Sections

Iwata confirms non-DVD or Blu-ray playback for Wii U

Wednesday, 15th June 2011 12:22 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has confirmed that Wii U won’t have support for Blu-ray or DVD playback.

Games will use high density optical discs for the system, but Iwata has said Wii U won’t support the main two formats, mentioning that “enough people” already have DVD or Blu-ray players in some form, and that it didn’t “warrant the cost.”

“Wii U does not have DVD or Blu-ray playback capabilities,” he said in an investor Q&A which has been released in English.

“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.”

Wii U launches next year.

Latest

45 Comments

  1. Blerk

    No surprises here, then.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    Dear me.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Freek

    Do we really need another device that does that?

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Deacon

    Yup. Not surprising. Would it really cost that much more to throw in a DVD drive though? really?

    Are we likely to see another Bluray drive in the next Sony machine?

    What are MS going to do next gen ?

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Freek

    If you multiply that small cost by the millions of machines you will be making for years to come, then yeah, that tends to add up. Probably even more so for Blu-Ray.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. trav

    Would imagine it’s not so much the drive that costs, it is the license to use the drives.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Blerk

    I don’t think it’s that big of a problem in this day and age. I’ve never played a DVD in my 360, for instance. Mostly because it sounds like a jet engine when the drive’s working admittedly, but you see my point. :-D

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Strandli

    I can see them using that point about the Wii.
    But now that the WiiU actually has a valid reason for playing media, they still use it?

    The whole “play games while other people use the TV” sales pitch could also be used for watching movies. I’m not surprised, and it doesn’t change my view about the console, just seems odd.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. djhsecondnature

    People say that it “doesn’t matter”, but imagine if the PS4 or the Xbox 720 didn’t have DVD or Blu-ray support, there would be outrage.

    I can understand not having Blu-ray support, but DVD, come on now, this is 2011.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Telepathic.Geometry

    It seems like Nintendo is very busy explaining what this new console CAN’T do. :^/

    #10 3 years ago
  11. NinjaMidget

    In mine eyes, they’ve just announced that it’s gotten more useless.

    The good thing about my PS3 being a DVD/Blu ray player as well is that I didn’t have to go out and get another bloody machine to take up space.

    Ah well, at least it’ll appease me with better graphics that either x-box or PS3…

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Christopher Jack

    Disappointing but in no way is it surprising-definitely not the end of the world.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. G1GAHURTZ

    This console seems to be getting worse by the day.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Gheritt White

    This is BAFFLING. Being a cheap DVD player is what helped the PS2 become so dominant right out the gate at launch, and for many people the “devices that are capable of playing DVDs and Blu-ray” that “people already have” *are* their X360 or PS3. I mean, FFS – the PS3 was virtually 100% responsible for that format’s adoption over HD-DVD!

    I just don’t understand why Nintendo wouldn’t want the Wii U to be *the* convergent entertainment device that sits under your telly, when Apple, Sony and Microsoft are all positioning their products in that way.

    I’m sorry, but for me the lack of this feature means that the Wii U would only ever be a secondary console, not my main under-the-telly device.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Clupula

    So, once again, Sony and Microsoft do what Nintendon’t.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. The_Red

    Wow, just wow. I don’t want to be offensive but this is just retarded now. Seriously, no DVD playback in 2011!?

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Razor

    They still make DVD’s?

    #17 3 years ago
  18. DaveDogg

    @17 not only are DVDs still made they still out sell Blu-Ray by over 50%

    #18 3 years ago
  19. pukem0n

    the xbox 720 wont use bluray. they will propably use their own proprietary medium for games and support DVDs being watched.
    they would have to pay a lot of royalties for bluray support and microsoft is clever with money

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Zurtech

    Doesn’t surprise me and doesn’t bother me either.

    Personally I buy a games console to play games not play movies. I have a DVD player for that and another built into my TV and also my PC if I’m really that desperate to watch a movie.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Lounds

    it costs about £20 a DVD drive, maybe a £10, but 10-20 quid saved per machine is a huge amount of saving for nintendo which they can use that money else where, such as a network service, so I don’t see why everyone is complaining as, most people in EU,NA have DVD drives, if some one is still using VHS, please speak up?

    #21 3 years ago
  22. frostquake

    This may surprise Many of you but I get weekly sales figures on DVD and Blu-Ray Sales..and both are down, and have been consistently down.

    For Week Ending June 4th 2011

    DVD Sales: Down 32.8% at $96.17 Million
    Blu-Ray Sales: Down 39.1% at $21.99 Million

    Total Packaged Media Down 34.07% at 118.16 Million

    DVD’s and Blu-Ray has been consistently trending DOWN!

