A retailer advertisement leaked the news earlier, which has since been officially confirmed by Nintendo, that a new Wii Mini hardware redesign will be coming to Canada for the holidays. The bare-bones console will be red with a black matte top that opens for disc loading, sort of a retro throwback to old-school consoles. $99.99 will be the console's cost, a relatively cheap alternative to Nintendo's newest console, the $300-$350 Wii U.
Included with the Wii Mini will be a red motion controller and nun-chuk, a sensor bar, and the standard power cable and non-HD composite video cable. What's not included is perhaps more significant. The Wii Mini will remove several of the Wii's normal featured, including backwards compatibility with the Gamecube and its accessories and wi-fi.
Yes, the Wii Mini is an entirely offline console.
Ron Bertman, general manager of Nintendo of Canada, preferred to focus on the positive aspects of the console -- the games:
"There are games in the Wii library for every type of player. 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."
Certainly, a "slim" version of the Wii that focuses on providing a streamlined gaming experience at a low price is smart business. I can't help but wonder though, with several Black Friday sales dropping a standard Wii consoles replete with Wi-Fi, Wii Sports and Gamecube compatibility selling as low as $79.99, if the Wii Mini misses the mark a bit. Now that the sales are over, of course, the price has jumped back to $129.99 at most retailers. Options are never a bad thing, I suppose.
The Wii Mini launches in Canadian territories on December 7 for $99.99 and has not been confirmed for an other territory as of yet. It seems sensible to release it everywhere, unless Nintendo is simply using the Canadian holiday as a test market to see if the Wii Mini can prove successful.