Nintendo may consider DVD/Blu-ray playback for Wii 2

Nintendo may consider DVD/Blu-ray playback for Wii 2

Drew over at NintendoCharged recently sent in a question to Nintendo about why the Wii doesn’t have DVD playback yet, after realizing that Nintendo previously confirmed the feature was coming, all the way back in 2007. He must’ve asked something about the Wii’s successor, too, as the response he received was certainly a very curious one.

Hi Drew,

I’m glad you contacted us about your interest in using the Wii console as a DVD player. While it’s not possible to play a DVD using the system, we appreciate knowing that this feature is important to you. I’ll be sure to add your comments to the record of feedback for this function.

A successor to Wii has not been officially announced yet so there is no expected release date.  There has also been no official announcement as to features like DVD or Blu-Ray playback or HD support appearing in our next system.  That said, you can feel confident that whatever we make will be built on the strengths of the Wii as we seek to change the way you perceive and interact with video games.

It’s only natural that once a home console has been on the market for a while that speculation concerning a follow-up begins.  I can confirm that work has already begun on the successor to the Wii; in fact, it’s typical to begin work on the next generation of hardware immediately following the release of the current generation.

We will reveal all concerning a new home console on our website (www.nintendo.com), but not until we are ready to do so. In the meantime, we encourage you to enjoy the Wii and its ever-expanding library of games.

Sincerely,

Barbara Soules

Nintendo of America Inc.

The mention of a “record of feedback” for the possible feature of DVD playback on the Wii is interesting, as it suggests that Drew wasn’t the first to complain about its absence. Note that DVD playback is actually possible on the current Wii through homebrew software, despite Nintendo’s claims that it would require new hardware. It may be a little too late to pack the feature into the Wii now, unless they decide to do it by firmware update (through which Nintendo has previously given us goodies like SDHC support and the ability to play games pseudo-directly off an SD card).

It’s more important to consider what this “record of feedback” may mean for the Wii’s successor. Barbara has given us the typical “we don’t comment on rumours and speculation” type of response that can be expected from reps like her; but if she has indeed submitted the idea to deeper quarters of the Big N, we can be sure that they’ll at least consider the feature again now. Considering, though, that DVD is slowly starting to become a format of the past, with its lack of HD support, there’s a chance Nintendo might adapt the (admittedly small) demand for a DVD player feature into a Blu-ray player. That is, of course, assuming that they’ll be willing to borrow a technology pioneered by one of their competitors, Sony.

Still, I think that it may be better if Nintendo focused on creating a good gaming experience, instead of wasting resources trying to turn their system into a multitasker when it doesn’t need to be. There are lots of great Blu-ray and DVD players on the market already – admittedly, packing one into the Wii 2 would sweeten the deal a bit, but it won’t be an exclusive system seller or anything like that.


Note that this is by no means confirmation or evidence of any kind that there will be DVD or Blu-ray playback in the Wii 2. I’m simply reporting on a request for the feature having been forwarded to a deeper part of Nintendo, and am speculating on what it might lead to. Please remember this when you comment.


So, how would you feel if the Wii’s successor could play DVDs? Blu-ray discs? Neither? Leave your thoughts below!

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  1. I was asking about the hardware update, presumably a new model with all the same new features, of the Wii. The only difference would be DVD. It was worded pretty harshly. I never mentioned the homebrew channel, though I belive they know that I know of that.

    • I’m sure they know of the Homebrew Channel. Which is why I mentioned it. Even for Nintendo, though, I highly doubt it makes sense to introduce a new SKU that only adds DVD playback and nothing else. I mean, you can grab a decent DVD player for less than $20 these days – the Wii would have to revolutionize DVD playback (unlikely with Blu-ray around) for most people to even seriously consider “upgrading” to it.

      I do think there’s still room for a software update, though. HBC proves that it’s possible to achieve DVD playback on the existing Wii hardware, so why shouldn’t Nintendo at least throw us a little bone there?

  2. Scientist

    “DVD playback is actually possible on the current Wii through homebrew software”
    Uh, wow. If I had that sort of software, my mom wouldn’t have any more reason to complain that my Wii is preventing her from watching DVDs. XD

    As for Wii 2… eh, it could actually be a good enough idea. Except, as you’ve mentioned, there are plenty of DVD players on the market, a lot of them now with Blu-Ray and HD.
    So it’s “no, thank you” here on my end.

  3. yay nintendo charged :D

  4. wiiboy101

    i do not see yhis happening at all nintendo follow there own path ,a 3DS stream/download service seems far more realistic ,but as sony and microsoft are dead as console makers they may just say to hell with it lets allow disc playback but its not reqiured at all didnt hurt wii did it…its not the nintendo way to pay fees to the DVD / BLURAY licencing bodys nintendo has never used standard media and has never payed the fees thats why dvd is locked out of wiis and only home brewers use it,this brings into question HDMI again theres a users fee nintendo hates these costs and point blank wont pay them so they will stay conponent or them for the first time in history pay-up the fee unless theres away round it,nintendo wants 3D media content threw there own system like 3DS so dont hold your breath for disc playback…

  5. Wolvesgod

    I agree with Wiiboy, that’s not the Nintendo way to go with playback functionality. That’s why they have the Nintendo optical discs, and so no one else can get into it, that’s why they joint-patent on the HVD head reader, with inphase. I can’t see Nintendo adding it to their systems, but one thing I think they can do is release two consoles, One for the Hardcore, and one for the casual gamers. so that people with a low gaming budget can get a console, and people who likes high tech can get their hunger fed. and then the controllers can work together, on both console.

