They could have done differently.
That same bay could have housed a slim BR/DVD burner (they have a slot loading one! I didn't know that...), the same set of memory card slots, and either a smaller number of USB ports or else stacked ports to reduce space. And even the SSD mounts could have been kept.
Or, make the face basically be the front of a hot-swap tray for a 2.5" SSD or 3.5" HDD. The whole thing slides out and you can remove the drive if you need to without going into your case. There are 2.5" hot-swap drive accessories that can fit 6 devices into a 5" bay, so they should have been able to fit just two of those plus the ports.
In the end, I suppose it all depends on the purpose. I wouldn't want hot-swap bays in my living room, and I wouldn't want a mixup of bays and USB ports / card readers if I had empty bays in a mid-tower. So multi-purpose bay accessories are only useful if you have a limited number of bays available.