back to article Nintendo: no DVD, BD playback for Wii U

Nintendo's next-gen console, the Wii U, will, like its predecessor, have no DVD playback capabilities. It won't play Blu-ray Discs, either. Ninty boss Satoru Iwata confirmed the news during a Nintendo Q&A session following E3 last week. He said: "The reason for that is that we feel that enough people already have devices that …


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  1. Heff
    Thumb Up

    I think the guy is on the level

    If you were ever going to get a DVD player, you already have one. Blu-ray will, in all likelihood be the last physical disk system for movies; netflix and On-Demand systems are in explosive growth. Iwata wants to put a console forward into that market, and can either sell to the market now (expensively) or prepare for the market of 2, 3 or 5 years time, and do it cheaply.

    prop. discs make piracy harder (though it'll still happen), and avoid nintendo paying out patent rights to other companies, something which its never been keen on to start with. most families I know, as their kids moved rapidly out of the "lets play jump around games with mum and dad" to "mum and dad suck, imma mope in my room" have used their Wiis less and less as gaming hubs and more and more as netflix boxen, and it seem Iwata is looking forward and preparing for changes to come.

    yes, seriously. I dont see any obvious flaws in the logic or the method.

  2. Alastair 7

    Netflix, etc.

    With Netflix already on the Wii, you can be sure they'll be on the Wii U. Digital downloads are the future- not least because Nintendo could try to get in on the action.

  3. Marcus Aurelius

    He has a point but

    I think for the next 5 or so years, a device without DVD playback is seriously crippled. Blu-Ray is still a niche market and I don't think it will become mainstream before non-physical (digital) media takes over, but DVD is ubiquitous. For the Wii-U it to be an entertainment centre it should accomodate our existing media whilst we transfer to the new.

    1. Marcus Aurelius

      ..and if Nintendo wanted to be really brave

      Why don't they abandon disks altogether and release all their games on some form of SD-ROM card?

      They would control the market, and have no mechanical parts to go wrong (apart from the card contacts)

      1. Adam Nealis

        ..and if Nintendo wanted to be really brave → #

        They already do in the form of DS*, and did in the form of GB* handhelds and the cartridges for SNES, etc.

      2. Richard Taylor 2

        They have learnt

        The lesson from the N64. Solid state is still rather more expensive than optical storage and the fact that, for example, magazines could 'give away' demos for the PlayStation must have been a contributory factor in their relative success

      3. Neoc

        Not just SD-ROM

        Looking at the physical size of my 8Gb "Atom" USB stick (about 1cm x 2 cm x 0.5cm), you could mass-produce these suckers in a read-only small form-factor and still sell them relatively cheaply. And it'd make storing the physical media that much easier.

        (although a 3.5" HDD-factor "USB-rack" for reading multiple sticks would probably not go astray either)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Maybe when there's a global movie streaming system this would make sense. Currently in the UK the delivery method for movies involves putting DVDs in envelopes and posting them.

    Packet loss is a real bitch on that system.

    1. Thecowking

      Lovefilm also streams

      I'm watching one right now, 3:10 to Yuma as it happens.

      So the UK's not without movie streaming by any means.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Love films stream is awful and their range of shows is laughable.

      2. tuppence

        Great British Broadband

        which is fine if you live in area where the max download speed available exceeds "up to 2Mb"

    2. Glyn 2


      But once it arrives you can watch it as many times as you like until you mistake the shiny disc for a beermat. The capacity, speed, reliability and reach of streaming needs to be improved a wee bit to huge pipes, ludicrous speed, won't break and everywhere before streaming will replace hard media.

      iplayer st-u-ttttt-rrrrrs at the moment where I am, I tried streaming a film off xbox live and that was unwatchable and took an age to start. If I want to watch Mary Poppins it should take no longer to start when downloading than the time it takes me to get the DVD off the rack and skip to the player

    3. Simon Westerby 1

      SKY and LoveFilm both Stream.

      Lovefilm is so so, but as a SKY Subscriber already I find the Streaming on the XBox/Laptop (Currently SkyPlayer Multiroom) is actually rather good. ANd from next month it will be £10 cheaper.

  5. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Like the man says

    you've probably already got those peripherals elsewhere.

    But then they put their own proprietary drive in?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    This makes sense.

    I really don't understand the fuss about this...

