which was one of the reasons Sony used the blue ray format as even if it had been hacked from day one most people just wouldn't be willing to DL that large of a file and the cost of the burners helped make it so that the few who were willing couldn't use it anyways). I'm not saying this is good or bad it's both to be honest. I do have a problem with Nintendo lying through their teeth about the reasons. Edit Keep in mind manufacturing a proprietary format means having to manufacture the reader, the software, the writer, and the discs themselves. There is literally no way at all this keeps the cost down it does the opposite but they see it as a reasonable exchange to prevent piracy, which it is. Still the dishonesty is really annoying...

nice2400
nice2400

kno wht y couldnt thy just make the same controller tht is on wii u for the original wii an enable software tht may play dvds, u kno wht this y i hack my wii caus i got all tht already on there especailly dvd playback

solidine
solidine

It's a logical move and I don't care, but somehow still kind of annoying...

SlyVictim
SlyVictim

grbolivar I bought my 3DS for £180 and the PSVITA (wi-fi only) will cost £229. With 3G it will cost £279. America isn't the only place in the world, mate.

Dedaxys
Dedaxys

@wiiplay1 Partially true. They are doing it to turn a profit, and they do that by lowering the cost of the system so that more people will be enticed to buy it. It has little to do with paying for technological licenses, since most companies have to pay anyways for any sort of disc drive. They are simply employing the same marketing technique which made the Wii such a success: outbid the competition by letting consumers purchase what they perceive to be technology of equal quality for a much lower price.

burgo81
burgo81

look at this way you have the kids, they want to watch the wiggles but mum and dad are going to crack within 5 minutes and stab doris the dinosaur if they hear that song again, oh wait we have the wii u, so jnr can watch grown men in skivvies wave their hands around on the tablet controller and mum and dad can watch something different without the little one chucking a tantrum that is just one possible application of dvd/blu-ray playback and face it sometimes you don't want to watch the same thing as someone else in the family home this could be a way around it, cause the the game console is now the home entertainment system, so i ask you all this question when was the last time that you bought a dvd/blu-ray player that was not a game console

burgo81
burgo81

face it, nintendo has to do something to stop people from taking it out of the box playing it for a couple of hours and forgetting about it for months on end

ManHooYin
ManHooYin

This is actually true most people these days do have DVD players, and BD players in one form or another, this most likely thru their computers i believe. So this is in fact a good decision by Nintendo since this will help lower production and development costs, which then will lower the price of the final product for consumers. Simple business really no point in adding something that imo doesn't really matter.

wiiplay1
wiiplay1

@Dedaxys You don't get it, do you? They're not doing this to keep the price down for the consumer. They're doing this so that they can make more money by not including these formats, by not getting the permission to include these formats in their system.

burgo81
burgo81

looks like nintendo are do the same things over and over again, one of the reasons that sony did well with this generation is that they had a blu-ray player and you could play blu-ray movies now this works in 2 ways 1. people are willing to fork out more because it can play movies and games, and 2. the console is used more because when you don't want to play games or if you have friends or family over you can all watch a movie and in turn the console has a bigger role in the home. if they don't put play back on the wii u then nintendo might find they have a similar problem with consumers having the wii u collect dust just like the wii does in many homes now

toptom924
toptom924

Everybody has DVD players or other consoles to play DVDs on so yea no a big deal helps price go down I guess.

vadicta
vadicta

So, then what does Nintendo think about the current ubiquity of gaming consoles?

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@GodGundamNT1 I have no idea what you thought I was talking about, but I don't think you understood me. I was just saying it seems like it would be a better business decision to adopt an existing format which would allow them to play movies, and more importantly, be less expensive than using a proprietary format. I know Nintendo is a gaming system and I don't care personally, but it would only benefit them to do so, as a vulnerable than DVD.

josiesel
josiesel

@cjf187x please do a little research before you comment microsoft and sony both stated they would have lied to be profitable day one like the wii was the 360 wasnt profitable due to hardware failures and the ps3 wasnt profitable because of manufacturing costs

the09system
the09system

I have no problem with this, whatever it takes bring down costs. Besides I already have a PS3 for blu-rays, DVD, and Netflix; and a PC for everything else.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@ monson21502 Duh,they're all businesses.Their first priority is to make money and stay afloat in a very tough economy. @ peanut1229 I don't know why you got thumbed down so much.You show no bias and seem like a reasonable guy/gal. I say if you can,go multi-platform.Get the best of everything.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@ persiforever I make no jab at your opinion.In fact,I'm still not sure which way I lean. The cost comes from licensing the rights to use DVDs or Blu-ray.They even mention it in the interview.So it is cheaper to exclude the function. I can see both sides.On one hand,an all-in-one device is certainly appealing,but you have to pay for it.Excluding the DVD player seems odd since it's nearly expected these days,but at the same time,I already have so many ways to watch DVDs or stream movies through Netflix I don't really need to pay more for the same technology again. Really as a gamer,if it plays games I'm happy.Anything else is icing on the cake.I'm happy either way. :)

persiforever
persiforever

how much will it reduce the cost???? the console will have to read DVD or Blu-Ray anyway because the complexity of the games (in theory) that it'll have to deal with... it's just adding a little software to the console... IN MY OPINION OBVIOUSLY

deathblow3
deathblow3

@JokerFett yes it will and it wont need to be universally supported because this disk will on have nintendo games on it. this format as long as the drive bay is dvd size is just like a computer software driven. is it will not have software in it to read/play dvd's. in order to put a dvd's sized amount of info on a disc you need to use the same laser so the hardware can do it they just wont let it.

deathblow3
deathblow3

they need to keep it real it has nothing to do with other devices that have blue ray/dvd. it is the fact that if they use a proprietary format it harder to bootleg and bluray would mean sony gets a chunk of the money. i dont know who would get the dvd royalties. i really dont care just come out with great games since it wont be doing insaine graphics you wont need enormous disc size and if i need to run bluray i will conitnue to do what i always do turn on the ps3

DJCartmell
DJCartmell

Well at the end of the day 90%+ of the world already have DVD players so I can understand the impracticality of including it and secondly it keeps the costs down. Wouldn't surprise me if the controller may be £60+ so in a weird way so to speak it kind of softens the blow though obviously the console when released will not be cheap any way.

Distinctive_Fin
Distinctive_Fin

Btw, who doesn't have Netflix or a similar service now anyways? As long as the Internet Browser is better than Opera this time, I don't really care.