Wii Mini Proves its Existence, Launches in December

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Wii Mini Proves its Existence, Launches in December

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Nintendo gets ready to throw another Wii option on store shelves.

Just when I thought I had a handle on what Nintendo would or wouldn't do with its existing hardware, the Wii Mini comes along to destroy that notion in a fiery blaze of bright red plastic. It's official: Nintendo's Wii Mini is coming on December 7th for $99.99, and along with its new design, the slightly smaller console lacks a few features of its older brother.

Nintendo briefly had a Wii Mini announcement page up on its official website, but it has since been taken down for unknown reasons. But that hasn't stopped retailers all over the web from making their own announcements regarding the new, smaller Wii.

First let's examine the redesign. The console is tiny, but the current version of the Wii, and even the original console, were pretty small already. The system features textured black plastic sides and a red border, with two buttons blended into the corners. The two buttons appear to be Power and Open, meaning that the top of the console - the black section with the Wii logo - opens to allow you to put in discs. No more automatic disc slot this time around.

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As far as other features go, the console lacks both GameCube support and built-in wifi. GameCube support was already removed as of the most recent redesign, so that isn't really a surprise, but killing wifi is a real bummer. If you want to play games online, we're going to assume you'll need to plug a dongle into a USB port on the rear of the device.

The $99.99 bundle will score you the Wii Mini console and a red Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuck.

Now, I've already been rather open about my feeling that with so many current Wii bundles on store shelves, some gift givers unfamiliar with the gaming scene might accidentally purchase a regular Wii instead of a Wii U for their loved ones. Now we have an entirely new form factor thrown into the mix, along with a slightly altered name. Can this possibly end well? Let's hear your theories.

Source: Future Shop

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No Cube support eh? I missed that one, shame.

December 7th 2012, a day that will live in imfawii

So basically they are going to compete with their own brand new console, while at the same time making the average consumer even more confused which Wii is which. Sometimes I really do not understand Nintendo's policies.

I actually was not aware that the previous Wii redesign axed GameCube support. Definitely glad I still have my old launch Wii. I get why they remove backwards compatibility from a business perspective, but as a consumer and avid gamer it really bugs me how eager gaming hardware companies are to stop supporting physical versions of their old software catalog.

I can get a Wii for 50 ($80) that includes a game...

I can probably get it even cheaper if I shopped around too.

BrainWalker:
I actually was not aware that the previous Wii redesign axed GameCube support. Definitely glad I still have my old launch Wii. I get why they remove backwards compatibility from a business perspective, but as a consumer and avid gamer it really bugs me how eager gaming hardware companies are to stop supporting physical versions of their old software catalog.

I think it is more or less just for cost saving. I don't see where you would plug in a few Gamecube Controllers nor the respective memory cards.

Regardless, looks like this will be another Wii I will have to buy. Damn Game Collecting.

I am not sure whom they are targeting with this product. My guess is the smart TV crowd (e.g. Apple TV, Google TV, etc) so it is more like a box with widgets that happens to play games than a console.

They cannot really compete in the console market. The original Wii (which is way more featured) has a lower price point, and it is obviously not meant to compete with the big boys. Not even the Ouya.

If it is meant to target a small segment (the smart TV audience) they will be confusing the consumers that support their main product line... and cannibalising their own products.

I don't know, if you have never owned a Wii before would you buy this?

Alright, I was skeptical, I said it would be a handheld in jest,
but damn if that ain't style'n.

Triaed:
I am not sure whom they are targeting with this product.

I pretty much want a Wii to play Just Dance, Wii Sports Resort and maybe a couple other flail-y titles. A compact cheaper Wii I find interesting.

I can also guess the point is to offer a cheap replacement for current Wii users that need a new one after theirs breaks down.

Doesn't the Wii-U play wii games? Shouldn't they be marketing that thing instead of remaking a console that everyone and their mother has played? The normal Wii is still selling well.

ALso, the Wii isn't a console that would have been "easy" to make smaller, the thing was small enough as it is.