    Sony owns the Blu-Ray format. Sony also owns a large movie making empire that releases movies on Blu-Ray. Therefore, including a Blu-Ray with their console was a no-brainer.

    However, Nintendo don't own the Blu-Ray format and don't make films, so why on Earth would they include this function? Plus, add the fact that Ninty would have to pay Sony - their rival - a hefty license fee every time a console or game was purchased and you can see the logic behind this decision.

    I'm not completely sold on the Wii U yet, but if I end up buying it, it will be because of the games. If I wanted to watch Blu-Ray movies, I'd buy a Blu-Ray player. Simples.

  7. Richard Cottrill
    Thumb Up

    The King's Dead! Long live the King!

    Apple has always pushed it's users to abandon "old" media formats, and interconnects.

    This is no bad thing; dropping floppy disks and serial ports was smart with the original iMac; and I look forward to the death of USB2 (and a little more sadly, eSATA).

    Some industry trends are just there to see, and physically shifting disks is heading the way of the Australian book store. Nintendo may need /some/ disk for /some/ markets, but "using Blu-Ray for delivering movies to the loungerooms of the developed world" is not among them.

    Soon enough, most media will come to us through The Internet - wired, wireless, etc. The real question is how Nintendo expects to work in an increasingly complex home network - how they'll integrate DRM, multiple personal media libraries, and many media capable devices /per person/.

    What's their mobile phone angle?

  8. Jack Prichard

    I would say...

    ... the thing is that the cost of a DVD player is cheap about NZ$30 on sale so if you want one it is no trouble to buy. Nintendo probably couldn't get one in the Wii U any cheaper than that.

    The margin would be in Blu-Ray as it is the 'premium' format, but then you have to pay licencing fees to Sony, big ups to that.

    So... why not try to move people away from playing movies on discs? It isn't like your missing out even if it doesn't work.

  9. Piloti
    Thumb Up

    I agree with the Nintendo man....

    A games console for playing games, a film player [dvd or BD] for films.

    This has always been the point of Nintendo and Sega, who are sadly no longer with us. But, with MS and Sony trying to be a Jack of All Trades, there is a room for a good value, cracking good, rip roaring games console!!

    Just hope the price point is not too mental..!!

    1. LaeMing

      Yes, a bit of old-skool UNIX philosophy there:

      "Do one thing and do it well."

      We will see how the Wii-U-Wii-Mii handles the 'better' bit in time, but I imagine that is the /goal/, at least.

  10. Monty Burns

    makes perfect sense to me....

    why should we pay for patents that we will never use? I'm speaking from a personal point of view of course but, since its launch my x360 has probably only ever played DVD's twice and one HD?

    All my media is played through my HTPC (even Sky!) but then I do realise this is a special case and Mr and Mrs Jones probably won't do that ....

  11. SteveBalmer

    Why Wii U?

    When I already have a superior PS3 and a extensive game collection....

    1. Piro Silver badge

      Oh Steve, I thought you'd have a 360...

      But seriously, the Wii U is /extremely/ likely to have specs surpassing that of the PS3 or the Xbox 360. But then, that's not really a challenge, seeing as those consoles are 5-6 years old.

      1. johnnytruant

        there have been noises

        suggesting the Wii-U is about 50% more powerful than a PS3.

        PS4 is coming relatively soon, and the first rumours of the 360's successor are starting to surface too (Crytek have confirmed they're working on games for both already). But, and this is the important point - Nintendo have long eschewed the "pure power" arms race that Sony and MS engaged in. Nintendo consistently sell more consoles than anyone else, and they make money on each sale, no loss leaders on the hardware here - so they're clearly doing something right.

        The "hardcore gamers" market is quite a small segment of the population. Nintendo aimed at everyone else - their adverts are directed at kids, families, retired people - and scored, big time.

    2. James Hughes 1

      Hey Balmer

      You really are an idiot, aren't you - or are you just trolling?

