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Nintendo Wii

Nintendo Announces $99 Wii Mini For US Release 147

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-at-first-you-succeed-try-try-again dept.
Zothecula writes "Nintendo recently announced that it was ceasing all production of its original Wii video game console. It seemed as if it had run its course, and Nintendo was shifting 100 percent of its focus to the floundering Wii U. Turns out, the Japanese company had other plans, announcing that its previously Canada-exclusive $99 Wii Mini is making its way to the U.S. 'The $99 price has been neglected in this product generation, but in the past, it has been a very successful price for game consoles. More than half of the volume of machines in the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 generations sold at the $99 or under price."
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Nintendo Announces $99 Wii Mini For US Release

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  • Great! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @04:45PM (#45339253)

    Now I can get a Wii that takes up less room in my closet.

    • This is a great way to make your Wii collect less dust (what with the reduced surface area and all).
  • What's the point? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @04:47PM (#45339273)

    It's barely smaller than the regular Wii (it can't be, since it has to be big enough to fit a DVD), it does less, and costs pretty much the same. Why not just keep selling the regular Wii?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Because they can make this one cheaper, duh. Why do companies ever do anything?

      • But why remove the Internet? Nintendo receives $10 to download a few megabytes of a game rom? Yes please! Seems allowing people to buy games online is the one thing they should have kept. It's like Apple selling an iPhone that didn't run apps, Nintendo selling a console that doesn't allow customers to buy games online is completely backwards and can only result in less profit for Nintendo.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @10:13PM (#45341919)

          Selling ROMs doesn't make your retail partners happy - a $100 console at Christmas time? That's golden.

          Majesco and Sega teamed up to release a $20-$30 Genesis in the late 1990s, which helped retailers clear out a ton of unsold software. It, too, lacked expansion abilities.

          Atari released the 2600 for $40 in the late 1980s. It, too, let stores boast an incredible deal - even if it's not a desirable one - which allowed lower income families access to a massive library of software.

          In the era of digital downloads, you've got to throw your retail partners a bone. While Nintendo rakes in massive profits at incredible margins of that digitally downloaded Pokemon X/Y (that it doesn't have to share with Best Buy), stores don't get a cut. This way, Nintendo can make Walmart happy - and sell those bargain basement bin games, too - bringing the retail circle of life forward once again.

          Don't think about it as maximizing your profit - think about it as making your customers (the buyers at big box stores) happy. A Nintendo impulse buy console? This has a lot of potential to sell to the downtrodden, the uninformed, people who can't read, and your aunt who wants to buy you something from the Nintendos.

          • Atari released the 2600 for $40 in the late 1980s. It, too, let stores boast an incredible deal - even if it's not a desirable one - which allowed lower income families access to a massive library of software.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=913xrM9FYpI [youtube.com]

            yep, standard tactic, make the older console the budget offering.

        • It's like the old men who run Nintendo think that the internet is a fad that's going away soon. I will be shocked if Nintendo releases another console. They need to retreat to the handheld market.

        • by mattack2 (1165421)

          But why remove the Internet?

          Wow, yeah. I RTFA-ed, because I had thought they were only removing WiFi (I may be wrong, maybe none of the other Wiis have WiFi)..

          I've never had a Wii, but have thought about getting one someday mostly *for* the Virtual Console ("cheap old games"). I'm generally more of a physical media person too, but IIRC, the Virtual Console games are cheap enough for me not to care..

          So this $99 Wii is mostly worthless to me. Guess I'll pick up someone's used one some eon. (I already have

    • by Nrrqshrr (1879148)
      It's a marketing stunt to spark interest. I don't have one, nor was I ever that interested in it, but when I read the /. headline, the first thought that came to my mind was "I might as well buy one now".
      • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @04:59PM (#45339507)

        I don't have one, nor was I ever that interested in it

        Ironically, that's the marketing slogan of the Wii U.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mwvdlee (775178)

          I never quite understood the Wii U.

