Wii mini headed to US

Redesigned $99 legacy console hits shelves at American retailers in mid-November

The Wii mini is finally arriving in the United States. Nintendo today announced the stripped-down and redesigned version of the Wii hardware will arrive at US retailers for $99.99 beginning in mid-November.

Nintendo first released the Wii mini in Canada a year ago, followed by a UK debut in March. The red-and-black system is smaller than the original Wii, and comes bundled with Mario Kart Wii. It also includes a Wii Remote Plus controller and Nunchuk, both in matching red.

However, the system lacks some of the core functionality of earlier iterations of the hardware. First and foremost, it has no online functionality, so games are limited to local multiplayer options. On top of that, Nintendo removed backward compatibility from the Wii mini's feature set, which let it leave out the GameCube controller ports as well. Finally, the system lacks support for Wii component cables, taking away the ability to output video at a 480p resolution.

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Latest comments (11)

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
Ooooog. Then should have just packed this in with new Wii U units. It may sell well to budget-minded families who know no better and collectors who want that red Wii U no one else will buy, but we'll see as usual...
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 4 years ago
Surely this reduces the secondhand value of all Wiis, making it more difficult for owners to upgrade to WiiU.
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Eyal Teler Programmer 4 years ago
Why did they make such a crippled machine? Backward compatibility, okay, that's not important to most people. No internet, that cuts people not only from multiplayer but from the WiiWare and Virtual Console games. I imagine at some point (maybe soon) the Wii Shop channel will shut down, but I think it's a pity that all these games will disappear while there is still hardware being sold that can play them. The video output, I really don't get that. They should have put an HDMI port on this thing.

@Bruce, I don't think that would really matter. You don't see tons of Wii owners rushing to the Wii U even at the current market price. Besides a Wii with internet, component out and backward compatibility might still fetch a higher value.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Eyal Teler on 5th November 2013 7:38am

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Show all comments (11)
James Prendergast Research Chemist 4 years ago
I actually would really like one of these for less than 100. Mainly because there are a few single player games that I want to play that were released on the Wii (well, Nintendo games at any rate!) so I don't need internet, backwards compatibility (I have a working GC and I like that controller) or the large price point of the WiiU when I want to be spending that money on the PS4 or a new PC.

Didn't realise it was released in the UK... I might try and import one!
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany4 years ago
Looks like a desperation move to me, considering the more than sub-par sale numbers of the WiiU.
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Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee4 years ago
Looks like a desperation move to me, considering the more than sub-par sale numbers of the WiiU.
That would be unfortunate, because selling 'any old thing' would not be a good alternative.

I'd sooner take the old Wiis off the shelf and send out a reduced price WiiU. Would it work? Not sure but this unit is a bit pointless.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.4 years ago
Thank you, Christian. I was going to point out the same thing. It's not uncommon for a very scaled down version of a console to arrive around the time of the successor.

It's simply a means to fill a customer base that fits a combination of the lowest possible price point and lowest demand on functionality. This isn't targeted at your core gamer.

It should also be noted that the Wii still sells decently in the US.
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Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments4 years ago
I wonder if the lack of networking is a "feature" - the small size makes this a possible "kid's bedroom" system, where it being able to do nothing but run physical disks might be seen as an advantage.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
@Jim: Oh yeah the Wii still sells OK here... but that said, this is really for those who don't care about online at all and like Neil said, is basically a kid's model system, as it's missing key functions the old Wii had. Granted, the HUGE lot of cheap Wii games clogging up some stores aren't going to disappear when the old Wiis vanish vanishes off store shelves. So at the end of the day, the new model is a good thing for some budget-minded families.

THAT said... I still think it's a weird move unless Nintendo thinks some consumers will snap it up knowing it's gimped down or may will look at it and realize the Wii U is a better deal because it will play old Wii games and all Wii U titles without any issues...
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.4 years ago
Agreed. It's simply a market fill device. They obviously see some kind of demand for it and the device has a high margin with those reduced features Business wise, it makes sense.

However, they do need to step up their distinctive device awareness factor. 3DS is still mistaken for a DS and now the 2DS adds to the confusion. Wii U is mistaken for a Wii peripheral and now the Wii Mini adds to the confusion.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
@Jim: Yeah, exactly what I wanted to say, but being up too long (again)... make me poor brain mooshy.

I was in a GameStop a week or so back and a clerk was having a hell of time explaining the 3DS/2DS to a consumer who thought she had to "upgrade" to the 2DS because it was new (yikes and yikes). Granted, it was (100%) more her being confused and not listening than any ACTUAL fault of Nintendo's (0%). Then again, I can see someone seeing that new Wii and wanting to trade in their old model for it (only to find it's going to do LESS than the original one). But it IS cuter and redder, that's for sure!

But yeah, it'll sell at that price for Xmas, that's for sure. I do wonder... are they going to price drop first-party Wii titles so people will buy those up as well? I'd like to hope so...
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