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Nintendo selects Sonic to enable DVD functionality in future version of Wii console

Out of all the new consoles (and a couple of the older ones), the Nintendo Wii will be the only one without DVD movie playback capability. While it's doubtful that the omission of such a feature will deter anyone from buying the console, considering that a basic DVD player can be had for less than the price of an extra Wii controller, the word came out today that a DVD-enabled Wii will be released by Nintendo in the latter half of 2007.

Sonic Solutions, creators of the Roxio CD and DVD software, was chosen by Nintendo to provide its CinePlayer CE DVD Navigator software for DVD playback on the Wii.

"To be involved in Nintendos ground-breaking gaming console is extremely gratifying and a testament to the efficiency, flexibility and dependability of Sonics technology," said Jim Taylor, senior vice president and general manager of Sonics Advanced Technology Group. "Game consoles represent a fresh market and platform where we can introduce a new audience of potentially millions to the quality of our brand and the power of our digital media applications."

A likely reason that Nintendo chose not to include DVD playback on its new console is that it would raise costs. In order for a machine to play DVDs, it must pay royalties for the license. The original Xbox sidestepped this obstacle by offering DVD playable functionality (and license) as part of a separate remote-control add-on.

While it is unclear why Nintendo chooses to release a completely different console instead of an "upgrade accessory" like with the first Xbox, a Nintendo spokesperson has made it clear that the differences are larger than just software and that it "requires more than a firmware upgrade."

The Nintendo Wii will launch in North America this Sunday, November 19.

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Not the best move
By peternelson on 11/14/2006 9:37:53 AM , Rating: 5
In announcing a dvd playing version next year, ie a "Wii PLUS", Nintendo are shooting themselves in the foot.

Now some people who thought of buying wii now will wait until the better model comes out.

This would have been better done with an xbox style optional upgrade, but since the very small cost of standalone dvd players right now, it's a non-issue. I'd rather conserve my console's drive for gaming than burn it out watching movies. A DVD player can be replaced far more easily than breaking your console.

RE: Not the best move
By TomZ on 11/14/2006 9:49:56 AM , Rating: 2
I agree - classic marketing mistake also made by many companies in the past. New products should never be pre-announced when they could overshadow existing product sales cycles.

RE: Not the best move
By Vertigo101 on 11/14/2006 9:57:01 AM , Rating: 4
Odds are, people already have a DVD player that provides better output than the Wii would. Remember, the reason people are buying the Wii is for games

RE: Not the best move
By coldracerx on 11/14/2006 10:06:18 AM , Rating: 2
I am getting the WII no matter what
I have a few DVD players at home that I don't even use and they are just collecting Dust. I have a HDTV and I see no need for a system that does not sport that technology to even offer DVD playback when stores sell the players for like $20 down here in south florida. This will be my first console I will buy at launch and trust me I went to the store down here that had it for testing ( line was small as they were only letting kids with parents or people with Driver lic play) and man it was fun. I even got my wife interested in it. WII will be the hit for the christmas season

RE: Not the best move
By Samus on 11/14/2006 11:52:55 PM , Rating: 4
I could give two shits if it plays DVD's. It's a game system. Guess how many times I've played a DVD in my PS2 or XBOX.

Yea. Zero.

RE: Not the best move
By tuteja1986 on 11/15/2006 7:45:55 AM , Rating: 2
Okay does anyone care or a better question does any one not have a some sort of DVD player ?

My list of device capable of playing DVD :

PS2 Silmline
XBOX 360
Dell P3 800Mhz Laptop
Server 01
Server 02
Gaming Desktop 01
Lan Game machine
LG DVD Recorder with 80GB HDD
LG DVD player on 2nd TV
External DVDRW
extra 16x DVD ROm
extra 4x DVDRW

And soon :
New IBM Thinkpad Laptop
PS3 with Blu-ray/DVD player
XBOX 360 HD-DVD/DVD drive

RE: Not the best move
By HaZaRd2K6 on 11/14/2006 10:06:57 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. As peternelson said earlier, standalone DVD players can be had for peanuts right now. People will buy a Wii for games, not for DVD playback. Also, how many people who are buying a console don't have DVD players right now? I would have to say a very small percentage.

RE: Not the best move
By Aikouka on 11/14/2006 10:07:36 AM , Rating: 2
Well, something like DVD playback is always an "extra added bonus" It allows you to remove one thing in your media cabinet and replace it with one solitary unit. The XBOX 360 and PS3 aim to replace quite a lot of devices in your media cabinet and I think people enjoy that aspect.

RE: Not the best move
By peternelson on 11/14/2006 11:04:08 AM , Rating: 3
Nearly everyone has a dvd player (based on penetration surveys in UK and big stores stop selling VHS players).

