June 15, 2011, 12:10

Wii U Can’t Play DVDs, Let Alone Blu-rays

By David Howard, Editor-in-Chief and Founder

I’m still waiting for that bit of news that makes me go, “ah, so that’s why I want it!” So far, nothing even close has surfaced for Nintendo’s upcoming console the Wii U, instead it’s just story after story of disappointment and here’s another to add to the list. The Wii U cannot play DVDs or Blu-rays.

Confirmed by Nintendo, the Wii U will only run the Wii U’s 12cm proprietary disc and the 12cm discs used by the Wii, a decision made to keep costs down.

“Wii U does not have DVD or Blu-ray playback capabilities,” president Satoru Iwata told investors. “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.”

Quite surprising really, and given Sony and Microsoft’s attempts to mould their consoles into entertainment hubs, it’s a risky strategy for Nintendo to implement. Especially when you consider just how cheap DVD players are currently, let alone Blu-ray players.