Though it seems to be a match for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in most ways, the Wii U won't have the capability of playing DVD or Blu-ray movies. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed the news in a recent investor Q&A, saying that people already own devices for that purpose and "it didn't warrant the cost involved to build that functionality into the Wii U console because of the patents related to those technologies."
Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean you can't watch movies on your Wii U next year. Netflix is aggressively pursuing every device with a screen, so it's a safe bet that we'll see some form of instant streaming on the Wii U. If Nintendo can get a low-latency stream from the device onto the controller screen, even better.