While Nintendo's upcoming Wii U game console will be more powerful than the current generation of game consoles, don't expect the device to play any of your collection of DVD and Blu-Ray movie disks. Nintendo has posted up an English version of an investor Q&A with its president Satoru Iwata that was held during E3 2011. During that interview he states, "Wii U does not have DVD or Blu-ray playback capabilities." He added that Nintendo's reasoning for such a decision "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."
DVD movie playback has been a part of the PS2 console since its 2000 launch and for the original Xbox when it was released in 2001. Nintendo's GameCube was also launched in 2001 but used a proprietary disk format that was smaller than the traditional DVD disk. In 2005 the Xbox 360 launched with DVD playback and later released an add-on that allowed the console to play HD-DVD movies. Sony launched the PS3 in 2006 and was one of the first devices to offer Blu-Ray movie playback (it also can play DVD movie disks). In 2007 the HD-DVD movie disk format was discontinued and Microsoft abandoned the HD-DVD add-on device. The Wii used a more conventional DVD disk format but is still unable to play DVD movies although at one time Nintendo had plans to offer such support.