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Wii Mini coming to the US this holiday

Posted by: Sean Colleli at 11/6/2013 9:54 PM

If you haven't heard already, Nintendo is bringing the Wii Mini to America this holiday. They previously released the system in Canada and Europe last year. The Wii Mini will cost you $99.99 and comes bundled with a copy of Mario Kart Wii.

I'm a card-carrying Nintendo fan but to be honest I don't think this is a good idea, and it's definitely not a good idea to buy this thing. The Wii Mini is really stripped down--for starters, it's missing the GameCube backwards compatibility, but that feature has been out of the Wii hardware since 2011. More importantly, the Wii Mini has no online capabilities to speak of--no broadband, no wifi--which also means no online multiplayer and no shop channel or virtual console.

The Wii Mini also lacks component output; the best you can manage with the thing is archaic old red-white-yellow composite. This makes sense, as up until the Wii U Nintendo hasn't put much emphasis on graphics, and their late-lifetime hardware revisions have traditionally stripped out graphical bells and whistles to cut costs (remember the NES top-loader and SNES Jr.?) The Wii Mini is ostensibly cheaper at only $100, but it's not necessarily a deal.

Here's the thing. Nintendo stamped out over 100 million original Wii consoles over the past 7 years, a lot of them before 2011, which means those still play GameCube games. They also have (admittedly limited) online capabilities and can output in component 480p, which actually looks a lot better than blurry old composite output. You could swing a dead Pikmin in any local game store and hit 10 used Wii consoles, all of them with more functionality than the Wii Mini and probably cheaper--Gamestop sells them for $70 and I've seen them for even less in other shops. Heck, you might still find an original model Wii brand new at some big box retailers; Nintendo may have discontinued the original model in Japan, but it's not like the things have been scarce since circa February 2007.

The Mini isn't even that much smaller than the original Wii, which is tiny to begin with, and while I dig the Mini's retro, red and black styling, it's just not worth it when you can buy a used Wii and a copy of Mario Kart Wii for the same price as the Mini.

Nintendo probably isn't a fan of this idea because they won't make any profit off of used console sales, but for the average consumer it's just smarter. For Nintendo, this might actually work against them. Among average shoppers there's enough confusion already about the Wii U and exactly what the heck it is, so putting another product on the shelves that says "Wii" on the box can only muddy the waters further.

I think Nintendo would've been better served pushing advertising for the Wii U as a console "that can do everything the Wii could BUT HEY IT'S A BRAND NEW SYSTEM TOO SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS." With some awesome Wii U games coming out, a price cut to $300 and a few great bundles this holiday, if you really want to play Wii games you're ultimately better off just splurging on a Wii U. I'd personally choose that over the inevitable "launch window blues" that will plague the PS4 and Xbox One.





 

Nov. 4, 2013 17:54 UTC

Wii mini Offers Big Value This Holiday Season

Affordable System Packaged with Mario Kart Wii and Available in the U.S for Only $99.99

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Wii console was a cultural phenomenon when it was released to the world in 2006. To continue this legacy and share the fun with as many people as possible, Nintendo is launching the Wii mini console in the U.S. at a suggested retail price of only $99.99. That is a tremendous value for families and people who have yet to join one of the most iconic and talked-about pop-culture trends of the last decade. Wii mini is a smaller, redesigned version of Wii that plays the entire library of more than 1,300 Wii games. The compact system is matte black with a red border, and comes with the Mario Kart Wii game, a red Wii Remote Plus controller and a red Nunchuk controller. While availability will differ somewhat according to location, shoppers can expect to see Wii mini in stores by the middle of November.

The Wii console was a cultural phenomenon when it was released to the world in 2006. To continue thi ...

The Wii console was a cultural phenomenon when it was released to the world in 2006. To continue this legacy and share the fun with as many people as possible, Nintendo is launching the Wii mini console in the U.S. at a suggested retail price of only $99.99. (Photo: Business Wire)

“Wii mini offers the same fun experience as Wii, which has been enjoyed by millions of people around the world,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “And it comes packaged with Mario Kart Wii, a multiplayer Mario racing game that is one of the best-selling Wii games. At such a great price, it is an extraordinary value for shoppers this holiday season.”

Wii is the best-selling system of this generation with more than 100 million units sold globally. Wii mini is for those who don’t own a Wii console and want to enjoy a ton of great Wii games on a stylish system at an affordable price. It is also for families who want an additional console in another room, allowing siblings and friends to play while the rest of the family enjoys other entertainment and games on the main living room TV screen. While Wii mini is not compatible with the Internet and will not allow online functionality when playing games, select multiplayer games can still be played locally with friends and families, which is the ideal way to enjoy such entertaining games like Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart Wii.

As a companion to the Wii mini system, a large collection of Nintendo Selects Wii games is available at a suggested retail price of only $19.99 each. These games include modern classics like Super Mario Galaxy, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Super Paper Mario. In addition, three newly discounted Wii games – Super Mario Galaxy 2, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Wii Sports Resort – are also available at a suggested retail price of $29.99 each. With an existing, extensive library of classic games available at such low prices, Wii mini demonstrates the value and variety Nintendo is offering this holiday season.

For more information about Wii mini, visit http://www.nintendo.com/wiimini.

Remember that Wii features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other features, visit http://www.nintendo.com/wii.

About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii U and Wiihome consoles, and Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS families of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo has sold more than 4.1 billion video games and more than 659 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL, as well as the Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi and Nintendo DSi XL, Super NES, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube and Wii systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Zelda and Pokémon. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at http://www.nintendo.com.

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The Wii console was a cultural phenomenon when it was released to the world in 2006. To continue this legacy and share the fun with as many people as possible, Nintendo is launching the Wii mini console in the U.S. at a suggested retail price of only $99.99. (Photo: Business Wire)

Wii mini is matte black with a red border, and comes with the Mario Kart Wii game, a red Wii Remote Plus controller and a red Nunchuk controller. While availability will differ somewhat according to location, shoppers can expect to see Wii mini in stores by the middle of November. (Photo: Business Wire)

Wii mini is for those who don’t own a Wii console and want to enjoy a ton of great Wii games on a stylish system at an affordable price. It is also for families who want an additional console in another room, allowing siblings and friends to play while the rest of the family enjoys other entertainment and games on the main living room TV screen. (Photo: Business Wire)