Then: The Wii could play DVDs via an unspecified and entirely nebulous dongle. The original console description reads: "Two Disc Formats, One Slot: Instead of a tray, a single, innovative, self-loading media bay will play both 12-centimeter optical discs used for the new system as well as Nintendo GameCube discs. Owners will have the option of equipping a small, self-contained attachment to play movies and other DVD content."
Now: Inserting a DVD into the system will likely produce a polite error message indicating a complete inability to play DVDs. Nintendo's Perrin Kaplan explains DVD playback was removed "in order to deliver the machine at a cheaper cost and because most people today already own DVD players." On the plus side, this reduces the amount of times we'll have to type a dubious word like "dongle."