DVD playback. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

Let me preface this post by saying I am deeply sorry if you or your parents or loved ones do not yet own a DVD player. That said, get with the program and join the majority of the world in the 21rst century. I say this because one of the latest rumors regarding the Wii — that DVD playback would be included in an “update” console in 2007, only in Japan — has been confirmed by Nintendo.

In this day and age, this is almost a non-news item. When I pick up the Wii on Nov. 19 in the cold parking lot of a New England Best Buy/Target to be named later, watching a movie on it will be the last thing on my mind. Strike that, it won’t even be on the radar screen whatsoever. Why? Because sitting at home alongside my TV is a PS2 and a DVD/VCR combo unit from Wal-mart that my girlfriend has had since college. I can’t remember the brand name, but I think they also make toasters.

Point is, DVD playback was big when the PS2 got big; I’d argue this feature was one of the driving forces behind its overhwhelming success. But today, such a feature is overkill, which is why this news from Nintendo today is so puzzling. It’s almost like a case of PS3 boomerang-itis, wherein a small yet very vocal minority of people demanded a niche feature and got their wish simply because they were so loud and obnoxious. Having a second console launch so close to the first dilutes the brand, and gives people one too many options. Sure it worked for the DS, but by the time of the DS Lite there was a stable of great games already out, and the system had proved itself worthy of a facelift. Today, there’s a confirmed facelift for the Japanese Wii already announced, and the system hasn’t even hit the pavement yet.

DVD playback and the Wii. Absolutely worthless.