Nintendo's plan to bring DVD playback functionality to its as yet unlaunched Wii games console has been confirmed. US-based software developer Sonic Solutions this week revealed Nintendo will use its CinePlayer CE application for the purpose.
The utility will be incorporated into "a future version of the Wii gaming console", Sonic said. "Nintendo plans to release this version of Wii in the latter half of 2007."
That Nintendo might bring DVD playback to the Wii emerged last month, possibly through the introduction of a special DVD-ready Wii. However, Nintendo indicated that the product would probably only ship in Japan - the West is saturated with cheap DVD players, making the economics of such a move questionable.
Sonic Solutions' announcement doesn't contradict that, though the fact that Nintendo has apparently chosen a non-Japanese firm to provide the playback software suggests it's looking at a release beyond Japan's shoreline.
And Nintendo may offer the software as a commercial package. Sonic's statement simply points to a future, updated Wii - it doesn't explicitly say Nintendo will bundle the app. Building a second-gen Wii would be akin to Nintendo's release of the DS Lite not so long after shipping the original DS. The new console would have all the chippery required for DVD playback - assuming the upcoming Wii doesn't have it already - leaving Nintendo's plan to recoup the cost through sales of the playback app. ®