Nintendo.com has released an interview given on June 8th from an Investor Q&A session at E3. The people at Nintendo have not given out much information (as seen in my last article about new details on the Wii U), however, there is one thing that was told out-front in the interview: the Wii U will not play DVDs or Blu-ray discs.
In the interview, Satoru Iwata claimed that “Wii U does not have DVD or Blu-ray playback capabilities. 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.
Iwata’s claim is understandable. It would cost more money to produce consoles that can play DVDs and Blu-rays and this cost might not be made up, especially with the recent strength in the yen. According to Iwata, “…because the U.S. market is the largest market in the world for video games, and understanding the situation with the appreciation of the yen and the impact that that would have, we of course have to take measures to try to mitigate that, otherwise, our competitiveness in the U.S. market would become weaker and weaker. One of the measures that we are taking is that, for instance, where we are procuring parts and components or outsourcing manufacturing to EMS (Electronics Manufacturing Services), we have negotiated to make payments in U.S. dollars rather than in yen to the extent possible, and we are making further efforts to use U.S. dollars for the payments going forward.
So, within the breakdown of our cost of goods manufactured and the extent to which we’re paying in U.S. dollars versus yen, the situation has changed perhaps from what it was in the past where we were primarily paying in yen to one where we’re now paying in U.S. dollars to a large degree.”
It obviously takes a lot of time and consideration to just even figure out how to get the most profits from selling the consoles. Even if the Wii U will not play DVDs and Blu-rays, it will still have Netflix. As fans, we must be understanding of the company’s conflicts and maintain a positive attitude towards the company’s future.