DVD-Enabled Wii Coming to North America

Nintendo of America confirmed today to GameDaily that Nintendo’s DVD-enabled Wii will make its way to North America. Previous reports had denied this and claimed that the enhanced Wii would only be available to consumers in Japan. The vague release date of 2007 was attached to the Japan release, and we have no reason to believe that this version of the Wii will be available anytime sooner than that on North American shores. This information comes about after a Sonic Solutions press release stated that Nintendo had chosen the "Sonic CinePlayer CE DVD Navigator to bring high-quality DVD movie viewing to a future version of the company’s Wii gaming console." The release suggested this version of Wii will be released in the second half of 2007, but didn’t confirm whether this was an announcement for Nintendo’s intention to bring this state-side. Nintendo of America PR Manager Matt Atwood said that a price has not been established, but that this version of Nintendo’s new console could cost more than the standard system. The possibility of a higher price tag is due to the "extra cost required to implement DVD playback." When asked if first generation Wii owners would be able to upgrade their systems through a firmware update, Atwood said that it "requires more than a firmware upgrade." Bummer. It might seem like a strange decision to some that Nintendo would release a system that–in a way–is superior to its original model, without the possibility of the latter being upgraded. Of course, given that this is nothing more than a DVD player, it isn’t like households will suddenly be stricken without disc-based movie playback. An "enhanced" Nintendo system is nothing new (take the DS Lite and multiple iterations of the Game Boy Advance, for instance). Nintendo’s reasoning for announcing this prior to launch is likely to offer an option for consumers who wish to wait out the console campaigns for the DVD-enabled Wii. This may be a move on the part of Nintendo to reinforce their statements that they aren’t fans of either HD-DVD of Blu-Ray, and that they dislike forcing new formats upon consumers.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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