          The Wii was a cheap console with novel controllers and fun, cartoony games.
          The Wii U is... what? A Wii with the same dated graphics in HD (extra sharp polygon edges?) and a crippled tablet?

          • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

            by Moryath (553296)

            Yeah, you've basically got the idea. The Wii U is a stillborn idea of a console that'll be out of style even faster than previous Nintendo flops. I bet even a new Pokemon couldn't save it (which is what it took to limp the N64 along back in the day).

            • Re:What's the point? (Score:4, Informative)

              by blackraven14250 (902843) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @06:37PM (#45340517)
              What? Pokemon saved the N64? What console are you talking about? You know the only Pokemon games for N64 were Pokemon Stadium 1+2, Puzzle League and Pokemon Snap, right? All games that were released well after most of the the N64 killer games, Super Mario 64, Ocarina of Time, Mario Kart, Goldeneye, Smash Bros...hell, the best selling of the Pokemon games, Pokemon Stadium 1, didn't even beat Diddy Kong Racing in sales.
              • by N1AK (864906)

                didn't even beat Diddy Kong Racing in sales.

                Such. A. Good. Game. Shame Rare spends most of their time building avatar clothes for Xbox rather than producing awesome games now.

            • Re:What's the point? (Score:5, Informative)

              by _merlin (160982) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @06:38PM (#45340531) Homepage Journal

              Oh come on. N64 had Golden Eye, Turok, various Star Wars games, Mario 64, a decent Star Fox game, some good Zeldas, and even Pokemon Snap was a unique rails shooter.

            • I thought what limped the N64 along was that the cartridges ran so much smoother than the DVDs... I had PS2 that only worked if you held it at the right angle.

              • /me Grumbles about early PS2's.

                The 50001 models, however, are built like tanks. That's the one with the built in IR receiver. I have one that is still functional... I don't actually use it (I have a CECHE PS3 so I can play PS2 games if I want,on it) but it does work.

            • The Wii U is a stillborn idea of a console that'll be out of style even faster than previous Nintendo flops.

              There's no need to use the future tense on it going out of style. "Stillborn" was a good choice. There might have been a window for it, if Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, and Smash Bros, had come out a long time ago and were all excellent- it had a chance. After the new consoles come out this month, I don't expect to even hear about the Wii U again.

          • You do realize that Pikmin 3, Super Mario 3D World, The Wonderful 101, etc... don't look like crap, right? Not once while playing Pikmin 3 did I ever think, "Gee this game is fun, but it needs more polygons". Sometimes people want a Prius, other times they want a Mustang.

          • Re:What's the point? (Score:5, Informative)

            by JonBoy47 (2813759) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @09:20PM (#45341647)

            Wii U (and previous Wii) owner here (I know, the lengths we dads go to so our kids can play Super Smash Bros. Brawl...) Anyhow...

            Nintendo is doing a crap-tacular job of marketing the Wii U. The Gamepad isn't so much a tablet as a controller with a screen and camera in it. Thus far it's enabled four different usage modes:

            1. DS-ifiy home console games. Display secondary info on the Gamepad screen, as is common on the DS. Wind Waker HD, for example, allows accessing the map and inventory screen on the Gamepad without pausing the game. Sonic All-Stars Transformed Racing shows a track map in single player. In multi-player, Player 1 plays on the Gamepad
            2. Asymmetrical game play. The player with the Gamepad sees things the players looking at the TV do not. Nintendo Land is perhaps the archetype, with it's Hide and Seek game.
            3. Streaming video to the Gamepad. The Wii U can stream Wii U and Wii game play and streaming video to the Gamepad. Thus freeing up the TV while the Wii U is in use. As I type this, one kid is playing Wind Waker while the others are watching Spongebob on the TV the Wii U is connected to.
            4. TVii. Provides a more slick interface to my cable TV subscription than Comcast's set-top box. The Gamepad's IR blaster lets me turn on the TV and switch the input without finding the TV or cable remote.

