A few days ago, some websites reported that a Nintendo Wii hardware revision was going to be announced. The rumors were in fact true and soon enough, Nintendo revealed the Wii Mini. The console will be out on December 7th for $99, but the lower price tag comes with a few omissions. For instance, the console doesn’t have Wi-Fi support (in fact, the upcoming hardware revision can’t connect to the internet in any way.) Additionally, the console doesn’t have GameCube functionality, a feature that the Wii Family Edition also eschewed. The system isn’t compatible with GameCube titles, controllers and memory cards.
The Wii Mini comes bundled with a Wii Remote Plus, Nunchuck controller, A/V connector, power adapter and sensor bar. Finally, it’s worth noting that the console is Canada-exclusive as of this writing, but many are speculating that it’ll be announced for other territories soon. And that’s pretty much it regarding the features of the Wii Mini. Now my question is: who is this console for?
For Nintendo, it makes a lot of sense to extend the life of the Wii, but who would buy this version of the console? Buying a regular Nintendo Wii costs $129.99 and it comes with both Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort. Additionally, you can connect it to the internet to either play with others or access online services such as WiiWare and Virtual Console. A console that comes bundled with two games for $129.99 sounds good to me.
The lack of GameCube support is a shame, but then again, we all knew that it wasn’t going to be in a new revision. Usually, backward compatibility is the first feature that gets removed from hardware revisions to make everything cheaper. Still, as someone who has never owned a GameCube and therefore missed a lot of GameCube titles, this would have been a huge selling point.
With the Wii Mini Nintendo set out to release a cheaper, smaller version of the Wii and they definitely succeeded in that endeavor. Undoubtedly, a lot of people will be attracted by the $99 price tag. Nevertheless, I can’t help but to think that even though the omissions make a lot of sense, they represent a huge part of what made the Wii such a huge success.
What do you think?