    Source Home Media Retailing Weekly:
    http://www.homemediamagazine.com/

    Digital Entertainment though is consistently up!

    For me the lack of a HDD is a Deal Breaker…in this age it should be standard!

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Lounds

    I will pay £5 max for a dvd
    and £8 max for Bluray
    call me tight but I hate physical media.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Freek

    It only matters to the machines that launch first and position themselfs as multimedia devices.
    Nintendo doesn’t do that. Everybody who wants it already has it by now.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. M. K.

    @22: Like many of you, you seem to forget: USA != world ;) Here in EU we don’t have even close as much posibilities as you to get digital stuff. DVD is king <3

    #25 3 years ago
  26. OlderGamer

    Nothing shocking here. I almost never use a game system for watching movies. The reason is simple, your game system only has so many spins in its lifetime. Why use those spins watching movies?

    I buy a game system to play games. I install games where I can to save the optical drive. I know people that have lost optical drives in both PS3 and xb360. Things were out, everything wears out. I am going to wear my game systems out playing games.

    DVD players, even BR players are cheaper. Much cheaper then game systems.

    Plus, like Frosty said, phsyical media ain’t what it used to be. I Netflix almost everything. And that means intant view/streaming it, sometimes thro my TV directly, sometimes with PC or laptop to TV, and sometimes through a Wii/PS3/xb360.

    So long as WiiU does Netflix, I will be happy mediawise.

    But by all means if you want another big anti Nintendo/WiiU story keep building that molehill into a mountain. Keep in mind Wii didn’t play dvds or BR, and it has done pretty damn well in sales.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. BillyBatts

    You know what, he’s right. Do you really need another DVD player? Does seem a little odd though, as presumably the games are on DVDs so it should be able to read them, right?

    No surprises about Blu-ray.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Deacon

    25Gb cartridges and all will be forgiven!

    #28 3 years ago
  29. frostquake

    @28 It is 25GB Optical…so you get your wish!

    http://techland.time.com/2011/06/09/wii-u-specs-disclosed-including-25gb-optical-discs/

    #29 3 years ago
  30. Christopher Jack

    I think Blu Ray will be the last commercially available disk format, unless we get super-duper-HD displays & flash storage remains uneconomical for mass production of movies & what not.

    #30 3 years ago
  31. freedoms_stain

    The drive itself will be capable of reading DVDs, the Wii is capable of reading DVDs, Nintendo just don’t want to add to the cost of the machine by paying the license they will have to pay per machine sold to actually use the function. In their eyes they’re upping the base price of the console to replicate functionality the vast majority of people already have via another dedicated machine.

    I wonder what the possibilities are of letting people pay for DVD support after-market. little bit of DLC that adds the necessary software.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. OlderGamer

    @FS

    Thats what MS did with xboxone, thats what the cost of the dvd remote attachment they sold covered.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. polygem

    i play dvd´s on my mac mini. never used a ps3 or 360 for that…i need a gaming machine for gaming. that´s it. all this multimedia stuff never interested me in any way in a console. so obviously i´m glad not having to pay for stuff i rareley or never use. still not interested in wiiu anyway though.

    #33 3 years ago
  34. Bloodyghost

    Wow. This is pathetic. Now I know why Nintendos Stocks fell when they announced this. The only reason why I would buy this right now would be just for me and those elegant first partys.

    Plus SUPER FUCKING SMASH BROS!

    #34 3 years ago
  35. bluffbluff03

    Even no BluRay? Oh Nintendo..if this is the right way…. :(

    #35 3 years ago
  36. gomersoul

    this seems like a bad move to me, the reason is simple. sony have already dabbled with this game in another place while people watch tv with remote play on the psp to ps3… now while games were limited and a select few worked well with it where it really shone was movie playback. i didn’t need a dvd or blu-ray player in my bedroom to watch one because i could remote play it with the ps3. it was it’s most useful feature. nintendo are kidding themselves if they think people will just want this thing for gaming. smartphones are a massive success because they have so many capabilities. they’re living in the good old days of gaming, wake up and smell your risky console nintendo!

    #36 3 years ago
  37. metamorphic

    @26: You really must be one old geezer. Limited spins? You’re probably still either gaming on a Dreamcast, or don’t bother to take care of your console. In the end, it’s all about value and usability. If I can use one device to play my games, my movies and anything else I need it for, why would I need to waste shelf-space on two or three other devices? It belies common sense, unless you’re some paranoid schizophreniac worried whenever you put a disc inside a console.

    Also, Netflix is a fucking joke. There are tons of movies you won’t get on it, and many, especially the newer ones, aren’t even available in HD. And even their so-called HD “streams” positively pale in comparison to the sheer quality on show with Blu-Ray. Obviously you don’t seem to be a person who values quality at all so I don’t suppose there’s any point in telling a person like you the difference between gold and copper.

