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
"To be involved in Nintendo’s ground-breaking gaming console is
extremely gratifying and a testament to the efficiency, flexibility and
dependability of Sonic’s technology," said Jim Taylor, senior vice
president and general manager of Sonic’s 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
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."