      Since the specs for the WiiU haven't been released, how can you possibly know that the PS3 is 'superior'? Or are you just assuming that a 4 year old console is better than a brand new machine nobody has seen?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Hey James

        It is superior in the respect it isn't Vaporware, and can play games right now

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I understand what they are saying but i think they miss the point, I had several devices under my TV and ive recently got rid of the lot and slapped a propper media centre in it, plays games, BD, DVD, SKY, anything

    What They have forgotten is that yes the future isnt optical discs but almost everyone has a stack of them, we are not going to bin them all, and most folk wont know how to rip them propperly which is technically illegal anyway

    Its limiting the uses for what is essentially a media centre in its self. Its a box that provides media content, reducing the amount of content makes it harder for consumers to get what they need in a single box configuration. Less is more in this case. I am quite positive that if it had say DVD playback, at a good price point, people would consider buying teh Wii not just for the Wii but because they can replace another box too

    maybe thats just me but i think its a case of cutting off their noses to spite their faces, its not good for the consumer however you look at it.

  13. Tony Barnes

    Proprietary = cheaper?

    I'm a bit confused - how can it possibly be cheaper to develop a proprietary media system of your own, than it is to license one that already exists?

    I guess they have done the maths on it, but it feels wrong - unless they are predicting such massive sales that they can drive down the per unit cost?

    1. Piro Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      HD-DVD is surely the answer

      Since then you have an existing standard to use, and Toshiba would probably give you the licences away for a boiled sweet.

    2. Dan Price

      It can be...

      It does go against the grain, but it helps to remember that Ninty have already got a lot of prior art in this field (Nintendo Optical Disc et al), so they're not starting from scratch any more. The other thing to remember is that the only other high-capacity optical format, Blu-ray, is part owned by Nintendo's rival Sony. Whether Blu-ray was the superior format or not, I doubt Ninty would want to cut Sony a cheque every time they sell a Wii U.

    3. oddie

      Umm and Humm and such

      I don't remember (and am too lazy to wiki it), but I don't think nintendo even made or developed the optical drive for the wii themselves, pretty sure it was done by a third party (one of those that have great big factories that already make dvd drives, and for whom making a new optical format wouldn't be very expensive).

      they would have to pay someone to manufacture DVD drives if they wanted that, I think what they do is ask someone to make a not-DVD drive.. then they don't have to pay the DVD consortium a licensing fee (which, when you make a lot of wii's, add up).. and there's the piracy things as well, yes.

      btw, I had a sudden moment of can-be-arsed, the wii's optical drive (or at least the design of the Wii optical disk) was made by Matsushita (most famours for their Panasonic Brand)

      They're not very open with stuff like who makes and assembles what where in what factory, so take my assertions about their workflow with a pinch of salt :)

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


        Firstly, BD itself is a proprietary format.

        Secondly, I'm sure this Nintendo "proprietary" goes only as far as the logical format of storage and the associated firmware/software to read it (and may be not even that).

        The hardware is probably standard BD (with the associated licences) but they probably dispensed with redundant audio and video codec licences and the AACS, which is the most ridiculously expensive and useless part of BD "intellectual property" costs.

    4. Paul Powell

      Fixed Vs Variable costs perhaps?

      Developing a new format is a fixed cost, whether you produce one thousand or twenty million devices the cost of developing it remains pretty much the same.

      Licensing is a variable cost scaling with the number of consoles sold, and in all probability the number of game discs sold as well.

      At small scales licensing makes sense. At large scales it only makes sense if the licenses are dead cheap or if you don't have the capital to develop your in-house system in the first place. This is pretty much the same argument as Google developing and producing its own network kit rather than using off the shelf stuff from Cisco or similar.

      Incidentally I would say that this also applies to hosted services via the cloud. Setting up your own in house servers makes no sense as long as the fixed cost is high and the number of users low. Once you grow above a certain number the reverse is true.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Proprietary = cheaper?

      It's not about cheaper. It's about control. Sony controls BR. Nintento controls their own optical format. Which will technology-wise not far off BR anyway. Nintento always had a knack for full control (sticking the longest with rom-cartridges etc...

      Besides on another topic, where there was a debate about open or closed. And many posters without common sense declared that closed was a no-go. I tried to make these ppl see that all creators of closed systems (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jack Tramiel etc...) are ALL filthy rich today! It's not hard to imagine that leaders from Sony and Ninento are also filthy rich.

    6. Richard Cottrill

      They don't need a lot of presses

      Or whatever it is you make a disk with these days. I guess Nintendo need a few factories(owned by Nintendo) churning out the disks for the various publishers, and then they're done. The cost of the custom-made presses is amortized over the life of the whole WiiU platform, and every disk ever made...

      There are lots of ways to encode data to disks, and the only reason that the Blu-Ray and DVD standards can be charged for is because they're ubiquitous - the patents, etc. wouldn't worth a cent if we never moved off CDs.

