Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has confirmed that it's upcoming Wii U games console will not support DVD/Blu-ray playback. Does it matter?
Here is a Q&A from the Nintendo website:
Q: Are you planning on making the Wii U more of a home entertainment console by including Blu-ray or DVD drives, or is it going to be more like the Wii, and just be more of a pure gaming console?
A: Wii U does not have DVD or Blu-ray playback capabilities.
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.
Iwata has a point, there are plenty of devices out there that can handle DVD playback, but less so when it comes to Blu-ray. But is there an expectation from consumers that their games console will also double as a DVD/Blu-ray, especially given that the PS3 handles both formats, and the Xbox 360 handles DVDs?
Personally, I don't think it matters. While DVD and Blu-ray playback is nice, I don't think that it's going to be a deal-breaker not having it and Nintendo can save a few dollars per console by not adding it.