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Nintendo Wii to get DVD playback next year?

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Nintendo is planning to release a DVD playback pack for its next-generation console, Wii, but it looks like only Japanese consumers will ever get the chance to buy it. Europe and the US, it seems, are too stuffed with cheap DVD players to make such a move worthwhile.

So reports UK magazine Edge, which points to a 2007 launch date for the Japanese Wii DVD pack, possibly as an enhanced version of the console.

It certainly won't come cheap. Price appears to be the reason why the initial Wii will lack DVD support - adding it would have raised the console's price beyond Nintendo's price point, a statement from the videogames pioneer indicates.

Nintendo's pricing is key to its plan to win over casual gamers and consumers new to console gaming. Its logic runs: why risk that for the sake of a feature few if any buyers will use? Indeed, with DVD players now costing less than 50 quid from the nation's supermarkets, it's hard to imagine any UK household that wants DVD playback not having it already.

Times have changed. One of the key selling points of the PS2 when it launched in the US and Europe was its DVD playback feature. Sony hopes the PS3 will perform the same trick for its Blu-ray Disc format.

Wii is due to ship in Europe on 8 December for £179/€249. It will go on sale in the US on 19 November for $250, and in Japan on 2 December, for ¥25,000. ®

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