      Also, if Nintendo uses a proprietary disk, they can make huge inroads into stifling piracy of disks (they own all the presses, and can control access). Eventually, someone will figure out how to forge the disk; but until then they'll be secure. Pirated downloads, etc. are clearly a different story.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Not a bad idea

    I have to agree, if you don't have a DVD player by now, it's probably not going to swing your decision to buy a Wii U, and if you do have one, then its not going to either.

    Plus anything which will keep the cost of this console down, especially with those mahoosive and expensive looking controllers has to be a good thing.

  15. GettinSadda

    Like the man said "Disc is Dead"

    Yeah, we are already at the point where films, music and everything else entertainment comes downloaded or streamed to your box.

    That's why no optical drive in the Wii U.

    Oh... hang on... what is that slot in the front?

    For the games discs you say?

    Um... so why have physical games discs when you just said everything will be downloaded or streamed now?

    It seems every argument for why Nintendo want to sell games as physical discs can be made by film or music companies arguing to sell those on physical media.

    1. Steven Knox


      A video stream is, well, a stream. All you need is a specific level of bandwidth with relatively low latency. You don't need the 3rd minute of the movie until 3 minutes in.

      A modern video game, on the other hand, is a combination of video, audio, graphics, models, and physics and gameplay logic which has a very different load profile. You usually start by loading an intro video, which hides the fact that behind the scenes, you're loading a huge chunk of logic and assets. It's this initial load which requires bandwidth beyond what even excellent internet connections can handle -- yet.

      That's why games still need a local format. For now.

    2. SteveBalmer

      Differerent rules

      When Nintendo say disk is dead and games arrive digitally, that's fantastic, when Sony do it with the PSP go, that sucks apprently.

      Of course we all know had nintendo did digital download games, it would have been revolutionary, as everyone loves nintendy right?

  16. GrumpyJoe
    Thumb Down

    Am I missing something?

    A lot of the comments so far praise streaming content - but it has its flaws:-

    You don't own it - you never did, but let Netflix try to take back your Blu-Ray copy if they go bust!

    Internet speeds - not there yet - my Virgin connection would throttle the hell out of an HD stream.

    Anybody want to add any more?

    Until I am ASSURED of escrow of my digital purchases, and my broadband can handle them at peak times, Blu-Ray seems to be the choice for now.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge


      "You don't own it - you never did, but let Netflix try to take back your Blu-Ray copy if they go bust!"

      I don't know if Blu-Ray does have a protocol for invalidating video discs after sale, but I don't see it being un-feasible. Say, your video player expires once a year and you have to play an update disc to revive it - which will re-set the definition of discs that you're allowed to play from now on. Like DVD regions, but more versatile - versatile in what they can stop you from using.

      And Microsoft Windows seems to be allowed to play DVDs only on condition of including similar DRM-invalidating technology. They talk about it in the licence, which is not as restrictive as the licence for what you can and can't do on a games console.

      Likewise, several PC video products are licensed to consumers for non-commercial use only: you aren't allowed to make a video and sell it.

  17. Saint Sound

    If it walks and talks like a Blu-Ray

    It probably is, but Nintendo don't want to pay the licensing fees or have a system that people use primarily for watching movies! Blu-Ray technology exists in other formats without being called Blu-Ray. Didn't they do the same with the Wii?

    1. juice


      Personally, I'd surmise that Nintendo are using Bluray, but simply haven't paid the licencing fees for Blu-ray or DVD decoding - and on top of that, they've probably customised the disc format (e.g. spinning the disk backwards or including extra layers or encryption/certification) to make things harder for the pirates.

      After all, it's what they did with the Wii: it was physically capable of playing DVDs but Nintendo chose not to enable this feature. Thankfully, this was addressed when homebrew apps began to appear, though none of them quite came up to the feature level of XBMC...

  18. Alex Walsh

    sorry to rock the boat but

    my TV has 3 HDMI sockets. Currently my boxee box, xbox 360 and BD player take them all up. If I want to plug my HD camcorder in, I have to unplug one.

    HDMI splitters are expensive and a lot of them don't autoswitch, meaning you have to fiddle with yet another tiny remote. Put more functionality into one box, and save me a HDMI slot dammit Nintendo!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      Sense at last.