      • That was the same thought I had as well. I decided to hold off on a PS4 because they'll lop off a hundred dollars in a year, but a Wii might actually be a reasonable investment. I blame my parents for starting me on that pattern - I was stuck playing an Atari 7800 until around 1992.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      this one is also lacking the ports needed to softmod the machine.

    • by alen (225700)

      might buy it for the kids

      • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @05:16PM (#45339677)

        You can buy a used Wii for a lot cheaper, and it doesn't come gimped.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I recently picked up a referb WII and picked it up for less then the "gimped" version.

          Plus as i posted above, its hard to find the "classic" in Canada.

        • by grumbel (592662)

          The gimping is a feature, it means parents don't have to worry about the kid gaining access to the Internet, buying stuff on their credit card or all the other things that can go wrong with an Internet enabled console. This thing plays the games grandma buys them for Christmas and nothing else. For everybody else the Wii Mini might not be a good buy, but they are not the target audience, this thing is made as Christmas present for 6 year olds.

    • by KalvinB (205500) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @05:21PM (#45339725) Homepage

      The fact it doesn't have internet is going to be a plus for parents. Now they can let their kids play games without having to worry about listening to a tirade of profanity from half way around the world. The older people that play this, probably aren't getting on-line either.

      It's also about $50 cheaper than the full size Wii which is the price of a Mario game.

      For cost conscious parents whose kids don't have a modern video game system yet, this is a solid option for Christmas. There is a huge library of excellent titles for the Wii. The LEGO games are all about $20 now, there are plenty of very popular Wii games that are $20 now.

      If I didn't already have a Wii, I'd buy it. While I use the Virtual Console, I could live without it. It's not an essential feature for the system. I just buy the old classics, Something that most kids don't care about.

      • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @06:25PM (#45340395)

        Just because a regular Wii has the ability to connect to the Internet, doesn't mean you have to use that ability.

        It's also about $50 cheaper than the full size Wii which is the price of a Mario game.

        I have a very hard time believing that the wi-fi chip is so expensive that by removing it Nintendo can charge $50 less and maintain a similar profit margin. They might as well have just left it in and priced it at $109 or something.

      • >The fact it doesn't have internet is going to be a plus for parents. Now they can let their kids play games without having to worry about listening to a tirade of profanity from half way around the world. The older people that play this, probably aren't getting on-line either.

        I'm a parent and I want my child to have the skills to cope with profanity and the internet and the intersection of the two. I don't see a Wii of any form having much relevance to that.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by vux984 (928602)

          I'm a parent and I want my child to have the skills to cope with profanity and the internet and the intersection of the two. I don't see a Wii of any form having much relevance to that.

          Is your child 5 or 15 ? There is a difference.

          That said even the Wii classic presented a very safe environment vs xbox and ps3.

          I don't see a Wii of any form having much relevance to that.

          The main reason to buy a wii, wii mini, or wii-u is, was, and will remain the games. Despite all the shovelware that got released for it, th

          • >Is your child 5 or 15 ? There is a difference.
            In between. Very active on the interwebs. I check in every now and then because that's my job.

            >I do most of my gaming on the PC
            Ditto. Steam. Big Nvidia card. The Wii is in my kid's room. I'll finish Okami one of these years.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No wii games let players communicate in a freely typed or spoken fashion. I'm pretty sure that was intentional to mitigate what you describe.

        There is either no communication or a predefined set of statements that the player can pick from.

      • by quenda (644621)

        For cost conscious parents whose kids don't have a modern video game system yet, this is a solid option for Christmas. There is a huge library of excellent titles for the Wii.

        Cost-conscious parents will borrow their friends' (with older kids who got a wii years ago) games, and build a library in a hard-drive hanging off the back.

    • by DarKnyht (671407)

      Mostly because they shut all the internet enabled channels with the exception of the Wii Shop Channel. The Wii Mini removes all that from the menu along with the network adapter.