I like how they managed to remove features from a system that barely had them to begin with.

I have one of the special edition Red Wii from the New Super Mario launch. Luckily it still has GC support. In fact, I might fire up Wind Waker again.

Oskuro:

Triaed:
I am not sure whom they are targeting with this product.

I pretty much want a Wii to play Just Dance, Wii Sports Resort and maybe a couple other flail-y titles. A compact cheaper Wii I find interesting.

I can also guess the point is to offer a cheap replacement for current Wii users that need a new one after theirs breaks down.

Yeah, I can see this as a replacement console (if your original one breaks) or as a travel unit to bring with you on vacation... but that can't be whom they are targeting! It is a tiny market segment and they are causing consumer confusion.

I just...I mean...What?

I'm sure the actual cost investment for Nintendo was low on this one, so it's not like they're going to lose a lot if this doesn't fly, but I just don't understand the rational behind this. Is the hope here that by releasing both a WiiU and WiiMini that the less knowledgeable consumer buys both because they think both can't play the others' games? I just see that pissing off consumers more than anything. Maybe they figure if they don't get any Wii redesigns out now that they'll never get the chance to do so later. Even still, this seems very counterproductive to release another distracting console when you just released one that you're hoping will fly off store shelves.

Eternal_Lament:
I just...I mean...What?

I'm sure the actual cost investment for Nintendo was low on this one, so it's not like they're going to lose a lot if this doesn't fly, but I just don't understand the rational behind this. Is the hope here that by releasing both a WiiU and WiiMini that the less knowledgeable consumer buys both because they think both can't play the others' games? I just see that pissing off consumers more than anything. Maybe they figure if they don't get any Wii redesigns out now that they'll never get the chance to do so later. Even still, this seems very counterproductive to release another distracting console when you just released one that you're hoping will fly off store shelves.

Well, as a person who started out as completely in contempt of the Wii, then midly curious as better games came out but still not enough to actually purchase one, this did raise my interest a little bit. I never much considered playing online as a big thing with the Wii, thinking it was more of a social console where you play with the people around, so a budget version like this actually seems to work. If you're in a houseshare with a few other people you're all putting in $25-$30 to purchase the thing together and it sits in the common room where people can play it when they want. That's something I can see happening rather than shelling out for one of the other versions with features that won't be used.

I'm probably still not gonna buy it but it'll get reasonable sales.

Quick christmas cash-in, I'm betting. All the parents who don't have any console in the family at all yet now have a new, brand-name console they can pick up for the kids. I mean, just look at the thing. It looks rugged as hell, and would fit right in a with a lot of young kids toys.

I expect they're hoping that by doing this, they may also convert mom & dad into gamers as well and move them up to the Wii U.

Still though, if that's the play, I think they overpriced it.

Y u drop backwards compatibility?
Guess I got no chance playing eternal darkness then.
But seriously, why is this a thing?
My ps2 slim can play ps1 games no problem yet current gen consoles drop backwards compatibility all the time nowadays.
Why is that, to copy sonys stupidity?

Amethyst Wind:

Eternal_Lament:
I just...I mean...What?

I'm sure the actual cost investment for Nintendo was low on this one, so it's not like they're going to lose a lot if this doesn't fly, but I just don't understand the rational behind this. Is the hope here that by releasing both a WiiU and WiiMini that the less knowledgeable consumer buys both because they think both can't play the others' games? I just see that pissing off consumers more than anything. Maybe they figure if they don't get any Wii redesigns out now that they'll never get the chance to do so later. Even still, this seems very counterproductive to release another distracting console when you just released one that you're hoping will fly off store shelves.

Well, as a person who started out as completely in contempt of the Wii, then midly curious as better games came out but still not enough to actually purchase one, this did raise my interest a little bit. I never much considered playing online as a big thing with the Wii, thinking it was more of a social console where you play with the people around, so a budget version like this actually seems to work. If you're in a houseshare with a few other people you're all putting in $25-$30 to purchase the thing together and it sits in the common room where people can play it when they want. That's something I can see happening rather than shelling out for one of the other versions with features that won't be used.

