Nintendo has confirmed that the Wii U will not ship with the ability to play DVDs or Blu-rays. Following the console's reveal last week at E3, Nintendo told investors and analysts that while the system is designed to chug away on Nintendo's own “proprietary high-density [12-cm] optical discs”, it would not support a playback feature for commercial DVDs and Blu-rays, explaining that most consumers already have umpteen ways to enjoy media of this ilk. According to Nintendo, it just wouldn't make fiscal sense to add to the clutter.
"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," said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.
Addressing further concerns over the Wii U's hardware, specifically the notion it will only support one of the newfangled touchscreen controllers, Iwata revealed that Nintendo is open to exploring multi-controller options, suggesting, “In the future, we may look at what other opportunities there are for gameplay and, how having two of those controllers might create fun or interesting new styles of play, but of course in doing that, it would require a consumer to purchase an additional controller. Therefore, we would need to carefully consider how we could create such an experience and, potentially, how we could ensure that there would be enough value within that experience for the consumer to accept that cost and make that purchase.”
Nintendo appears to be taking a defensive stance following the Wii U's debut at E3 2011. And while the omission of DVD and Blu-ray playback makes some sense (remember, the Wii initially skipped this feature as well and the world continued to spin), the hesitancy regarding multiple controllers does seem contrary to the company's “let's let everyone enjoy the same experience” philosophy. Granted, Nintendo still has some time to change its mind on these things, but knowing what we currently do now, do the Wii U's features (or lack thereof) increase of decrease your interest in the Big N's next big thing?
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