  6. wiiboy101

    inphaze you deserve a cigar my friend i was going to say HOLGRAPHIC storage but forgot the companys name ,iv been thinking can inphaze hack a dvd into a much bigger faster storage medium if so just stay with the same disc but with some kind of inphaze re-design or go holograph cart!!! i expect nintendos internal storage to be solid state ether flash or a drive from inphaze tech im still wondering about HDMI its not very nintendo friendly but hollywood studios may insist on it for wii 2 movies

  7. Wolvesgod

    if Inphase turns their act around, and pay their damn taxes. Then forget about HD it will be above that. then it will be their competitors playing catch up again. If inphase will hold their side of the bargain, Nintendo will be hitting gold, again. and then they will be the leading powerhouse in video games, again. and Hollywood will be begging to make videos for Nintendo’s system.

    But it all falls on if Inphase can keep their place up, in Colorado.

  8. Still, 1st party movie things have not worked out well. Just look at the PSP system. How did that work out for Sony? They completely lost on that bet. They learned from their mistakes and stuck a Blu-Ray drive in the PlayStation 3. This has boosted sales majorly, as it added a lot of value to the system. It also helped advance Blu-Ray over HDDVD. Plus, the Nintendo Optical Disc is pretty much a DVD with a special digital “tag” added on. I think it would be stupid for Nintendo to only use 1st party encoding. Even if they did do this, the majority of movies would still be played through Netflix. It would leave Nintendo in a financial disaster.

    I do agree on Wolvesgod’s idea about a hardcore and casual system, though. The Wii is just not powerful enough to do a full hardcore experience. Imagine something like Zelda on a PlayStation 3. However, not all want this capability. My idea is to make two systems: the Wii 2 with WiiMote for casual gaming, and a new system ( Gamecube Pro? Nintendo Core? I dunno) with a wireless Classic Controller. Offer the Wii 2 for $200, and the Pro for $300. This will be a competitive device with systems such as the next Xbox and the PS4. I have been disappointed with Nintendo’s graphics in general lately.

    /rant

    • Wolvesgod

      yeah, so have I. Nintendo was always head of graphics (argueably) till they released the GC, I hope Nintendo hears out their fans, next generation, and ups the ante (can’t spell it).

      Nintendo, was always their for their fans, that’s why we got twilight princess, and that’s why we are getting the 3ds. You (Drew) should email them the Wii 2 wishlist we have on here. hell if they can market their console, as “Built for gamers, by gamers.” that will even provide them more sells too, because it shows they listen to the people who play their games, and show a connection between the consumers and the manufacturer, which is good for business.

      Do you really think, the Nintendo will be willing to pay royalties, to their competitors? Yeah they will get more sells, but they it will be helping a competitor… that part is really confusing, and hard to determine if it will be worth it, to pay get a small update in order to raise your product’s price more, for the consumer (because of royalty share).

      they usually want their systems to be price competitive and still playable.

    • At the end of the day, graphics don’t make a game. I mean sure they make it look prettier but add nothing special. The only game that I’ve ever considered that the graphics make the game even more re-playable is Uncharted 2.

      That’s my opinion :P

  9. wiiboy101

    until they released GAMECUBE xbox 1 12 million polygons @ 30 frames in 16 bit colour ///gamecube 20 million polygons @60 frames 24 bit colour

    HUH

    • Wolvesgod

      yeah but PS2 out powered the GC.

  10. wiiboy101

    toshiba HD dvd going cheap lol,its an option a custom version would do very nice..

    • Wolvesgod

      yeah that’s true, but HD dvd don’t get movies anymore.

    • Wolvesgod

      …. But it is backwards compatible with the Wii (dvd custom made disc) and the DVDs, and it will keep price cheap.

  11. wiiboy101

    Toshiba HD dvd as in a priority disc for fast loading and HD content and pirate proofing, nintendo doesn’t make movies, its a existing tech that failed its CHEAP Toshiba and nintendo can upgrade it in anyway that’s suits nintendo why not cheaper than a whole new system..

    oh by the way 3DS cart confirmed to max @ 8GB…..2GB T0 8 GB thats huge for a handheld thats like bluray in size vs ps3 in HD thats a insane size

  12. I like the sound of an adapted form of HD DVD as the Wii 2′s storage medium. I’ve actually been thinking of that possibility for quite a while even before you mentioned it.

    Indeed, as a failed technology, it should be dirt cheap to anyone who wants it. The actual HD DVD technology itself was very good, as it offered high storage capacity while building on the established foundation of the DVD format – it was possible to repurpose DVD-manufacturing machines to create HD DVDs instead. I can definitely see Nintendo going in this direction…

    Just gonna throw this one out there while I’m at it: what if Nintendo went back to cartridges? Flash memory is super-cheap these days, and cartridges would offer a number of advantages over discs, now that they can match and even exceed them in capacity.

  13. wiiboy101

    if the 3DS news is true MAX 8GB not 8Gbits=2GB the number already released by nintendo 8GB cart for 3DS can easy be 16GB end 2012 for wii2 it would also allow hybrid software direct from cart to wii 2 and 3DS ,i just wonder about consumers tho many are brainwashed by disc’s but the explosion in SD cards etc may sway nintendo as well as load speed and piracy protection maintain disc drive for wii and dvd play maybe….iv also been thinking HD dvd for a while near bluray storage pirate protection and fast loading on the cheap no dev costs just give toshiba some dosh.but theres small companys hacking dvd’s into 30GB atorage discs custom systems again CHEAP