    • by Hadlock (143607)

      More importantly, it doesn't have internet access, which blows my mind. Why include Mario Kart Wii when you can't do internet play with it? In 2013? Are they serious?

    • by RogueyWon (735973)

      It doesn't even have the usual argument in its favour that stripped-down versions of consoles put out after their successor appear usually have; back compatibility.

      The Wii-U's back compatibility with Wii games is very good. Not quite perfect (one or two titles are ever so slightly glitchy), but certainly good. On a par with the PS1 back-compatibility on the PS2, certainly. I don't like much about Nintendo (region locking, online restrictions, attitudes to IP that would make Sony blush, game pricing, general

      • One of the reasons the PS2 continued to sell so well after the PS3 release was that unless you moved quickly and got a first-generation Japanese or US model, the PS3 basically didn't do back compatibility.

        CECHE models were still available in 2008, so you didn't have to move too quickly. Mine is the CECHE01 MGS4 model, the last of the Deluxe model "fat PS3's", with backwards compatibility, 4 USB ports, chrome trim, built in card reader and the first with the Dual Shock 3 bundled.

        • by RogueyWon (735973)

          Although of course in Europe, unless you imported from the US (as I did) you never even got the choice of a back-compatible machine to begin with.

          There were a lot of mistakes made with the PS3 (as I think even Sony would acknowledge). The fact that it's probably the only console in history to have lost features consistently over the course of its life-span is among the worst.

  • It doesn't really seem like a very traditional Nintendo move. The top-loader NES did away with the click-down cartridge, the Advance SP offered a backlight and rechargable battery. Gameboy Color brought color into the games. The DS Lite offered several advantages over the original DS.

    What does the Wii Mini do that brings something new to the table?

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      What does the Wii Mini do that brings something new to the table?

      A $99 price tag, I believe.

      • The least important feature of this particular console. They strip out the Internet capability, which is an utterly stupid move when they don't have a counterpart with that connectivity. Especially when bundling this console with a game that is a lot of fun online with basically no interaction other than actual gameplay with other players. You don't get to spin that as "safer".

        • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @04:58PM (#45339481) Homepage

          They strip out the Internet capability

          Or, Nintendo has enough data to suggest there is room for a budget console with no internet capability.

          If you have a large segment of your market which never uses the internet for gaming, they don't need internet capability.

          If you want the big shiny one with an internet connection, you probably already own it. But if you have a 5 year old who just wants to play a Mario game, you may not even want internet connectivity.

          Not everyone plays games on-line. I know I don't, so surely in the demographic for a Wii there's plenty of people who don't either.

          • But if you have a 5 year old who just wants to play a Mario game, you may not even want internet connectivity.

            I was under the impression that Dr. Mario Online Rx was available only through the online Wii Shop.

          • Be that as it may, the kids who want to solo game would probably enjoy a lot of the downloadable classics which are unavailable to this Wii.

        • by tepples (727027)

          They strip out the Internet capability, which is an utterly stupid move when they don't have a counterpart with that connectivity

          Is the Wii U incapable of going online in Wii mode?

          Especially when bundling this console with a game that is a lot of fun online

          What's the practical difference between racing against anonymous online players (no interaction with others without exchanging friend codes out of band) and racing against the CPU?

          • First, the Wii U costs too bloody much, while the cost savings of removing the Wireless capability is negligible. Even an old G-chipset would do fine here.

            Second, the practical difference is quality. AI becomes predictable, while a long string of new opponents keeps it fresh.

        • by Megane (129182)
          But did they really strip out the "internet capability", or just the wifi chips? In other words, will it still support a USB Ethernet dongle? (Not that I care, I already have an old one that can play Gamecube games.)
        • by vux984 (928602)

          They strip out the Internet capability, which is an utterly stupid move when they don't have a counterpart with that connectivity

          The counterpart is the wii-u.

