If you either hoped or assumed that since Nintendo's Wii U
is going to finally match, or perhaps (hopefully) even surpass the specs of the Xbox 360 and PS3, it would also support Blu-ray or DVD optical discs, don't hold your breath.
Buried in the 2011 E3 Analyst Q&A Session, Nintendo
president Satoru Iwata said the next-generation Nintendo gaming console won't play DVD or Blu-ray discs:
The reason for that is that we feel that enough people already have devices that are capable of playing DVDs and Blu-ray, such that it didn't warrant the cost involved to build that functionality into the Wii U console because of the patents related to those technologies.
Although some of us would love to get rid of one extra device connected to our TV, the Wii isn't going to help in that direction.
The Blu-ray drive that came as part of the PS3 was credited with helping Sony's high-definition optical disc format to beat out HD-DVD. Based on the word "cost," it sounds like Nintendo didn't see much use to paying the necessary licensing fees for DVD or Blu-ray support.
The Wii U will debut in 2012 (sometime). Since we ourselves predicted that Blu-ray's win over HD-DVD would be short-lived, it's probably not that severe a loss. On the other hand, we certainly hope that the Wii U will have the ability to play Netflix streams.