Wii Mini Disappoints

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Wii Mini Disappoints

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Digital Foundry on the Wii Mini: No internet access, no 480p, not even that small.

It was fair to expect that the Canada-only Wii Mini wouldn't come with all the bells and whistles of its glossy white predecessor. At $99, you expect some sacrifices to be made; But perhaps not quite this many.

According to an in-depth breakdown over at Eurogamer, not only does the Wii Mini ship without wi-fi, it doesn't support the Wii USB Ethernet adapter either. In fact, it seems Nintendo has removed the internet connection sections of the console's menu completely.

While the lack of access to Nintendo's notoriously fiddly online service might not be a deal breaker, the console's limited output just might be. Unlike the original Wii, the Wii Mini doesn't support component cables. The console only supports composite, the same red, white and yellow cables you may remember from the days of the PS1. With component cables, the original Wii is capable of 480p output, which, while still sub-HD, is far sharper than the 480i provided by composite. In short; Playing on a HDTV is going to be like onion appreciation day on Planet Teargas.

So, lacking 480p output, online capabilities and Gamecube support, the Wii Mini barely lives up to the "Wii" half of its name, but what about the "mini" part?

The startling reality is that the new model isn't actually that much smaller than the original model to the point where calling it the "Wii Mini" comes across as something of an exaggeration. It's a little shorter and lighter than our launch unit but it's just as chunky.

Oh.

While I'm not exactly a fan of Nintendo's seemingly inevitable handheld hardware revisions, the company has always managed to strike the right balance between omitting features and improving design. The Wii Mini, with its stripped-down hardware and 1980s lunchbox aesthetics, might just be the first time Ninty's missed the mark.

Source: Eurogamer

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That's... more disappointing than I thought it would be. And I was expecting it to fail.

I really don't know what kind of crowd Nintendo was trying to appeal to with this. I mean, at this point the Wii is dirt cheap and there are great Wii bundles for as cheap as $150-200. In addition, anyone who wants(ed) a Wii already has one or is just going to end up getting a Wii U. I think Nintendo should have focused it's resources somewhere else instead of on the Wii "mini." I mean I know it must of cost little to nothing to make, but come one Nintendo, really?

And this is news because...?

No, it's nothing against the Escapist. It's just that...we all saw it coming! The only "good" thing about this new mini Wii is that it's cute. But hey, if I wanted cute, I'd buy a baby owl.
So yeah, I'm not surprised the mini Wii sucks. I don't know if I'm disappointed or glad it was only released in Canada.

"the Wii Mini barely lives up to the "Wii" half of its name..."

So I guess we can call it a...i. Get it? An i? Huh?
...
I know the way out.

It's almost as pointless as the DSI.

So it's basically the Game Boy Micro all over again? As in, a revision of an older console released around the same time as a successor that has less functionality than previous revisions of said console and touts itself being smaller as a selling point?

Doesn't surprise me in the slightest, truly...

Well that's some bullshit.

Beautiful End:

So I guess we can call it a...i. Get it? An i? Huh?
...
I know the way out.

That would probably be best.

Skywolf09:
So it's basically the Game Boy Micro all over again? As in, a revision of an older console released around the same time as a successor that has less functionality than previous revisions of said console and touts itself being smaller as a selling point?

Doesn't surprise me in the slightest, truly...

I loved the Micro, mostly because it was actually, you know, smaller. The Mini not so much.

Silly Nintendo, we don't want a smaller home console. We want bigger ones, that produce much higher fps and graphic detail. Minimize handheld size all you want, but console size doesn't play a big part except maybe in dorm rooms.

Grey Carter:

Skywolf09:
So it's basically the Game Boy Micro all over again? As in, a revision of an older console released around the same time as a successor that has less functionality than previous revisions of said console and touts itself being smaller as a selling point?

Doesn't surprise me in the slightest, truly...

I loved the Micro, mostly because it was actually, you know, smaller. The Mini not so much.

Ehh, it seemed nice I will admit. The thing that killed my interest in the Micro, though, was the removal of backwards compatibility with Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. I had too many GB and GBC games I loved, so I just stuck with my GBA SP and passed on getting a Micro.