      I also do not need another box under the telly, and my 2 x HDMI ports are full.

      I'm not upgrading my tellie to get more HDMI ports, so any new/replacement gadget must combine features. At least with a PS3 I'd get a blu-ray player, with the added bonus of having my credit card details circulated round the internet...for free!

    2. johnnytruant

      my hdmi splitter

      was about a tenner, autoswitches so sensibly and quickly that I've long since lost the remote control, and the box dangles invisibly behind the TV.

      It's made in the UK by Neet. You can get them on Amazon.

  19. Bunker_Monkey

    Sorry Epic Fail...

    I was looking to upgrade to Blu-Ray at some point but lack of support means that I am less likely to buy one......

    Its not just about the ones that 'have' but the 'have yet to buy' thats important too.

  20. Jonathan White

    They miss a huge selling point too..

    Nintendo made a big thing when revealing the WiiU that it would be able to flip whatever it was showing on the TV screen onto the remote screen. How useful would that be if it included DVD/BD playback? If the better half wants to watch something on telly you're not interested in, slap a DVD in the WiiU and watch it on the screen you've got, safely able to ignore Britain's Desperately Talented Housewives or whatever guff it is she's obsessed with.

    As it is. no. And yet less justification to bother with it when it eventually comes out, shortly after the PS4 and Next Xbox get announced...

    1. Red Bren

      Britain's Desperately Talented Housewives

      Would that be shown on one of the late night, gentlemen's interest channels?

  21. Ryan Clark


    I only bought a PS3 as it was a relatively cheap blu-ray player, I do use it for media streaming now, but had my original Wii played DVD's when my DVD player died I would never have bought the PS3 (which has never been used for gaming) as I didn't really, and still don't, need blu-ray but if I was buying a new player I thought it best to get it.

    Thought they might get it right this time.

  22. Lamont Cranston
    Thumb Down

    My Playstation2

    was my first DVD player, and has outlived 2 DVD/home theatre systems (and one VHS player), thus proving itself invaluable. I think Nintendo are missing a trick here, as I would welcome some sort of integrated home entertainment system - something like the PS3 offers, perhaps - and I think many other families would, too (families are Nintendo's target market, right?).

  23. Captain Underpants

    Goddamnit, Nintendo. Goddamnit.

    The man definitely has a point, I mean it's definitely not like the Gamecube lost out to a technically inferior console like the PS2 in part because the PS2 could also be used as a DVD player at no extra cost.

    Oh, wait.

    The Wii didn't suffer this fate against the PS3 or 360 primarily because the cost difference between them was enormous, but if the Wii U is going to be a significant upgrade from the Wii there's no hope in hell it's going to cost anywhere near £200 on launch, at which point why not at least give people with big disc libraries the option of playing them with their new box and reducing the total number of devices they own? I mean, the cost of adding the functionality's going to be at best fuck-all compared to the overall cost of the device - that bloody controller looks like it's going to cost the better part of £100 just by itself.

    Of course, Nintendo are a bit schizophrenic at the best of times when it comes to predicting how new tech will fare - just look at how prescient they were with the Ultra 64^W^W Nintendo 64 using more expensive carts because nobody would want to use those gimmicky CD things...and that's before you look at the Cthuluesque monstrosity that they rolled out as a controller, presumably developed in response to the excessive comfort and ease of use present in other controllers on the market at the time.

    Then there's the whole notion of having a Wii Shop that lets you buy game downloads but which took something like 4 or 5 years to implement a working demo system. When you compare it to the likes of Steam it doesn't look particularly impressive... In fact, fuck it - when you compare it to the average system used to sell Java apps to mobile phone users in about 2006 it doesn't look impressive.

    They've made some great consoles and some truly amazing games, but it amazes me just how regularly Nintendo manage to make high-level decisions by thinking with someone's arse.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    needless title request

    Right decision. Price is a key driver for consoles so why add even $20 at retail (likely much more for BluRay) to enable movie disc playback if you don't need to. This will sell in enough volume to justify an 'exclusive' drive part. Personally I'd look at a slightly undersized disc and a drive that was physically hacked so that it won't accept a full size Blu Disc. Having Physical discs is itself a defence against piracy and add a custom media and data format to add more layers of complexity.

    It might not stop Chinese pros but it stops some guy in his garage in Liverpool.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    makes sense...

