The Wii U Will Not Play DVDs And Blu-ray Discs

The Wii U Will Not Play DVDs And Blu-ray Discs

The Wii U plays games that run on a proprietary 25GB format. That’s the same size as Blu-ray discs. But don’t think that means the Wii U will run Blu-ray discs. Heck, it won’t even run DVDs.

Speaking with investors and analysts, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata confirmed that the Wii U will not play DVDs nor will it play Blu-ray dics.

“Wii U does not have DVD or Blu-ray playback functions,” said Iwata.

According to the Nintendo honcho, “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.”

Nintendo’s current console, the Wii, does not permit DVD movie playback.

2011 E3 Expo アナリスト Q&A セッション – 質疑応答 [Nintendo]


  • What are the odds that it will still cost as much as a ps3/360 if not more, and still lack the DVD/Blu Ray player functions…

    • There is no reason for it to cost less than the PS3/XB360 if it has superior hardware, though Nintendo have proven in the past that by buying existing, off-the-shelf, 3rd party technology at the end of its development cycle they can significantly cut production costs and make profit on the hardware from day one.

      The prices you see now for the PS3/XB360 are the result of many years of loss-leading the initial hardware combined with redesigned consoles which take advantage of the now cheaper components several years down the track.

      Bottom line, a potentially superior console priced around the same as their competitor’s previous generation, and priced significantly lower than Sony/MS will be able to manage with their next offerings. A couple of years earlier too.

      • That’s going to be very problematic.

        Nintendo pulled ahead in this gen not because people liked the Wii more–it’s because the thing is cheap, and so everyone felt that it is justified to buy one.

        Even a better hardware and software lineup could never attract softcore buyers, so they will lose out on a very hefty number of audiences. If you ask me, I would say that they have just committed business suicide (relatively) this upcoming gen.

    • Hardware wise it’s a blu-ray drive. It is the format (think NTFS or FAT32 on hard drives) that is special.

    • The Wii can read DVD’s but it doesn’t have DVD playback. I am guessing the Wii U will be similar?

    • I’m assuming it’ll be like the Wii, which could basically read DVDs, but lacked the software. So hopefully, like the Wii, someone will homebrew in the functionality.

  • I’d rather pay a few bucks extra to have a machine that does two jobs, especially considering how many dvd players i’ve gone through…

  • It’ll use magic to play 25GB discs. I wonder if someone will hack thr Wii U and give it the ability to play DVDs at least.

  • I won’t be buying the Wii U for playing DVD’s, I have a 360 for that. What will the games run on?

  • No Blu Ray or DVD compatibility = theoretically less attempts at pirating or burning games down the line.

    We shouldn’t be surprised.

  • It’s probably a blue ray drive just with different firmware and software to suit Ninty’s format. I’m not going to cry over the loss of this feature but it would have been nice to have a second blue ray player.

    Heck having blue ray was 50% of how I convinced my fiancee that we should get a PS3, that and she has a crack-like addiction to ratchet and clank games.

  • I don’t think I’ve ever played a DVD on my X-Box, why? Well I do have a DVD player that runs my 5.1 sound. Turning on three devices is simply more work than turning on two.

    And did anyone not see that coming?

  • I already have a combination of 7 devices that can either play DVD or Blu-Ray, I don’t need another. Maybe it has a HD-DVD drive in there. MS really should have just adopted HD DVD wouldn’t be having disc space issues now

    • Stop making excuses; any console that doesnt play even DVD is a fail in my opinion. I mean c’mon? Sony and Microsoft have both made an attempt to give people their money’s worth, why arent Nintendo doing this?

      • mate, i’m pretty sure we buy consoles to play games. i didn’t give a fuck that my segas nintendos and ataris didn’t let me watch VHS.

        what a spoilt generation.

  • it is a bit disappointing that Nintendo didn’t just opt for BD-ROM support, i mean if your going to spend money developing a custom blu-ray disk then why not add support for movie playback.

  • Well, there’s another potentially useful aspect of the Wii U controller thrown out.

    Short of buying one of Sony’s 3D TVs to have two pictures playing at once, their controller would have let one person watch one movie while the other watched another via the controller. Sorry kids, all you’ll be able to do is play games – which were already released a year ago on the other consoles. Given that the controller is the only selling point for this console right now (at least until Nintendo get some first party games out the door) then this is shooting themselves in the foot.

    It’s not like the DVD patent licensing is expensive, when you can get DVD players for $30.

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