Update: I forgot to include in the original story that, in downsizing the Wii, Nintendo also took out support for Gamecube games.
This morning Nintendo took the wraps off the new Wii Mini console. It comes out on December 7th for $99.99 in the box you see above, and is currently exclusive to retailers in Canada. Nintendo hasn’t commented on availability in other countries.
The limited Canadian release isn’t the only strange kicker in this announcement. Nintendo claims that the Wii Mini is “all about the games,” which is a polite way of saying that the new console can’t connect to the internet. The Wii Mini lacks any wi-fi components, and is also not compatible with USB to Ethernet adapter cables. That of course means no online play, but also means no Netflix or virtual console, two things I imagine most Wii owners enjoyed. The Wii Mini also lacks an SD card slot.
It’s clear that the Wii Mini isn’t meant for gamers who skipped out on the Wii the first time around. As a second console for children who don’t care about the latest and greatest? Seems like an alright buy. The Wii has a lot of great titles kicking around its back catalog, and the design of the Wii Mini looks like it could handle a few drops from the entertainment center/coffee table.