Wii U Will Not Have DVD/Blu-ray Playback

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata revealed some new information about the Wii U at a investor and analyst meeting last week.  Specifically he mentioned the new disc format for the Wii U will be a proprietary 25GB disc, but it won’t be a DVD nor a Blu-ray.  His exact quote follows.

Wii U does not have DVD or Blu-ray playback capabilities.  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.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone who has followed Nintendo for the past decade as they have done the same with the GameCube, the Wii and now the Wii U.  25GB discs sounds just about right to me though, and likely means we won’t see very many multi-disc games.  Do we really need an all-in-wonder for all of our consoles?  Microsoft and Sony will have all your media center capabilities locked down anyways.  The true question is, how much will these patents save the consumers?  I seriously doubt we’re going to get the Wii U for anything under $399.99.

11 thoughts on “Wii U Will Not Have DVD/Blu-ray Playback”

  1. Most of the Wii U’s costs relate to its controller. It’s obviously the most high-tech and modern element of the console, which is why Nintendo is skeptical of having a console use more than one controller. I bet this beast will cost 80-100$ a pop. So thinking far ahead, when it comes to revising the Wii U and cutting its costs, simply revising the controller and releasing new and better versions of it is more than enough to warrant price drops.

    For a multiplayer person like me, I would prefer if Nintendo doesn’t limit it to one controller per console. Even if the thing is expensive, I’m willing to buy a second one as long as it gives me more diverse multiplayer elements. I understand why they’re questioning doing so though….the only reason is that there’s no way in hell they’ll be able to make the tablet controller affordable in the Wii U’s first run.

  2. Yeah Ahmed that’s exactly right. Honestly $80 doesn’t even seem within the realm of plausible. I’d say $100 or more. Marketing a controller at that price isn’t going to be easy so I’m sure they figure they can launch with their current strategy and then unlock the ability to use more controllers once the cost has come down. I know the GPU in the machine can support up to 4 streams at once which means this isn’t a technical issue.

  3. I won’t really miss it. Sure, it’s nice from a convenience standpoint, but I already have several devices that can play DVDs and Blu-Ray, so yeah, not exactly necessary. Besides, as far as movies go, I think more people prefer streaming services like Netflix.

  4. Don’t get me wrong I love me some Blu-ray movies but I don’t see any point in Nintendo adding it into their device because they like the whole pure gaming wibe they have. Like I said the others do the multimedia thing and do it really well.

  5. I am disappointed. Just proving again that the wii is a toy, not a full fledged console. I bought a lot of random stuff on live or psn while waiting for my wife to watch a movie or after. I think it makes business sensse to put it in but really, what do I know? Nothing, I’m just the costumer.

  6. That’s right you are only the customer damn you! You don’t know anything!!! Lol. Seriously at this point Nintendo is clearly not going to change their tactics. They don’t want a multimedia machine and that’s fine, but without those capabilities those people who are interested in those features will look elsewhere. The Wii has sold over 80 million units without even an online platform. I don’t care what anyone says, the friend code thing doesn’t count as an online platform. For those that want a seamless online experience they look to Microsoft first and Sony second. The same is currently true for multimedia aspects. That means next-gen everyone will simply do the same thing. I know it really wouldn’t have added anything to the price of the console because these licenses aren’t very much at all, but again, at this point it’s to be expected.

    What were you saying about the store? I’m not sure I follow. In contrast to what I think you’re saying, I was a naughty boy and spent almost $100 on the virtual console last week. Yes I know I shouldn’t but honestly it’s wonderful being able to relive all my childhood memories from the Mario, Zelda and Metroid franchises. I just pray these games transfer over to their next platform.

  7. I was just saying that I end up buying games, add- ons And misc. Things on my 360 and ps3 when I was originally opening my system to pop in a DVD or blu-ray. Those kinds of unplanned buys NEVER happen and will never happen on the wii/u. The less I played the wii the less I WANTED to play the wii and that’s how it became the wonderful dust collector it is now. Compared to the other where I was never going to long with playing either just because I was opening the system to watch movies and ended up farting around purchasing stuff.

    These buys most often benefit the smaller 3rd party studios. Anyway, all this to say nintendo isn’t winning me over ha ha

    1. I understand your perspective, but hesitate to label the Wii as a toy just because it doesn’t offer movie disc playback, and the same with Wii U. In my opinion, no definition of a gaming console exists. After all, we’ve simply been groomed to call a colored plastic box with computer parts inside that play videogames a ‘console’. In reality, you could shove the components into anything, call it a console, end of story. If you really want to get technical, these machines are purely computers, because that’s ultimately what they do, compute input and output.

      Anyway, yeah, obviously if that kind of functionality is important to you, then Nintendo’s hardware won’t appeal as much to you. But I think you’re doing yourself a real disservice writing it off just because you can’t watch movies. After all, you’ll never play Nintendo’s franchises elsewhere as they are done on their ‘consoles’. But if you don’t care about Mario and Zelda, etc, then more power to ya.

      If you ask me though, I don’t think there’s enough room in the electronics market for everyone to do everything. If Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft designed the exact same machines, they will all might as well band together and finally put out the first universal box. So, we enjoy the strengths, and accept the weaknesses.

  8. I understand what you’re saying now Mal, about the store. I was a little lost there. Personally I was all over the XBL Marketplace and PS Store when both were first out and started getting some games I was interested in, but since that time my purchases have really slowed down significantly. I actually haven’t bought anything for quite some time. The only reason I even decided to check out the Virtual Console was because I wanted to get back into covering some Nintendo games and realized just how impressive the backlog of titles is now. They have all the big hits from when I was younger! There are only a few games left to make it “complete.”

    I’ll be heading back to the Marketplace when Radiant Silvergun ships that you can count on!

  9. I almost bought Chrono Trigger today on the VC. Never played that game. Wanted to buy Earthbound but some stupid reason, it’s not even in the VC. I heard that Nintendo really dropped the ball lately with the VC, not releasing much if anything on it. The Wii’s been out for 5 years now, any classic 1st party title should be in there. Don’t they want to make money.

    As for DVD’s, I think even my toaster plays DVDs nowadays. I could care less about that. I use my 360 for DVD’s and my PS3 for Blu-Rays. If those would somehow magically break, then I could use my PS2 or my original X-Box to watch DVD’s…. or my laptop too if I could bare crappy quality. I do want an online platform though (with a friend system, chievos and cross-chat) but movies I can easily watch elsewhere.

  10. I’ve heard the same thing Steven. I spend $100 on the virtual console buying up all the remaining Zeldas and Marios and Metroids, etc. I am a little surprised that not all first party titles are available though and slightly disappointed that the SNES selection isn’t 100% perfect. There are some more heavy hitters just waiting for release.

    Like I said in the other post, I really believe Nintendo has completely ditched the Wii and is moving headlong into Wii U development. My biggest hope is that all my VC purchases will be transferable to the next machine.

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