E3 2011: No DVD or Blu-Ray Playback For U!

Being both the belle of the ball, and the greatest source of controversy at this year’s E3 Expo, it’s not shocking that the Wii U has even more hardware surprises in store. Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata has revealed during a Q & A session with analysts at E3, that the Wii U will not function as a DVD or Blu-ray player.

President Iwata was pressed by analysts,

“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?”

He answered boldly with a simple statement,

“Wii U does not have DVD or Blu-ray playback capabilities.”

So, what influenced Nintendo’s decision to negate the playback function on their sixth major console? Iwata explained that the choice was based upon consumer hardware,

“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 has a point. A majority of people own technologies such as laptops that are capable of playing both DVD and Blu ray. Although, who hasn’t used their Sony Playstation 3 to play DVD’s and Blu-ray?

Iwata also stated in the interview, that one of the focus points of the Wii U is to catapult gaming into the mainstream lifestyle.

“…there are really two points that we are focused on. One is that we looked at the system and we asked the question, what can we do to attract people who were not inspired by even the Wii Remote or the Wii Balance Board to participate in video gaming, and how can we, through this system, capture their attention?”

Wouldn’t the the playback feature further influence those who are familiar with the joys of DVD’s and Blu-ray, but not gaming, to purchase the console?

But then again, there’s certainly no complaining about saving dollars on a function that we already have.

The entire Q & A interview is available for your reading pleasure here.

[SOURCE]: 2011 E3 Expo Analyst Q & A Session – June 8, 2011