    Even if a *great deal* of punters don't have broadband fast enough to stream movies, they'll already have a plethora of devices capable of playing DVD's and some will have Blu Ray.

    That's the reality - existing hardware.

    Streaming movies is a nice thought, but really, this is not quite mainstream yet, if only because fast broadband is still a minority in terms of numbers in the UK. It looks like it's going to be some time before fast broadband is mainstream, given the snails pace BT moves at and their stranglehold on the infrastructure.

    The other reality, whether you like it or not, is punters sharing movie and tv downloads with each other, in that good old fashioned illegal way - copy it onto a disc. The tech savvy punter will grab a torrent and the less tech savvy will end up with a copy - up and down the length of Britain, in offices everywhere, there's swapping going on.

    The movie industry has no choice but to go with streaming - the disc will be all but dead in a decade.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    redundant functionality

    My last four consoles have had the capability to play DVD's and I've not used it once. I did but controllers make for crappy remotes and a dedicated remote is a fair chunk of the price of a dedicated player.

    Funny though, the new wii controller could make a superb remote

    If nintendo wanted to be cheeky they could include a *proper* media player.

    Cheekier still and they could include a torrent client ...

    My TV has one (1!) HDMI slot. This justified the expense of an uber home cinema sound system with switchable hdmi.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For reference...

    BD Player/Recorder Royalty Rate (USD)

    BD Player $ 9.00

    BD Data Disc $ 0.0725

    Assuming Wii-like console sales of 20 million/year and maybe 50 million games/year, that's a decent amount of money to try and save...

  28. Adam Nealis

    Keeps costs down. Reduces duplication of functionality.

    Sounds sensible to me. If I was a shareholder I'd be happy.

    Unlike Sony and MS, Nintendo like to make money on their hardware as well as the games. It can lower the price point for Wii U.

    Apple disrupted the smart phone market by selling a smart phone that didn't do C'n'P.

    M$ produced mail clients that didn't do SMTP.

  29. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Spinning media?

    Why even bother with it at all?

    32Mb flash is relatively cheap and can only get cheaper - and as far as I can tell ALL the blue laser based formats are hellaciously senstive to scratches - given the type of end user, robustness is everything.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      there's a tiny capacity difference between 32Mb flash and 25GB optical discs.

      The discs are cheaper too! I can't see a 25GB flash unit, getting near to the penny or so per unit discs cost to stamp out. It soon adds up if you're making millions.

  30. FreeTard

    Makes complete sense...

    As a PS3 owner who has never put a DVD or Blueray near the box, but does watch movies on sdcards or over the net on it.

    Meeja is dead and gone IMO.

  31. MarkRBowyer

    This is more about game piracy, isn't it?

    If they have a proprietary BD format for games, and can alter the drive to read it, then how are pirates going to download and burn that image to blank media?

    All the hacks to Wiis I'm aware of hit the DVD drive, and "fixed" it so that it couldn't tell any more what was an orginal game bough in a white box, and what was a DVD-R with a disk image burned to it. Nintendo faught it, but the firmware on the chips in these hardware hacks just got updated and the pirates were off again.

    So Nintendo get to have more storage for the games - and if the graphics chips are that good, they'll need that for all the textures - which BD gives them. And they also get to screw the Pirates at the same time. Maybe they've turned round the motor, so it spins the disk the other way, or reads from the outside to the inside instead? Put the disk ID data on the outer edge, and writer software on PCs is screwed.

    Your hardware then can't read any other media, but as you say, is that really a loss? Just don't sell the Wii U as a BD/DVD player. And kill piracy without some pretty major work by the pirates at the same time. HAve they said the Wii U is backwards compatible to the Wii?

    Win-Win for Nintendo and the games companies?

    1. Eugene Goodrich
      Paris Hilton

      Reading backwards won't stop anyone

      [[Maybe they've turned round the motor, so it spins the disk the other way, or reads from the outside to the inside instead?]]

      I think that would be decoded at such a low level hackers might not even need to code around it.

  32. b166er

    Ah Ninty

    Hurrah for common sense. Now please, put your games back on cartridges.

  33. Anonymous Coward


    well they best pray the new wii best be the dogs bollocks of game consoles. I used my xbox 360 and ps3 and also the drives to play dvd movies from lovefilm / my collection. If nintendo want people to use their console as their entertainment hub then it needs to do the basics - ie play a dvd.

