Blu-ray/DVD Support Ruled Out For Wii U

At a Q&A session during this year’s E3, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata spoke on why his company will not include DVD or Blu-ray playback in their upcoming game console.

“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 because of the patents related to those technologies,” Iwata told analysts.

Nintendo’s current console, Wii, doesn’t support DVD or Blu-ray playback. However, it does allow for Netflix streaming. Both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 offer Netflix as well, but Microsoft’s console supports DVD playback, while Sony’s PlayStation 3 supports both DVD and Blu-ray playback.

Analysis: Though I admire Nintendo for sticking to their “we’re Nintendo, we only play games” mantra, I must admit it would be nice to for once be able to pop in a DVD, or a Blu-ray disc for that matter, into a Nintendo console. I don’t own a Blu-ray player, and granted – I don’t speak for the millions of people who do. It would just be cool for a Nintendo console to be my one-stop shop for all things entertainment.

Of course, the lack of DVD/Blu-ray support is no deal breaker – at the end of the day, people just want to play games, in addition to saving an extra buck. The inclusion of Blu-ray would no doubt up the cost on each Wii U console, and making the transition to Wii U probably wouldn’t be as seamless for those already comfortable with the affordability of the Wii. Though Wii U is definitely playing more towards the hardcore this time around, I’m sure Nintendo doesn’t want to scare off its casual audience by making them pay extra for something they really don’t care for.

Bottom line: Though Blu-ray would be cool to have, it’s really not that important in a game console. DVD players come a dime a dozen, and can be purchased fairly cheap. I assume DVD sales will soon plummet, while Blu-ray will become the new standard.

Nintendo will save a few dollars by not adding it.

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