    Thankfully however, there are tons of people who do value quality, so you’ll see Blu-Ray leap higher and higher in the months and years to come – we’re already seeing this with more Blu-Ray releases and sales than ever before. The naysayers might well as shiver, because it’s here and it’s staying, bruv.

    #37 3 years ago
  38. djhsecondnature

    It’s amazing how many people say that because ‘you’ Netflix everything that it doesn’t matter. It matters hugely. In the UK we have no service of that scale available, and even if we did, we do not have the infrastructure to support it currently. Physical media is certainly here for another console generation at the very, very least.

    Not implementing DVD or Blu-ray functionality will mean it will always be a secondary device to those that own a PS3/360 and never a core gaming platform. As for that fact that it’s a ‘gaming’ console, we’re long past the point of just gaming functionality, so much so we’re past a decade of it. If Nintendo think that people just want a gaming platform and not a multimedia hub then they are sorely mistaken. Yes, people have DVD players already, but it’s the all-in-one box that makes things like the 360 and PS3 even more appealing – something that the Wii U has already lost.

    #38 3 years ago
  39. ultramega

    Iwata is such a liar. The reason they aren’t using BluRay or DVD is because they would have to pay royalties. They don’t want that. It’s the same reason they’ve used proprietary technologies for the GameCube and Wii as well.

    #39 3 years ago
  40. Telepathic.Geometry

    Download a code to unlock the DVD/Blu-ray functionality – bingo, problem solved. Why does a company with so much imagination have management with so little?

    #40 3 years ago
  41. DaMan

    What OlderGamer said.

    also, blu-ray is just a temporary format in between dvds and internet downloadable ones, which will be completely superseded in a few years. it’s imminent. If you have the money to buy a TV like that, you surely have a decent internet connection as well.

    #41 3 years ago
  42. gomersoul

    blu ray is definitely not a temporary platform. the world can only go all digital when blu ray becomes the sole format or dvd stops selling so well. HD streaming isn’t as good as a blu ray and until it is and everyone in the world has fibre optic internet then it definitely won’t happen.

    #42 3 years ago
  43. DaMan

    For developed countries it definetely is, the dvd is the dominant one for the time being, and that’s not changing for most.

    In a few years pretty much everyone will have the necessary interwebs.. compared to 2006 I don’t know a single guy who doesn’t have high speed internet atm.. and I’m not even from a country like Uk, let alone NA.

    only thing stopping that from happening might be issues with availabilty of content. but they’re temporary either.

    #43 3 years ago
  44. OlderGamer

    Ok a coupl eof things.

    Shelf space is not a major problem for anyone that I can think of. Its not a barrier for someone to consider before purchasing a games system. Its just a stretch and a reach for someone looking for a reason to not like something.

    I also understand that some people don’t have the best internet. But you don’t think it will stay that way forever do you? Certian nations/territories are going to be at the forefront of such tech, but as seen in the past the tech makes it way out to almost everywhere eventualy.

    Netflix is amazing. Pure and simple. Of course it doesn’t stream new releases day and date upon dvd/br release. But Netflix doesn’t just stream of course, they send you dvds/brs in the mail. My Netflix station takes a 2-3 day turn around from the moment I drop the outgoing movie into the mail/post to when I am able to put a new one in the DVD player. Netflix should be everywhere, maybe someday it will be – who knows. But trust me in NA dvds/br aint king. Walmart has 5usd movies now, racks and racks of them. They are trying to compete against Netflix.

    Oh and of course not everything that Netflix streams in in HD. A large chunk of it is 480P. Because thats what the shows were aired in. Not everything is done in BR either. If I go to the store to buy a few seasons of a TV show I will be watching it in 480P at home. Netflix does the samething. 480P is more then fine with me for watching TV. Btw, my cable TV doesn’t have everything in HD either.

    Ok lastly for the guy that thinks I am old because I worry about spins. I have a xb360 right now that I can only use for digital content. Because the optic drive won’t read discs. My sons friends just switched from PS3 to xb360 because his optic reader on the PS3 died. Its not an epedemic, but it happens. Everything wears out, now I could drop kick my SNES and it would keep working. But if you stare at a PS360 you can run into a problem. There are just so many working components, and things today aren’t exactly made with the highest standard of quality in mind, instead reducing absolute cost is more important.

    #44 3 years ago
  45. ultramega

    @44
    That’s great and all for you, but not every country has the infrastructure the USA does for internet. And even with Netflix, I believe the USA is the only country where they’ll actually mail out physical copies for rental.

    #45 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.