And yes, I know the DS did the same thing, but that was an entirely new console so such a thing is more excusable I'd say.

I'm in electronics retail and the Wii mini is great. I should clarify, it's great for selling off our old stock. Most Wii bundles come with a game, either NSMB or Just Dance 3 or Skylanders Giants and each of those run from $129-149. Every time Someone has come in asking about the 'new wii mini machine' I've been able to up-sell them to one of the regular bundles because they are objectively better in every regard. I'm just glad we have lots of these regular Wii system bundles in stock so nobody has to go home with one of these things for the holiday unless they really want it.

I remember getting an e-mail about this thing... it's actually abysmal. Absolutely NO wi-fi on-board is pathetic. I could live without 480p (I mean, I don't have component cables for my Wii anyway...), and I could live without USB ports (yeah, it's missing those too), but NO WI-FI?! Why would Nintendo do that to themselves?! I have a bunch of old titles from the Virtual Console and this crappy thing can't even do that. It's not even a very cool redesign, unlike the GBA Micro which had swappable face plates in a variety of cool patterns. This is a box for only the youngest of kids for parents who absolutely don't want to expose their kin to the internet. Absolutely stupid. Americans should count themselves lucky this is a Canadian exclusive...

Skywolf09:

Grey Carter:

Skywolf09:
So it's basically the Game Boy Micro all over again? As in, a revision of an older console released around the same time as a successor that has less functionality than previous revisions of said console and touts itself being smaller as a selling point?

Doesn't surprise me in the slightest, truly...

I loved the Micro, mostly because it was actually, you know, smaller. The Mini not so much.

Ehh, it seemed nice I will admit. The thing that killed my interest in the Micro, though, was the removal of backwards compatibility with Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. I had too many GB and GBC games I loved, so I just stuck with my GBA SP and passed on getting a Micro.

Yeah, I totally dig that. The timing is very similar actually, the launch of a new console etc (the Micro came out just after the DS IIRC) But while the Micro had a really sexy design (which is why I picked it over the very functional SP) the Wii Mini looks cheap.

Again, I'll point out that based on everything I've seen and heard about it, the intended audience for this thing is parents who have no video game system in the house and are looking for some present that can go into the young kids' room.

No HDTV connection? No problem, the kids have the old clunker TV -- hell, it's probably still hooked up to the VCR.
No internet at all? Great! Now mom & dad don't have to worry about all the horrors they hear happening there.
No GameCube compatibility? Who cares. All the kid-friendly games out for the regular Wii will do just fine, and it's unlikely the kids will even know gamecube games anyway.

Then we get to the look. Look at that thing. It looks like nothing other than a kid's toy. Bright red, high contrasting black, that thick pebbled type of plastic that is designed to take scuffs and scratches and be just fine.. it's a kid's toy.

The only mis-step Nintendo might have made with this thing is the price point. 99.99 without any games might be stretching it just a bit. But perhaps they're counting on store sales to bundle it up with a game or two at that price, or maybe dropping the unit price down to the 70-80 range.

Ouch! That's one hell of a fail Nintendo.

Kwil:
Again, I'll point out that based on everything I've seen and heard about it, the intended audience for this thing is parents who have no video game system in the house and are looking for some present that can go into the young kids' room.

No HDTV connection? No problem, the kids have the old clunker TV -- hell, it's probably still hooked up to the VCR.
No internet at all? Great! Now mom & dad don't have to worry about all the horrors they hear happening there.
No GameCube compatibility? Who cares. All the kid-friendly games out for the regular Wii will do just fine, and it's unlikely the kids will even know gamecube games anyway.

Then we get to the look. Look at that thing. It looks like nothing other than a kid's toy. Bright red, high contrasting black, that thick pebbled type of plastic that is designed to take scuffs and scratches and be just fine.. it's a kid's toy.

The only mis-step Nintendo might have made with this thing is the price point. 99.99 without any games might be stretching it just a bit. But perhaps they're counting on store sales to bundle it up with a game or two at that price, or maybe dropping the unit price down to the 70-80 range.

