Wii U Won't Support DVDs or Blu-rays

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Posted by Alex (1969 posts) -
How am I supposed to watch this imaginary Blu-ray release of Super Mario Bros. that absolutely doesn't, and should never, ever exist?

In attempting to merge the hardcore and casual audiences with its new console, Nintendo apparently has little interest in appeasing the movie-watching segments of either of those audiences.

Speaking to investors at E3, Satoru Iwata was asked about the Wii U's capabilities as a playback device for Sony's Blu-ray format, as well as standard DVDs. Iwata's answer left little room for interpretation, as he flatly stated that the Wii U would not support either format.

Iwata's reasoning was that Nintendo believes most people already have relevant players for the favored movie format. Licensing the necessary technology patents to support either format would have ultimately proved too costly.

In this regard, Iwata is probably correct. You can buy a DVD player for less than a tank of gas these days, and while Blu-ray players are a bit less common, it seems unlikely Nintendo would leap at the opportunity to pay a direct competitor licensing fees for what will ultimately amount to ancillary technology for the console. If nothing else, this does appear to signal that Nintendo is looking for ways to ensure its console remains cost-friendly to consumers, even if that means taking some potentially sexy bullet points off the box.

Staff
#1 Posted by Alex (1969 posts) -
How am I supposed to watch this imaginary Blu-ray release of Super Mario Bros. that absolutely doesn't, and should never, ever exist?

In attempting to merge the hardcore and casual audiences with its new console, Nintendo apparently has little interest in appeasing the movie-watching segments of either of those audiences.

Speaking to investors at E3, Satoru Iwata was asked about the Wii U's capabilities as a playback device for Sony's Blu-ray format, as well as standard DVDs. Iwata's answer left little room for interpretation, as he flatly stated that the Wii U would not support either format.

Iwata's reasoning was that Nintendo believes most people already have relevant players for the favored movie format. Licensing the necessary technology patents to support either format would have ultimately proved too costly.

In this regard, Iwata is probably correct. You can buy a DVD player for less than a tank of gas these days, and while Blu-ray players are a bit less common, it seems unlikely Nintendo would leap at the opportunity to pay a direct competitor licensing fees for what will ultimately amount to ancillary technology for the console. If nothing else, this does appear to signal that Nintendo is looking for ways to ensure its console remains cost-friendly to consumers, even if that means taking some potentially sexy bullet points off the box.

Staff
#2 Edited by TekZero (2663 posts) -

Way to BE, Wii. 
 
 
Also, FINALLY!

#3 Posted by RobotHamster (4171 posts) -

I'm actually not surprised...

#4 Posted by MysteriousBob (6272 posts) -

I don't get it. The Wii CAN play DVDs with homebrew software. I... why not include it as a standard feature? Its baffling.

#5 Posted by lockwoodx (2479 posts) -

People still use physical media?

#6 Edited by shadyspace (457 posts) -
Nintendo apparently has little interest in appeasing the movie-watching segments of either of those audiences.

Really, Alex? I guess HD Netflix is no longer a thing. I don't even know anyone with a Blu-Ray player besides those with a PS3 (and they barely own any discs, at that). You know as well as I do that film consumption is increasingly going to the cloud, if the majority of such isn't already there.

#7 Posted by Niall_Sg1 (362 posts) -

Well it makes sense. I have something like 12 machines in my house that can play DVD's and two that can play Blu-Ray. I'm fine with the Wii U not having a DVD/Blu-Ray player. Though it doesn't mean I'm getting a Wii U. 

#8 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

Ok, that makes sense. I'm alright with it.

#9 Posted by Wuddel (2079 posts) -

Baffling. Consider that you know rather developed places like "Europe", still do not have widespread streaming services like Netflix. Physical media still matter!

#10 Posted by Anwar (845 posts) -

Flash memory or HDDs are also expensive, a lot of other devices have already a storage, Wii U won't need that eiher :P

#11 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

Iwata's reasoning was that Nintendo believes most people already have relevant players for the favored movie format. Licensing the necessary technology patents to support either format would have ultimately proved too costly.

too costly? gah, nintendo clearly doesn't have any desires to topple Xbox or Playstation or even come on par.

