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New format war is 'unfair to gamers', says Nintendo exec

Blu-ray and HD-DVD handbags.

Pierre-Paul Trépanier, marketing director for Nintendo Canada, has told our sister site GamesIndustry.biz he believes it's unfair to "force" new technologies such as HD-DVD and Blu-Ray on gamers.

Speaking in an interview at the Montréal International Games Summit last week, Trépanier said he's not concerned that Blu-Ray will help shift PlayStation 3 units - despite the fact that PS2 sales were boosted by the console's DVD playback feature.

"When I'm buying a gaming system, I'm focused on the games; I want to play games, and I think that's the primary reason why someone would buy a gaming system," said Trépanier.

"I think forcing a decision on consumers would certainly not be part of Nintendo's strategy, because we want to get more people into gaming and we want to make it affordable. Forcing people to adopt a technology and a model that's proprietary and still not established is unfair to gamers."

It was recently revealed that Nintendo plans to ship a new version of the Wii with a DVD playback feature in Japan next year. According to Trépanier, the decision as to whether the new model will make it to the North America and Europe "is not made yet".

"There needs to be some internal meetings and discussions about that," he said.

"What we do know is in North America penetration of DVD players is very close to 100 per cent, and that very few consumers - a very niche market - would ever be interested in paying extra for DVD functionality."

The Nintendo Wii will launch in North America on 19th November, with a European launch to follow on 8th December.