Still that seems like a rather limited market though.

I don't think this is a bad Idea. That is to have a cheap basic console for people who have held off or for parents looking for a gift for younger children.I think the problem is that its just a bit too expensive still at $100. They should have bundled Wii sports with or made it $80 so that people could by a Nintendo Selects title. There is after all something to be said in saying you Can get your kids a console with a good game for Christmas for only $100.

Component only with no Internet? Dd I get that right, not even wi if? No reason to own. No wii ware and virtual arcade. Ugh.

canadamus_prime:
Ouch! That's one hell of a fail Nintendo.

Kwil:
Again, I'll point out that based on everything I've seen and heard about it, the intended audience for this thing is parents who have no video game system in the house and are looking for some present that can go into the young kids' room.

No HDTV connection? No problem, the kids have the old clunker TV -- hell, it's probably still hooked up to the VCR.
No internet at all? Great! Now mom & dad don't have to worry about all the horrors they hear happening there.
No GameCube compatibility? Who cares. All the kid-friendly games out for the regular Wii will do just fine, and it's unlikely the kids will even know gamecube games anyway.

Then we get to the look. Look at that thing. It looks like nothing other than a kid's toy. Bright red, high contrasting black, that thick pebbled type of plastic that is designed to take scuffs and scratches and be just fine.. it's a kid's toy.

The only mis-step Nintendo might have made with this thing is the price point. 99.99 without any games might be stretching it just a bit. But perhaps they're counting on store sales to bundle it up with a game or two at that price, or maybe dropping the unit price down to the 70-80 range.

Still that seems like a rather limited market though.

Sure. But this is old tech to them. I can pretty much guarantee it costs them less to produce than they're selling it for. So who cares if it's a limited market.. it's a market they weren't touching before that can make them money.

And then there's the long game -- remember, the Wii was known for being able to get mom & dad & grandpa & grandma into playing video games. So maybe mom & dad play a few games with the kids.. maybe they decide that this videogaming thing might be fun to do more often.. more fun than watching re-runs of Grey's Anatomy anyway, but they don't want just a kiddie system. They've got a decent TV in the main room, after all, it'd be nice to be able to use it fully -- not to mention something that lets them use the internet on their main TV.

At the same time though, do they want to buy a whole new system and not be able to play any of the games they liked playing with their kids? Also, what about controllers and all the extras you have to get? It's sure be nice if they could get a system that could use that stuff.. hey wait.. there's the Wii U thing that does all that plus has some sorta extra TV stuff going on. Hmmmm...

At least, that's what I think the folks back at Nintendo are hoping for, but even if it doesn't come true, they still made some money on the kid's room version.

That's pretty sad really. At least the other two systems were actually slim when they said they were slims. I guess that it'd be fine for someone who just wants to play wii games and live ten years in the past.

Kwil:

canadamus_prime:
Ouch! That's one hell of a fail Nintendo.

Kwil:
Again, I'll point out that based on everything I've seen and heard about it, the intended audience for this thing is parents who have no video game system in the house and are looking for some present that can go into the young kids' room.

No HDTV connection? No problem, the kids have the old clunker TV -- hell, it's probably still hooked up to the VCR.
No internet at all? Great! Now mom & dad don't have to worry about all the horrors they hear happening there.
No GameCube compatibility? Who cares. All the kid-friendly games out for the regular Wii will do just fine, and it's unlikely the kids will even know gamecube games anyway.

Then we get to the look. Look at that thing. It looks like nothing other than a kid's toy. Bright red, high contrasting black, that thick pebbled type of plastic that is designed to take scuffs and scratches and be just fine.. it's a kid's toy.

The only mis-step Nintendo might have made with this thing is the price point. 99.99 without any games might be stretching it just a bit. But perhaps they're counting on store sales to bundle it up with a game or two at that price, or maybe dropping the unit price down to the 70-80 range.

Still that seems like a rather limited market though.

Sure. But this is old tech to them. I can pretty much guarantee it costs them less to produce than they're selling it for. So who cares if it's a limited market.. it's a market they weren't touching before that can make them money.

