It looks like our hopes for DVD playback on Dolphin are being dashed about jagged rocks by Nintendo. Alas!
This is bad news. Very bad news. IGN64 has the very bad news. Japan and not US? Yo! Nintendo, remember how many freakin' N64's you have sold here. Don't forget who is helping keep you alive. Here's the poop.
Giant electronics firm Matsushita announced yesterday in a Japanese press conference that it will not bring its version of Dolphin to US shores. The system, which includes the ability to play back DVD movies, will release exclusively in Japan. The announcement shatters hopes for a Matsushita developed high-end DVD-ready version of Dolphin in the US.
Nintendo's base Dolphin system, which will not be able to play DVD movies or CD music, will be the only unit available to US consumers it seems. This is particularly significant because Sony's PlayStation 2 can and will play both DVD movies and music, thus causing a major split in the abilities of the competing systems. Sony's console will no doubt be marketed as a multipurpose entertainment system whereas Nintendo's Dolphin will be viewed as (just) a videogame console -- which, incidentally, is exactly what Nintendo wants.
Whether or not Nintendo will seek to release an add-on DVD-player of its own, or pursue other methods of delivering the movie format into its buyers' hands, remains to be seen.