In a clear bid to prop up the hurting console side of their business, Nintendo announced today that they will be bringing the Wii Mini to the US sometime later this month. The Wii Mini was first launched in Canada last December and clearly Nintendo has found success with the system or else it is difficult to imagine why they would be bothering. As with its launch in the north, the Wii Mini in the US will be priced at $99 and include a red Wii Remote Plus controller and a red Nunchuk controller.
The system will also still lack both internet functionality and (the likely far less important these days) backwards compatibility with GameCube games. Unlike the Canadian release however the Wii Mini in the US will also come with a copy of Mario Kart Wii as well. So, in terms of sheer value, there is no question the US version is the better bargain. Well, provided you want to spend money on a crippled version of the Wii in the first place.
Frankly, the Wii Mini made little sense launching in the wake of the Wii U’s own launch and it makes even less sense now when the latter is continuing to struggle. Nintendo themselves has admitted to not doing a good enough job establishing the Wii U as a separate system with lots of new things to offer potential consumers. And in light of that releasing the Wii Mini now seems like it will only serve to further confuse the issue.
As I said, this is no doubt an attempt by Nintendo to recoup the losses they continue to suffer on the console side of things but it feels like going for potential short term gain at the expense of long term success. Then again there is a lot of that going around lately so… Personally I would have spent the money it would cost to launch the Wii Mini on a massive ad campaign to really push the Wii U and things like Super Mario 3D World, Wii Fit U and the Wind Waker HD bundle instead but what do I know. The Wii Mini will launch sometime in mid-November of this year. Stay tuned to Blistered Thumbs for continuing coverage of gaming news the world over.