And then there's the long game -- remember, the Wii was known for being able to get mom & dad & grandpa & grandma into playing video games. So maybe mom & dad play a few games with the kids.. maybe they decide that this videogaming thing might be fun to do more often.. more fun than watching re-runs of Grey's Anatomy anyway, but they don't want just a kiddie system. They've got a decent TV in the main room, after all, it'd be nice to be able to use it fully -- not to mention something that lets them use the internet on their main TV.

At the same time though, do they want to buy a whole new system and not be able to play any of the games they liked playing with their kids? Also, what about controllers and all the extras you have to get? It's sure be nice if they could get a system that could use that stuff.. hey wait.. there's the Wii U thing that does all that plus has some sorta extra TV stuff going on. Hmmmm...

At least, that's what I think the folks back at Nintendo are hoping for, but even if it doesn't come true, they still made some money on the kid's room version.

*sigh* I guess. Sounds rather convoluted to me.

While I'm not exactly a fan of Nintendo's seemingly inevitable handheld hardware revisions, the company has always managed to strike the right balance between omitting features and improving design.

please tell me this was a joke.

what did you expect, nintendo was nintendon't for the last 10 years, you want them to actually do something good for a change?

Heh, cant help but think that alot of these complaints are from people who werent even going to buy a mini any way. Please stop and get off your high horse. A bit of reading and research would probably give you enough of an idea as to why they have gutted the wii mini in the first place.

The internet capabilities of the wii were central to softmodding the console and external HDD are used to store ripped games. I'm not surprised they did it but I am surprised they thought it would sell well.

Compatibility was the only thing I expected from the original Wii, since there was always the possibility that my GC stopped working (just a week ago my 64 died on my), aside from the "revolutionary gameplay and rather slick look (black and blue that they announced at first)but other than that, I didn't even wanted it, then my fathe bought it and it was decent. Now comes this, that has even worse resolution and no retroactive compatibility?

What a huge amount to pay for a paperweight then. It doesn't even look good! it just sounds to me as the 5 versions of the DS, which didn't add anything at all and had no interesting features added, and I still have my original electric blue DS.

saleem:
Heh, cant help but think that alot of these complaints are from people who werent even going to buy a mini any way. Please stop and get off your high horse. A bit of reading and research would probably give you enough of an idea as to why they have gutted the wii mini in the first place.

The internet capabilities of the wii were central to softmodding the console and external HDD are used to store ripped games. I'm not surprised they did it but I am surprised they thought it would sell well.

Sooo, what you're saying is that they got rid of a bunch of stuff on it because: Pirates?! Oh no!

...or alternatively (if one feels cynical), it could have been because they wanted to strip it of as many features as possible to lower the production-costs, and then sell it for a "cheaper" price, which is something that I certainly wouldn't mind, but they've certainly taken away a bit too many features, on top of making the console itself look less appealing.

Now do tell me, which one of these scenarios do you find to be more likely to happen? Because if it's the former then all I can say is that they just might be five years too late to take Piracy into consideration, seeing how, y'know, the standard model Wii still exists, so that excuse would go out of the window.

@xptn40S: ehhh...... i think it's a mix of both, seriously rememebr how many versions of wii we got everyone was supposed to be less hackeable thant the previous , so yes i think they took both things , piracy and ripping of as much money as they can into consideration.

Ontopic: Got a wii once , the one that came with mario kart? onlye game i played and liked, eventually i gave it as a present to my brother, and heck he plays more old gamecube games than wii....

Strazdas:

please tell me this was a joke.

what did you expect, nintendo was nintendon't for the last 10 years, you want them to actually do something good for a change?

Huh? I can undetrstand the Wii, but what exactly did the Gamecube do wrong?

At least comes in many colors. :D

image

Weird. You'd think they'd manage to cram the same hardware into about half the space by now. And for a reasonably low price, I'd even get one.
This just makes me care even less about Nintendo.

Arcadian Legend:

Strazdas:

please tell me this was a joke.

what did you expect, nintendo was nintendon't for the last 10 years, you want them to actually do something good for a change?

