Nintendo announced earlier today that they will be releasing a new version of the Wii console—the Wii Mini. The console will be available on December 7 for as low as $99.99.
Wii Mini: Look and Features
The redesigned Nintendo console has a red casing with textured black matte finish on top, and it will also come with red Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk controllers. Wii Mini’s remote controller combines the peripheral with the Wii MotionPlus technology. This allows for greater precision with 1:1 motion detection, which replicates a user’s actions on the screen accurately.
There is also a large “Wii” logo centered on top, which features a glossy finish to contrast the matte black surface that surrounds it. Wii Mini has a triangular power button that is found on its bottom-left corner, while opposite of it is the Open button. This suggests that the console is a top-loading device.
Unlike the vertical orientation of the original Wii, the upcoming gaming console is required to lie flat. Since it’s a Mini, the Wii Mini’s form factor is noticeably smaller than the original model. Its square frame has also been replaced with tapered edges.
Low Price and Few Sacrifices
Because the Wii Mini costs less than $100, a few sacrifices were made. Nintendo stripped the console’s Wi-Fi capabilities, which means that users cannot connect to the Internet and it won’t support the games’ online features either.
The redesigned console is not compatible with the Nintendo GameCube discs, while GameCube controller ports and memory slots have been removed.
On the other hand, Wii Mini’s price is viewed by the industry watchers as Nintendo’s way to reaching the critical mass. In fact, the $99.99 price gave Sony PlayStation2 tremendous long-tail sales cycle that lasted years even after its successor was released. With more than 97 million Wii unites sold as of September 2012, Nintendo is hoping that the WiiMini will help them reach the 100 million mark.
Despite its stripped features, the Wii Mini still has an outstanding value because of its affordable price and wide array of games available. According to Nintendo, their latest console is compatible with more 1,300 Wii games such as Mario Kart Wii, Mario Party 9, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Since the console cannot access the games’ online feature, it most likely that the available title for the Wii Mini will include retail-only games.
In relation to this, online retailer Future Shop posted that the Nintendo Wii Mini is now available on their website for pre-order.