Lighting won't strike twice, i guarantee it.

#12 Posted by DrThePunisher (12 posts) -

I was going to say that was a terrible decision. But I didn't remember that BluRay is Sony's tech. I wouldn't want to pay Sony anything either if I'm competing with them.

#13 Posted by NekuCTR (1663 posts) -

Spend millions of dollars on stupid looking controllers that you are bound to have to sell at a loss, and this is what you get.

#14 Posted by caryrabbit (78 posts) -
#15 Posted by valrog (3671 posts) -

"Well, whoopie whoop."

#16 Posted by Dalai (6995 posts) -

Netflix has been confirmed for Wii U so it's not a big deal. Of course I didn't think it was a big deal when the Wii had no DVD playback way back when.

#17 Posted by ExplodingTuba (90 posts) -

Not surprised in the slightest.

#18 Posted by Oginam (446 posts) -

Nintendo is still Nintendo.

And I just don't care anymore.

Less controller "innovation" (duct taping shit together) and more quality games/new franchises please.

#19 Posted by Kjellm87 (1728 posts) -

Not a problem.

#20 Posted by waypoetic (92 posts) -

In 3... 2... 1... Here come's Klepeck with his Nintendo love! Backing up all that bullshit Nintendo puts out since forever. 

#21 Posted by prencher (105 posts) -

@MysteriousBob: Licensing fees.

#22 Posted by sensory (47 posts) -

It's not only about being able to play Blu-ray MOVIES, but having a Blu-ray drive would allow larger games to fit on one disc instead of two or three. I already own a current-gen system (Xbox 360) and if I were to even consider forking out money for this "new" (5 year old) system that I can't play my old current-gen games on, the least it would have to have is a Blu-ray drive.
 
What's the word on online capabilities?

#23 Posted by cbirdsong (24 posts) -

@caryrabbit: @MysteriousBob: It could be physically able to play DVDs/Blurays, but not have the license to do so. This is how it is with the Wii. That DVD drive does not include the license to play DVD videos, just read DVD discs.

#24 Posted by Bgrngod (66 posts) -

Seems like a no brainer to not have it.  Why have the added cost for something that is virtually pointless?

#25 Posted by IIChristian89II (243 posts) -

im not getting a wii u but i can see why this would be a bother to some people. I generally use hard drives or streaming to watch movies and stuff. Id only then by the hard copy if i really enjoyed it it so i could keep watching.

#26 Posted by demonbear (1859 posts) -

I'm ok with that. Last time was worse. They said dvd playback would be patched in the Wii after launch and to my knowledge, that did not happen. At least this time its all upfront, loud and clear.

#27 Posted by Cameron (595 posts) -

@shadyspace:

You have to keep in mind that Netflix is pretty much a US only thing. Sure, it exists in Canada, but due to licensing restrictions it is an empty shell of the US service. That leaves all of Europe and Japan, their other two major markets, without Netflix.

#28 Posted by Khann (2781 posts) -

@Dalai said:

Netflix has been confirmed for Wii U so it's not a big deal. Of course I didn't think it was a big deal when the Wii had no DVD playback way back when.

Netflix isn't available in most countries, FYI.

Online
#29 Posted by Krakn3Dfx (2484 posts) -

It'll totally play your copy of Jack Black's King Kong on HD-DVD though.

#30 Posted by Colin (707 posts) -
@Dalai said:

Netflix has been confirmed for Wii U so it's not a big deal. Of course I didn't think it was a big deal when the Wii had no DVD playback way back when.

What about the rest of the world that doesn't have Netflix? :\
#31 Posted by DeF (4799 posts) -

@Dalai said:

Netflix has been confirmed for Wii U so it's not a big deal. Of course I didn't think it was a big deal when the Wii had no DVD playback way back when.

yup, Netflix has been confirmed and from what I hear on podcasts, that's what people mostly use in the US anyway. Since everybody already has a 360, PS3, DVD Player or even a PS2 sitting around, there should be plenty opportunity to watch DVDs.

In Europe, there is no Netflix so that's a bit different for us. However, I don't think we have any more trouble finding a playback devide for DVD/BD than people elsewhere.

