The Wii mini will be released in the U.S. on November 17th. The budget system, which has been available in Canada since 2012, will be packaged with a red Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk controller. One of the Wii console’s best-selling games, Mario Kart Wii, will also be bundled with the smaller Wii. Partly because it lacks Nintendo GameCube compatibility, an SD slot and Wi-Fi support, the Wii mini will retail for $99.
Nintendo of America has confirmed that the budget Wii Mini console will be launching in North America this month. The Wii Mini is priced at $99 and comes with a WiiMote, Nunchuck, and a free copy of the best-selling Mario Kart Wii. The Wii Mini has been a controversial console for Nintendo as it lacks a number of key features including online functionality and Gamecube compatibility.
“Wii mini offers the same fun experience as Wii, which has been enjoyed by millions of people around the world,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “And it comes packaged with Mario Kart Wii, a multiplayer Mario racing game that is one of the best-selling Wii games. At such a great price, it is an extraordinary value for shoppers this holiday season.”
Several major retailers have told Tech Radar that the demand for the Wii Mini has been virtually non-existent in the United Kingdom. One of GAME’s flagship stores told the publication that it wasn’t even stocking the console due to underwhelming interest, despite having pre-orders up on the site beforehand. HMV also told the publication that it is not stocking the Wii Mini at this moment in time, however it may sell it in the future if demand picks up.
VoucherCodesPro have conducted a survey which consisted of 1,003 British consumers to see what they thought of the Wii Mini which is coming to Europe on March 22nd. Interestingly, 76 percent of those who were surveyed thought that the Wii Mini wasn’t a very exciting prospect. The poll asked, “Are you excited about the Wii Mini announcement?” 76 percent said no, while the remaining 24 percent said yes. Those who said no were asked to give a reason, here’s the results:
1. Don’t see the point – 74%
2. No advance in graphics – 56%
3. Just rehashing an old console, not a technological advancement 49%
4. Small size not a big enough selling point- 47%
5. Already own an original Wii – 42%
Those who were surveyed were then asked “Would you be likely to purchase a Wii Mini once it’s released?” participants replied:
- No – 61%
- Yes – 22%
- Don’t know – 17%
“It seems that despite the release of the Wii U and with the recent announcement of the PS4 and the anticipated Xbox 720, Nintendo still felt the need to get in there with another release. Unfortunately for them, gamers just aren’t bothered; according to our poll at least.”
“It’s an exciting time for gamers who’ve been waiting several years for the next big console release. But the Wii Mini doesn’t carry the same gravitas. With no anticipation of improved graphics and no real advance on the original console, is it the case of flogging a dead horse?”
– VoucherCodesPro’s George Charles
Nintendo of Canada’s Communications Manager, Matt Ryan, has revealed that Nintendo sold 35,700 Wii Mini consoles in Canada since launch. Ryan said that the Canadian market has reacted positively to the system which lacks a lot of the functionality that the original Wii console contained. Nintendo Europe announced yesterday that the system will go on sale throughout Europe on March 22nd. UK retail outlets have begun taking pre-orders for the system which costs £80.
“Canadian market has reacted positively to the great value the system has to offer, and we are seeing this reflected in the sales numbers.”
UK retailers have already begun pricing the Wii Mini which was announced for Europe yesterday. Both Amazon and GAME have the system listed for £79.99. The pricing for the console is significantly higher than the $99 Canadian price, which would put the machine at around £65. As usual Nintendo has left the pricing up to retailers. The Wii Mini lacks Gamecube compatibility and does not support S-Video or Component video cables. The console also lacks an SD card slot, and doesn’t have Wi-Fi support.
To coincide with the launch of Wii Mini, Nintendo is also adding to the existing range of Nintendo Selects titles, offering great value for everyone to enjoy classic Wii games. While Nintendo Selects games such as The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Super Mario Galaxy and Animal Crossing: Let’s Go to the City are already available, other classic Wii titles being added to the Nintendo Selects roster in time for the launch of Wii Mini on March 22nd include:
- Mario Party 8 – Everyone can get in on the fun with Mario Party 8 on Wii Mini. Use the Wii Remote to twist, turn, lasso and row your way through six game boards and dozens of thrill-packed minigames.
- Wii Sports Resort – Wii Sports Resort took the inclusive fun and intuitive controls of the original Wii Sports to the next level, introducing a whole new set of entertaining and physically immersive activities. With the deep control enhancements available through using the Wii Remote Plus, newcomers to this game can enjoy unprecedented gaming precision as they cruise on a water scooter, duel with swords, toss flying discs and much more.
- Mario Power Tennis – Power up your tennis game on Wii Mini by swinging the Wii Remote to smack powerful forehands, backhands and lobs. You can take on the role of your favourite Mario characters and play on imaginative Mushroom Kingdom courts, including a court littered with famous Mario-style power-ups. As you win tournaments, clear minigames or challenge Gimmick Courts, you will unlock new characters, courts and challenges. Bring some friends because up to four players can compete in wild multiplayer tennis matches.
- Super Paper Mario – Princess Peach needs to be rescued from an evil kidnapper – and Bowser isn’t to blame! You can take control of Mario, Luigi, Bowser and Princess Peach – who escaped by herself after she had been kidnapped – to overcome the evil Count Bleck in an action adventure game that mixes traditional side-scrolling 2D platforming with 3D exploration and puzzle-solving.