In December last year Nintendo rolled out the Wii Mini. Initially it just looked like a redesigned Wii in a smaller package with a tempting price point of $99.99. Then we found out it was only heading to Canada, which was strange, but even stranger is the lack of features.
The Wii Mini has no SD card slot, it isn’t backwards compatible with GameCube games, your can’t plug in GameCube controllers either, and there’s no online functionality. So you are limited to the memory it ships with for saves and you can’t access the Wii’s Shop. All of a sudden $100 for the machine doesn’t look so great, does it?
Still, it does play all disc based Wii games, and now it is heading to the US. Before the end of November you’ll be able to pick one up complete with a Wiimote Plus, Nunchuk, and copy of Mario Kart Wii for $100. The original Wii is definitely the better machine to get, but for younger game players it may be a nice present under the tree this Christmas, and there’s certainly more than enough games to support the machine.
If you are considering a games machine for younger gamers, Nintendo does arguably offer a better alternative in the form of the 2DS. It costs $130, but has a growing list of 3DS titles to play and includes access to the eShop. It’s also pretty indestructible for little, clumsy hands, and being portable, it’s going to be much more useful for keeping them occupied in more situations, e.g. long car journeys.
You can expect to find the Wii Mini at all the major retailers at some point this month. Although Nintendo will hope it sells well, they could actually suffer the embarrassment of it selling better than the Wii U, which continues to struggle.
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