A lot of the internet is reporting that Iwata has said that the Nintendo Wii U will not play DVD or Blu-ray disks, but is it really that important whether it will or not?
A reason for the Wii U not supporting Blu-ray should be blatantly obvious, just for the record and for those a little slow off the mark, it would mean Nintendo having to pay Sony monies to be able to use Blu-ray technology and yeah, an extremely slim chance of that ever happening, why do you think Microsoft attempted to unleash the rival format HD-DVD?
As a friend on Twitter (@RidingOnTheWind) pointed out, there was some head scratching when the Wii was released without DVD playback capabilites to which I replied that, the Wii isn’t (in my opinion) what you would call a bedroom console, unless you have a rather large bedroom, of course.
Nintendo were pushing it as a family entertainment system, but the only entertainment was available through the ‘channels’ available on the home screen interface such as news and weather and that it would be the first thing people would turn on in the morning, yeah, sure…
I suppose one of the potential reasons for having at least DVD playback would be to use the controller’s screen to be able to watch movies remotely, but as Iwata (and RidingOnTheWind) said, people already have or at least, should have one device capable of DVD playback, even if it isn’t a standalone DVD player.
It’s great that the Wii U will be able to output full 1080p HD through HDMI, but why should that have anything to do with Blu-ray? Sony don’t own High Definition or (as far as I know) HDMI technology, Nintendo don’t want to add extra cost for something that people who will most likely buy the Wii U already own. The PlayStation 3 is quite the capable Blu-ray and DVD player and is rather quiet, too or you can buy Blu-ray players from as little as £50, which will most likely also play DVDs, so is it really that important if the Wii U doesn’t have such media playback?