But for those without a SECOND or THIRD dvd player in the kids bedroom, the idea of a console having integrated dvd playing might swing it.

This announcement comes out even before they launch the ORIGINAL Wii is a classic marketing error, although I'm sure it will still be successful.

RE: Not the best move
By lemonadesoda on 11/14/2006 11:29:39 AM , Rating: 1
People buy the Wii for ENTERTAINMENT... and the new Wii concept is GROUP ENTERTAINMENT. What better way than to have a Wii Night , which is gaming followed by a movie.

Or kids birthday party, etc. etc.

To CATCH ON, the Wii needs to be portable and move from room to room or house to house. Viral marketing. Maximum useability. If it's got a bit of everything, it will catch on.

Everbody loves multifunction devices. Look at PDA, look at mobile phone, look at MP3/video player, even look at your watch. (Time AND date).

Wii = GAMES and MOVIE.

RE: Not the best move
By erwos on 11/14/2006 10:07:22 AM , Rating: 2
I think the bigger issue is that it's going to be a new hardware revision - meaning that this might end up being the "Wii SP", so to speak. Unfortunately, Nintendo's gotten into a habit of releasing multiple, substantially different versions of their consoles (DS Lite, GBA SP, Gamecube sans digital), which makes buying before you've seen both possibly a problem.

RE: Not the best move
By MrCoyote on 11/14/2006 10:12:09 AM , Rating: 3
Roxio and it's dvd player is really bloated software just like PowerDVD and WinDVD. They better put this dvd player software on an extra memory chip inside the Wii and not have it stored in main memory or on a hard drive somewhere. The Wii has limited memory as it is.

What is needed is a software player with smaller memory footprint. Why can't they get together with some of the lesser known developers for once and use their small footprint software?

I sure don't ever use Windows Media Player on my system. It is a hog and takes too long to load, even on a dual-core system. I use Media Player Classic instead. Instant load times and small memory footprint.

RE: Not the best move
By GaryJohnson on 11/14/2006 3:21:48 PM , Rating: 2
How small is MPC and it's 'memory footprint'?

RE: Not the best move
By Spivonious on 11/14/2006 4:19:07 PM , Rating: 2
So it takes less than the 20MB that WMP takes? It's a good thing that you have that extra 1500MB to use.

Why buy memory if you're not going to use it?

RE: Not the best move
By encryptkeeper on 11/14/2006 12:28:33 PM , Rating: 2
In announcing a dvd playing version next year, ie a "Wii PLUS", Nintendo are shooting themselves in the foot.

Now some people who thought of buying wii now will wait until the better model comes out.

This would have been better done with an xbox style optional upgrade, but since the very small cost of standalone dvd players right now, it's a non-issue. I'd rather conserve my console's drive for gaming than burn it out watching movies. A DVD player can be replaced far more easily than breaking your console.

No offense peternelson, but which is it? Opinions are fine, but you might as well stick to one. In the first part of your post you say this is a bad thing, then you say it's a nonissue.
I would agree on your second point. Whether people realize it or not, this is a non-issue to 95% of people that will buy and people that are thinking of buying the console right at the start. The wierd thing is why Nintendo didn't just include DVD playback from the start. One article said Nintendo wanted to make the Wii the center of living room entertainment, and you really can't do that without a DVD player.

RE: Not the best move
By CrazyBernie on 11/14/2006 1:15:15 PM , Rating: 3
The first point he's referring to the marketing aspects, and the second he's talking about the feature itself. There's no "sticking" to one opinion or the other since they're not the same.

RE: Not the best move
By Russell on 11/14/2006 2:10:48 PM , Rating: 2
I have about 15 devices in my house that play DVD's. Most people have at least 3. Why would I want to wait 6+ months to buy a DVD Wii?

RE: Not the best move
By doctor sam adams on 11/16/2006 3:24:48 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not going to get Wii until it can play VHS tapes and 8-tracks.

Pay Attention
By Egglick on 11/14/2006 10:14:46 AM , Rating: 5
Actually, if you read the article, Nintendo didn't announce this at all. It sounds like they signed a contract, and then Roxio (aka Sonic Solutions) ran out and told everybody about it.

"The owner of Sonic Solutions was seen walking to a back room by himself, with a bottle of lotion in hand."

RE: Pay Attention
By knowyourenemy on 11/14/2006 10:34:19 AM , Rating: 2
Good observation. I have tried looking for the official word from Nintendo, and I can confirm that only Sonic has made any comments.

RE: Pay Attention
By coldracerx on 11/14/2006 10:50:11 AM , Rating: 3
I was thinking the samething. Those fools at Roxio just got too happy and was running off at the mouth. Now they may cause issue for Nintendo.