I'm probably still not gonna buy it but it'll get reasonable sales.

Is that going to be a large enough market though? Again, this is probably not that much of a dependence for Nintendo, so it's not like this is a big money sink, but still, I can't help wonder that the money used for this could've been used on marketing the WiiU, which I imagine is more of a concern for them right now than anything else. Besides, it probably would've also been cheaper to just take an existing Wii model and bundle it with a new game.

loa:
Y u drop backwards compatibility?
Guess I got no chance playing eternal darkness then.
But seriously, why is this a thing?
My ps2 slim can play ps1 games no problem yet current gen consoles drop backwards compatibility all the time nowadays.
Why is that, to copy sonys stupidity?

I think this is so when Nintendo release Gamecube games on the WiiU EShop that there won't be anything relatively new that a consumer could buy for cheaper and not bother with the EShop. That, and I guess they figure that if you're this late into getting a Wii then you probably didn't play the Gamecube, so they probably didn't bother implementing a feature for a crowd they think won't be interested in it.

It's just a move to get the last of their inventory out the door. They probably had a fairly large stack of Wii Chips that needed to be ether sold or scraped. They've done similar moves with systems in the past. They produced a small run of a Tiny NES that is very difficult to find the pictures of. WiFi was scrapped because those chips are useful in real devices. There won't be any real good New Games on it shortly so you'll be buying used stuff for it any ways so it's targeting the very bottom of the market just to get some chips out the door. This is basically all the parts that wont work in a Wii U.

... Why? They just released the Wii U, why would they release another Wii to cut into its sales? Why release another Wii at all, especially if it has less features than the regular Wii? (At least the redesign of the 360 had more USB ports and built in WiFi!) I could understand aesthetically, but this isn't as good looking as the Wii, and the normal Wii is already super small. Yeah, Nintendo, I don't get this one.

Eternal_Lament:

loa:
Y u drop backwards compatibility?
Guess I got no chance playing eternal darkness then.
But seriously, why is this a thing?
My ps2 slim can play ps1 games no problem yet current gen consoles drop backwards compatibility all the time nowadays.
Why is that, to copy sonys stupidity?

I think this is so when Nintendo release Gamecube games on the WiiU EShop that there won't be anything relatively new that a consumer could buy for cheaper and not bother with the EShop. That, and I guess they figure that if you're this late into getting a Wii then you probably didn't play the Gamecube, so they probably didn't bother implementing a feature for a crowd they think won't be interested in it.

I very much doubt it'll lead the holiday console sales but I could easily see it breaking even with a few bucks left over for Nintendo to put in a kiddy pool to swim in or something. It's a fresh approach for an old console and will move product which, even if the final sales total isn't stunning, is good business for Nintendo. This is very much a side project to the WiiU but I think it's not end up costing them in the end, though the profits from it will certainly not be breathtaking.

CAPTCHA: count your change - indeed.

Amethyst Wind:
Snip

It definitely will sell some units, I'm not denying that. I just think from a financial standpoint it's a waste of money that could've gotten the same results for cheaper by moving units as bundles rather than releasing the mini unit. In my mind, it could've been used for productive things, such as WiiU marketing, as there isn't a lot, if any, right now. They could've had a win-win situation of selling off old units while invigorating interest in another unit, as it stands they're merely shipping out old units in a somewhat inefficient way.

Eternal_Lament:

Amethyst Wind:
Snip

It definitely will sell some units, I'm not denying that. I just think from a financial standpoint it's a waste of money that could've gotten the same results for cheaper by moving units as bundles rather than releasing the mini unit. In my mind, it could've been used for productive things, such as WiiU marketing, as there isn't a lot, if any, right now. They could've had a win-win situation of selling off old units while invigorating interest in another unit, as it stands they're merely shipping out old units in a somewhat inefficient way.

