If you were hoping your next-generation Nintendo Wii U would double as a DVD or Blu-ray player in your living room, you're out of luck. According to Kotaku, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata just confirmed that the upcoming Wii U will only play Nintendo's proprietary 25 GB game disks, even though they are the same size as Blu-ray disks.
In a call with investors and analysts about the Wii U, Iwata has this to say on the decision to exclude a DVD and Blu-ray player from the upcoming 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 console because of the patents related to those technologies.
He is right that the majority of the Wii U's users likely already have other devices that can play DVDs and Blu-rays, so not including the feature in the Wii U won't be a deal breaker for consumers. However, it could give consumers the impression that the Wii U doesn't offer the best bang for their buck because other consoles offer the feature. That said, the Wii also doesn't play DVDs yet the lack of the feature hardly seems to hurt Nintendo's sales.
Personally, I'm looking forward to the Wii U for the new gameplay it offers, not how its entertainment features stack up to the Xbox 360 and the Sony PlayStation 3. If I want to watch a DVD, I can always pop one into my laptop, but I rarely consume media from a disk these days, with most of my entertainment content existing in the cloud thanks to Netflix and Hulu. Since my Wii already supports Netflix, I will likely be able to enjoy my movies through Netflix on the Wii U as well.
Will the lack of a Blu-ray or DVD player in the Wii U be a deal breaker for you?