Nintendo Wii to Play DVDs via Sonic Tech

Sonic Solutions, a maker of digital media software, on Monday said that Nintendo, the Japanese electronics firm, has selected it to provide DVD playback technology for use within an upcoming version of its Wii next-generation game console, Reuters reports.

Nintendo Wii system and Remote controller
Nintendo Wii

Wii (pronounced “wee”) is slated for release in the United States on Nov. 19, and it’s expected to hit Japanese retailers a few weeks later. Wii will sell in United States for $250.

Sonic says the version of Wii that will support DVD playback will be available in the second half of 2007, according to Reuters.

Sony plans to release its PlayStation 3 console two days before Nintendo’s Wii launch, and the two firms will go head to head with Microsoft and its Xbox 360—which launched a year ago—in a battle for supremacy in the next-gen game console space.

Nintendo Wii Logo

Both Microsoft and Sony have been actively touting their machines’ ability to support high-definition DVD playback, but Nintendo has been relatively mum on the subject of whether Wii would eventually offer users such a feature. When Sony releases PlayStation 3 in the United States, it will be available in a $499 low-end version with a 20GB hard drive, as well as a $599 model with 60GB of storage space and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. Both will feature Blu-ray drives. Microsoft recently said it would soon offer an HD-DVD add-on drive for use with the Xbox 360. A base Xbox 360 system sells for about $299, and the add-on HD-DVD drive will retail for about $170. The software giant also recently upgraded its Xbox Live online game service to support 1080p high-definition DVD playback.

It is unclear from the Reuters article whether Sonic’s CinePlayer CE DVD Navigator to be used within Wii supports 720p or 1080p high-definition DVD playback.

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