Could be an indirect admission of their bucking up the WiiU marketing. They didn't do enough of a job when they had time and now they they don't so they've rolled out a backburner in the hopes that they get some marketing osmosis for their new console. I mean most of these consoles will be bought in person, so they'll rely on the salespeople to tell the customers (the clueless, clueless customers) about not only the budget version of an existing product but also the brand-spanking new mack-daddy big purchase. It's a stretch certainly but eh, devil's advocate.

Amethyst Wind:
Snip

Fair enough. I've said this before, but talking to my local EB Games it's really clear that Nintendo has screwed up their marketing when customers assume that the WiiU is a handheld device, and lose interest when they release it's a home console. Maybe Nintendo really is hoping that the consumers are inept enough that they won't question the whole affair.

So wait a minute...

After nearly 100 million sold worldwide, Nintendo's Wii console is getting a new look and a new price. On Dec. 7, the new Wii Mini home console launches in Canada at a suggested retail price of just $99.99 and puts the focus squarely on Wii games.

Only in Canada? Color me confused.

...who are they targeting with this?

And why are they being so very stupid to compete with their own new console with the shitty old version?

Especially when you can go to gamestop and get one of the many many return Wiis for cheeper that have more features, some toys to go with it, and games...

Y'know, when the "rumor" article about this came out, I was perfectly ready to dismiss it as just rumor.

As so many others have said: Why?! It's like they've designed a new version of old hardware designed largely to appeal to suckers. Think about it: No wi-fi means no software downloads, and no firmware updates. This tells you something right off the bat about the long-term prospects of your console. Between that and the lack of backwards compatibility, you have a system that is very much of this one moment in time, and no other.

That...that looks hideous...it makes me want to vomit out of my eyes...

I have to admit, that's kind of silly.

Maybe there's still someone out there without a Wii, who doesn't want to buy a Wii U, but still wants a Wii that this might appeal to; but then they would probably have been fine with an older model Wii. But even then, it would probably still make more sense for Nintendo to just focus on their new console. Oh well, I'm sure someone will buy it.

That red Wii remote looks pretty cool though, I wonder if I can get that separately?

Jhooud:
Only in Canada? Color me confused.

That is a little strange isn't it? Maybe Nintendo of Canada's focus testing has revealed that Canadians love smaller redder versions of things that already exist?

Although I'm guessing if it's Canada only, it's going to be pretty hard to get my hands on that cool red Wii remote.

The design is kind of interesting. It reminds me of the Atari 2600 re-release, the one that was made of black plastic instead of woodgrain plastic. Also, the lack of Gamecube support is to be expected, but what's up with removing wi-fi?

Why are they competing with themselves? Wouldn't it have been a better idea to come out with Wiimini a couple months ago?

Why is everyone surprised by this? Console companies have always done cheap bundles when next gen machines come out. After the PS2 launched, Sony redesigned the PSX into the smaller PSOne. After the PS3 launched, they were doing cheap Singstar PS2 bundles. It's just a way for companies to get rid of surplus old stock. Standard business practise.

Besides, this is a Canada only thing, not some attempt to remarket the Wii globally.

Cue some grandparents or even some parents purchasing this instead of the Wii-U.

Also, why. Sony releases the PS3 again for the holiday season (without its own console to compete with, mind you) and they are rightfully questioned. Now, Nintendo does it, and it's okay? (To be a bit fair, Sony didn't lower their price, but they also didn't gut WiFi. Yet.)

I also thought Nintendo had ANOTHER Wii bundle coming this holiday season before this was announced. Which some people thought would confuse people when they went to purchase a Wii-U (which would probably be sold out) and return home with a Wii classic. And who gives a damn about a "mini" version. The Wii is the tiniest of all the consoles, my PS3 first gen could crush it. They don't need to be tiny! THEY AREN'T GOING ANYWHERE. That's the point of a console, they sit on your media center!

Okay, rant over.

I kind of get it, they are trying to corner people who are looking for a cheap console come Christmas. But, it just seems dumb to confuse potential customers who have enough trouble between PS3, XBOX 360, Wii, Wii-U and whatever knock offs you can get.

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