Wii Mini confirmed

News Aaron Birch 27 Nov 2012 - 18:42

Nintendo has confirmed the existence and (very) limited arrival of the Wii Mini, as well as the release date…

Well, well. Yesterday there were rumours circulating that Nintendo was to release a new, miniature SKU of the Wii this Christmas, as early as December 7 no less. This was a rumour that, given the apparent lack of confirmation or build up advertising by Nintendo, I found hard to believe. That, and the recent arrival of the Wii U, surely now the focal point of Nintendo marketing strategy, combined to make this a rumour that was unlikely.

Well, slap me sideways with a wet haddock, the rumours were, indeed, true. Nintendo has now confirmed that the Wii Mini is due to arrive on December 7, and not only will it be cheap as chips, costing only $99, but it’ll also sport a rather nifty, late 80s, early 90s-style red and black colour scheme, and matching red Wii remote (Motionplus) and Nunchuck. Oh, and as well as being smaller in size, it’ll sport a top-loading disc tray.

The catch? Well, unless you’re Canadian, you’re out of luck, as it’s currently exclusive to Canada. Also, to accommodate the smaller size, and, far more likely, the lower cost, the unit won’t have any online capabilities or backwards compatibility for GameCube. So, if you’re still holding on to those mini GC discs, you’ll need to keep your trusty GameCube or buy a normal Wii, the Mini won’t cater for you I'm afraid.

On the face of it, this is a rather odd move by Nintendo, given that the company has dropped first-party software support for the Wii. The same tactic has worked nicely in the past for Nintendo, as well as competitor, Sony, and both have kept older generation platforms alive after next gen arrivals should have seen them off, but limiting the unit to one country is just crazy. And, why is the unit lacking connectivity? The original Wii isn’t exactly outrageous when it comes to price, and packs in far more features.

So, the Wii Mini is real, but the question remains, will Canadian gamers mind the loss of online and GameCube support, or will they simply look for second hand Wii deals instead? And, as Nintendo hasn’t ruled out a release in other regions, does anyone else really care?

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