Sony paid them to do it. LOL

RE: Pay Attention
By peternelson on 11/14/2006 11:10:24 AM , Rating: 2
Great! More money for the lawyers who sue for breaching NDAs etc.

Erm, you did get them to sign an NDA, didn't you?

RE: Pay Attention
By mgambrell on 11/14/2006 4:56:08 PM , Rating: 2
Damn fine observations indeed, guys. I wish there was a way to vote a reply not only worth reading but just plain contributory in terms of clarity or information

RE: Pay Attention
By trabpukcip on 11/15/2006 7:23:20 AM , Rating: 2
What is this Slashdot? ;)

By zombiexl on 11/14/2006 10:39:36 AM , Rating: 3
With Nintendto actually turning a profit on this thing (and yes I have a pre-order), you would think they wouldnt alienate customers for no good reason.

I could care less about it, but the fact remains that in less than a year a rev2 machine will be out for the same or less and have more functionality.

This would be like if MS released an HD-DVD version of the 360 this past summer for $399. The only difference being that MS would be adding alot more cost to themselves.

If MS could sell those crappy remotes for the original xbox for $20 then surely Nintendo could have had the foresight to add DVD playback from the start and still turn a profit.

By drebo on 11/14/2006 12:24:30 PM , Rating: 3
How is it alienating customers?

Tell me, do you have a Playstation 2? How many other gamers do you think have a Playstation 2? You can't play Playstation or Playstation 2 games on a Wii, so you're not getting rid of the Playstation 2. Thus, you already have a DVD player.

And, I'd bet money that you have a stand-alone player as well. And a computer. And probably an XBOX 360 or are planning to get a PS3 at some point in the future.

Tell me...exactly WHY do I need eight DVD players in my entertainment center?

By Lonyo on 11/14/2006 1:27:27 PM , Rating: 2
Well, that assumes your PS2 still works.
We have a PS2 and that's also our DVD player. It also recently had laser alignment issues, meaning it won't play anything, until we took it apart, voided the warranty, and sorted out the laser.
We being a student household who would rather not buy a DVD player if it can be avoided, even if they are cheap.

By peternelson on 11/14/2006 3:42:14 PM , Rating: 2
Yup had to take my ps2 apart and realign my laser too ;-)

But that's mostly for gaming use, I only rarely use it to play dvd movies.

Two devices or One?
By othercents on 11/14/2006 11:12:10 AM , Rating: 2
Personally I would rather have one device for both DVD and Gaming if I had the choice. I would rather not clutter up my entertainment system with multiple devices especially since I have to figure out how to get all of them plugged into my one TV. However this won't stop me from buying the only device available at the time of launch.

For most buyers they will see the Wii commercial, think it is a cool gaming system for their children, and buy it without thinking twice if there is a DVD player built into it. Keep in mind we are still at a point in time that gaming is something for kids to do, so most families will have separate TV for the game console and their main TV for DVDs.


RE: Two devices or One?
By zombiexl on 11/14/2006 11:44:14 AM , Rating: 2
Keep in mind we are still at a point in time that gaming is something for kids to do, so most families will have separate TV for the game console and their main TV for DVDs.

What? Do you think kinds outnumber the adults playing most consoles? I'm buying the Wii for my son for xmas, but I already have a 360 and the Wii will be connected to the big screen too so I can play it too. :)

As for DVD playback I have a few players around my house already so its not a big deal. Still for $250 it would have been nice for people who throw it in their kids room or whatever.

RE: Two devices or One?
By trabpukcip on 11/15/2006 7:28:33 AM , Rating: 2
Here is a good point: I would rather have kids trash the DVD Player than a Wii. Kids love to get sticky substances all over and scratch DVD's, not to mention screw up DVD drive trays, at least the Wii doesn't have one of those.

Still getting one now
By BioRebel on 11/14/2006 10:48:11 AM , Rating: 3
With DVD players selling for like $20, who really needs a console that can play them? But hey, if they offer a plan where I can send them my Wii or something and they can install the player for a small fee, I'll do it.

DVD playback
By wallijonn on 11/14/2006 12:54:51 PM , Rating: 2
Whenever I rent a Hollywood Video movie and see that it has circular burn marks I know that it's been played / paused-too-long on a PS2.

I don't want that to happen with the Wii. I want to be able to rent my movies without scratches and burn marks.

Divx more important than DVD
By porkster on 11/15/2006 2:11:09 AM , Rating: 2
To me Divx and streaming are more important than DVD. Divx should be free from royalties.

By Spar on 11/14/06, Rating: -1
"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs
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