Huh? I can undetrstand the Wii, but what exactly did the Gamecube do wrong?

Gamecube was fine, Gamecube games on the other hand....

xptn40S:

Sooo, what you're saying is that they got rid of a bunch of stuff on it because: Pirates?! Oh no!

...or alternatively (if one feels cynical), it could have been because they wanted to strip it of as many features as possible to lower the production-costs, and then sell it for a "cheaper" price, which is something that I certainly wouldn't mind, but they've certainly taken away a bit too many features, on top of making the console itself look less appealing.

Now do tell me, which one of these scenarios do you find to be more likely to happen? Because if it's the former then all I can say is that they just might be five years too late to take Piracy into consideration, seeing how, y'know, the standard model Wii still exists, so that excuse would go out of the window.

Oh please enough with the faux indignation you probably were never going to buy it in the first place, also as the guy after you mentioned its very likely that it would have at least been part of the reason for it a long with providing a cheap platform. It is also possible that with the improvements made to the Wii U's internet infrastructure the Wii is no longer compatible 100%

Having a Wii I can tell you that the existing infrastructure supporting it is rather weak, its slow and prone to dropping. Even when it comes to streaming media its rather sub par compared to what the Xbox and PS3 offer. So the Mini doesnt have net access anymore, big whoop! Additionally anyone who bought one to play cube games probably did so years ago.

Seriously all this drama over nothing is pathetic

This will probably turn into a collectors item down the road. I think it looks cool anyway.

chuckey:
I really don't know what kind of crowd Nintendo was trying to appeal to with this. I mean, at this point the Wii is dirt cheap and there are great Wii bundles for as cheap as $150-200. In addition, anyone who wants(ed) a Wii already has one or is just going to end up getting a Wii U. I think Nintendo should have focused it's resources somewhere else instead of on the Wii "mini." I mean I know it must of cost little to nothing to make, but come one Nintendo, really?

$99 is dirt cheap. '$150-$200' is not.

The system is crap. However I think that the system is an attempt at a console that could keep the Wii alive. I mean people aren't going to invest $150 in a Wii when they can just save up for a little longer and get a Wii U. By scrapping a few (a lot of) things, they were most likely trying to sell a console to those who wanted a really cheap console.

I think if they at least managed to keep 480p and had an ethernet port on the console then it might be worth it.

So, Nintendo being shitty? Stop the presses....

Wow, interlaced graphics, I guess the Wii Mini is only useful for games with little to no rapid motion.

saleem:
Oh please enough with the faux indignation you probably were never going to buy it in the first place,

Seeing how there's already two regular Wiis in the apartment I live in, that would be correct.

also as the guy after you mentioned its very likely that it would have at least been part of the reason for it a long with providing a cheap platform.

I wouldn't deny that that could be the case, but I was just saying that it seemed less likely that Nintento would make a new version of the Wii just to combat piracy (as you seemed to imply in your previous post) than it would for Nintendo to take out a few functions from an already somewhat lacking console to sell it for a cheaper price.

But yes, a mix of both could very well be possible.

Having a Wii I can tell you that the existing infrastructure supporting it is rather weak, its slow and prone to dropping. Even when it comes to streaming media its rather sub par compared to what the Xbox and PS3 offer. So the Mini doesnt have net access anymore, big whoop!

As much as I agree that the infrastructure for the Wii's network was rather weak, and for how few games actually used it, it was at least something.

And also, wasn't the Virtual Console channel on the Wii one of the Wii's greatest selling-points? Wouldn't the lack of an internet-connection remove this selling-point?

Seriously all this drama over nothing is pathetic

...isn't it sort of hypocritical to complain about people complaining about trivial things?

I mean, I would never inherently complain about Nintendo making a new version of their existing console (the 360 and PS3 did this as well, and the idea of them doing so bothers me as little now as it did back then), but now that I think about it, it seems detrimental to them to remove the internet-access so that in the process, they remove one of the Wii's major selling-points (the Virtual Console Channel).

I'm just keeping a critical eye on things is all, and so are probably many others doing here in this thread.

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