    In truth, I doubt I will own one of their new consoles - I really despised the cutesy cuddly wrap you in cotton wool feel of the current one. the controller was nothing shy of frustrating - even the kids don't use it any more.

  34. Piezor


    "The reason for that is that we feel that enough people already have devices that are capable of playing DVDs and Blu-ray,"

    Like Playstations and Xboxes?

    I can understand that physical media is a dying breed. My PS3 isn't exactly battered by blu rays and dvds due to streaming services. But for the people that do still want and like to have physical media (or at least a device to play the media on should they ever need to) consolidation is a big selling point.

    I only got a PS3 over an xbox so i wouldn't have to purchase a seperate blu ray player, which were rather pricey at the time, and occasionally me and mrs piezor like to take a retro trip to blockbuster and party like it's 1999.

    Smart move to keep the costs down by nintendo.

    Not so smart for turning away customers who do want to consolidate devices in their home and would be more likely to look to Sony (incompetence notwithstanding) or Microsoft.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Software distribution on disc through retail is dead. Apple knows this. Nintendo appear not to. They should have left out the 20th century tech optical drive altogether and just put a small hard disk (flash too expensive for Nintendo) and relied on software downloads. Then there would be no complaints or confusion about the drive not playing DVD and BD.

  36. EvilGav 1


    How many times does it have to be said - the infrastructure does not exist universally to support downloads of the scale required for films or games.

    I have a lovely, stable, unlimited and fast (for the UK) connection, but a 25GB game is still going to take a few hours to download (same goes for films).

    Then we get into the storage - current consoles aren't shipping with more than 250GB drives. So you can only have 10 games on your shiney new console. Ever. Even if we jump that up to a 1TB drive, it's still only 40 games (assuming max'd disc).

    As for all the comments on streaming films instead of BD. Really? You have a stable connection that can permanantly stream 36Mbps?? I have the full set-up, BD, home theatre, the whole lot and other than an actual BD rip, nothing compares to it for picture or sound.

    Finally, we should probably remember that Ninty will have to pay Sony and Phillips a fee, as long as they use any optical storage method. They do hold almost all of the relavant patents in that area.

  37. IR


    I can see why they aren't bothering with BR, but DVD playback would cost almost nothing. Being able to get rid of the legacy DVD player (especially since everyone has a DVR now) would be very useful and save some precious space under the tv, not least the insane mess of wires that connect everything up.

    Being able to turn the controller into a portable DVD player you can use around the house and garden would be a major plus.

  38. Eugene Goodrich
    Thumb Up

    Limited time, money

    Nintendo knows they can take the console price and development time and apply it all to making the best game-player possible, or split some of those resources off to making it play discs - that other devices already do.

    I think Nintendo thinks their best shot at doing well with the "U" is to make it the best game-player-per-dollar it can be.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I have a pc with a blue ray in it anyway, and by the time the wii u comes out anyone that cares about br will already have one.

    As to my ageing dvd collection I moved 6 months ago and it's still in the boxes, and likely never going to come out again. Lovefilm deliver me the dvds I need.

  40. sisk
    Thumb Up

    He's right

    "perhaps he thinks we'll all be downloading HD movies by the time the Wii U appears"

    I stream HD video off Netflix NOW, as do enough Americans that Netflix accounts for the single largest chunk of prime time internet traffic. I still watch discs occasionally, but not very often. By the time Wii U hits I'm sure the rest of the world will see how profitable Netflix is and we'll be seeing clones in the rest of the world.

    Besides, just like with the Wii, the Wii U will play DVDs and posibly Blu-Rays. You'll just have to wait for the home brewers to make it happen.

  41. NemoWho

    Up Yours Nintendo

    This was a stupid argument at the release of the Wii, and it still a stupid argument. Take the simplest of scenarios - kid's room with one TV and one Nintendo device. For the 8 dollars or so (if that) it would cost Nintendo to include DVD playback, why insist everyone "already has a DVD player" and act like this is redundant. @ssholes, the device is already in there. Make me homebrew to play DVDs? Seriously? Then Sony and Microsoft must be fools for including the feature, right?

  42. Jim 16


    I always assumed that there would be a DVD Channel download from the Wii Shop Channel, that would cover the licensing cost and enable the hidden ability to play DVDs.

    It never came.

    Is there some legal restriction that would prevent them doing this, either for the Wii or the Wii U?

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