Word around the rumor mill has been that Nintendo was working on a dumbed down Wii console. A Best Buy ad has confirmed such rumors and we’ll be seeing the launch of a Wii Mini come December.
The hardware redesign features a top-loading disc drive and a sleek glossy red and matte black finish, with a red Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuck packed in. Now before you rush to camp out, there are a few things of note. Yes, the console is smaller, and retailing at $99.99 it is certainly cheaper, but there are several caveats. First of all, in a bid to be more “family friendly” it lacks any internet connection, meaning whoever buys this won’t be able to play games online, shop for Virtual Console games, or use the other online features the other versions of the Wii tout.
“There are games in the Wii library for every type of player,” said Ron Bertram, Nintendo of Canada’s vice president and general manager. “Wii Mini is a great gift for the holidays that brings everyone in the family together to play. Wii Mini has a mini price, but it’s all about big fun.”
Secondly, it won’t be able to play GameCube games, a functionality that was actually taken out last year with the release of the “Wii Family Edition.”
If you’re looking to get a Wii Mini, you may have to import it; Nintendo says it’s exclusive to Canada, at least for now.