The one thing that would've been cool though was that if someone was watching TV, you could've put a DVD/BD in your Wii U and watch it on the controller screen (suitable for something like comedies or TV shows). I hope it supports local streaming though.

#32 Posted by rmanthorp (3873 posts) -

Don't care tbh

Moderator
#33 Posted by bonbolapti (1599 posts) -

Look it makes fucking sense, If you don't have a DVD/BLUERAY player by now, why the fuck are you buying a Wii U for it?

#34 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

I like to play video games.

#35 Posted by Kjellm87 (1728 posts) -
@Claude said:

I like to play video games.

This, I never understood why it have to be a media-machine, when I buy a console I want to to play goddam games.
#36 Posted by CyleMoore (492 posts) -

I know it shouldn't matter but for some reason it kind of bothers me.  Oh well I'll get over it.

#37 Posted by Sekoku (84 posts) -

And the Wii 2 failtrain continues. Who honestly is hyped for this after the numerous screw-ups Nintendo has done through the ages. They don't "get it" when it comes to what most people want out of the console.
 
Shame, really. As they do have some interesting tech, but after the lackluster games on the original one, I'm not buying a 2.

#38 Posted by Beaudacious (926 posts) -

This is a really bad call on nintendo's side, to have this console widely accepted they need to sweeten the pot on every angle. To get ps3 users on a wii u, bluray could of been a bullet point that would justify a purchase it if people already have bluray collections. Microsoft also is starting to understand the up side of addressing multiple markets, stealing apple tv, or boxee users for xbox 360. Who in turn then have a a much larger chance of joining the Microsoft gaming market now. Gaming systems aren't only gaming machines anymore they're multimedia hubs now, if Nintendo wants to narrow its mid-cycle market even further then power to them. Why would i buy a wii u when i can play all the games that will be ported to it earlier, and also watch dvd's or bluray's when that occasion would arise on one device? Physical media is still going to be around for a long time, downloading 25gb games on a ps3, or even just 8gb on an xbox isn't rocketing off till internet infrastructure is heavily overhauled in north America.

#39 Edited by Romination (2775 posts) -

This might hurt the Wii U a lot. Set top boxes, people, and if the Wii U can't be one, there's almost no way it'll really succeed.

and while I agree with Iwata, it might be a bit hurty for the sales.

#40 Posted by RustySpoon (143 posts) -

What's that? A gaming console that only plays games? Oh, the humanity!

#41 Posted by Nocall (353 posts) -

Makes sense to me.

#42 Posted by Vexxan (4615 posts) -

Oh Nintendo...

Guess it's not too much to be upset about, haven't bought a DVD or Blu-ray disc for years...

#43 Posted by Zor (653 posts) -

Damn, i would have liked it to have the ability to play dvds... meh, i still have like 5 other things that do, but yeah, it would have been nice if the Wii U could be include in that list.

#44 Posted by PenguinDust (12450 posts) -

A new DVD player costs less than a single trip to the movies for a family of four (or one couple seeing a film in 3D).  Not a loss as far as I am concerned, although I would have liked a back-up Blu-ray in case my PS3 conks out.

#45 Posted by Skooky (473 posts) -

Let's all pretend this matters.

#46 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -
@Romination said:

This might hurt the Wii U a lot. Set top boxes, people, and if the Wii U can't be one, there's almost no way it'll really succeed.

and while I agree with Iwata, it might be a bit hurty for the sales.

Set Top Boxes were never a technology that made any sense. The Xbox is the closest we'll ever get to that technology. Now more than ever, people are going to do that kind of thing with tablets.
#47 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

Not exactly a dealbreaker.

#48 Posted by ThePhantomnaut (6185 posts) -

HD-DVD. ^^

#49 Posted by Ub3rSlug (152 posts) -

I wonder how much of this is a response (if at all) to piracy on the Wii.

If the WIi U uses a proprietary disc format, it'll be hard for someone to rip discs to put up on the internet and even harder for someone looking to burn it onto a blank Wii U disc, which probably wont even be sold to the public.

#50 Posted by Jiquk (203 posts) -

Wow, A games console set to be released in 2012 that doesn't support Blu-ray or even DVD films. Poor show Nintendo. Poor show indeed.

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