        • Possibly because they've already discontinued most of the online features.

          http://www.nintendo.com/whatsnew/detail/tiQImp7Oi97LiEyVqwDqL-eDnX6u9qjk [nintendo.com]

    • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @05:02PM (#45339531)

      What does the Wii Mini do that brings something new to the table?

      It frees you from Nintendo's awful online experience.

    • You're forgetting the Game Boy Pocket, though.
      • Well, I never intended it as an exhaustive list. Even the Gameboy Pocket brought a larger and arguably more advanced screen.

    • A sub-$100 price is about it, since they took out Gamecube backwards compatibility and Internet connectivity. It's really just aimed at the people buying Wii Fit and Wii Sports, not at anyone who's even mildly serious about gaming.

      • by vux984 (928602)

        not at anyone who's even mildly serious about gaming.

        Agreed.

        since they took out Gamecube backwards compatibility

        Anyone serious about gaming, wouldn't have waited SEVEN YEARS to buy one.

        At this stage, backwards compatibility concerns of anyone serious would be whether the Wii-U is back compatible with with the Wii. (it is). I doubt anyone cares about backwards compatiblity with gamecube titles now. Several of the key titles were rereleased for the Wii anyway, and gamecube is a pretty distant memory for most

        • A Gamecube controller is still the best way to play Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart Wii, IMO. But they can't be used on the newer Wii consoles and the Wii U.
          (Of course I still have a Wii with Gamecube support.)

        • by JonBoy47 (2813759)

          For the record, the lack of Gamecube backwards compatibility isn't really a "new feature". Nintendo released a cost-reduced version of the Wii back in 2011 that, while cosmetically similar, omitted the hardware for Gamecube backwards compatibility. I imagine their market research indicated that anyone who gave a rat about GC capability had already bought within the first five years.

          I also imagine the lack of internet capability is a play to avoid cannibalizing Wii U sales.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        A sub-$100 price is about it, since they took out Gamecube backwards compatibility and Internet connectivity. It's really just aimed at the people buying Wii Fit and Wii Sports, not at anyone who's even mildly serious about gaming.

        Well duh, it's a mini version of a last-gen console released in 2006 so that's the only people who you could sell it to. Even if anyone needed Gamecube compatibility there's now 100 million regular Wiis on the market to 20 million Gamecubes sold. And Nintendo probably looked at the stats and found extremely many Wiis are never online, the only system updates they get are through game discs. Add in a few clueless parents who think anything involving the Internet is a scary place and you got a $99 guaranteed

  • by Bacon Bits (926911) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @04:51PM (#45339355)

    The Wii Mini doesn't have GameCube support and doesn't have Wi-Fi. Thus far, that's mainly what my Wii has been: a GameCube that streams NetFlix.

    • by rjejr (921275)
      It's not funny (score 4, funny), it's sad. First Nintendo removes Gamecube support under cover of darkness - no Gamecube games, but more importantly for us no Wavebirds for Kart and SSB - and then they remove Netflix after promoting it all over their website. Sure the Wii had a few good games, very few in the past 2 years though, and while the oringal poster was probably trying to be funny I bet most Wiis these days are just used for Netflix/HuluPlus.
  • Take the software we use to crack your devices and make it that way from the gate.
  • by Ransak (548582) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @05:10PM (#45339623) Homepage Journal
    Any content you've purchased on one Wii is stuck [googleusercontent.com] there forever in most cases. Nintendo won't transfer digital purchases unless you have documentation showing your original Wii was stolen, and that's iffy. Why people keep paying for the same, tired rehash of their game catalog and obvious abuse of the platform is beyond me.
    • People will accept more abuse the lower the price. If I'm buying an overpriced italian car for like $300k, the dealership had better treat me like royalty, offer free oil changes etc. If I'm getting a decent german car for free, the dealership could have an overweight hairy man moon me and fart at me the whole time I'm there, tell me I'm fucking scum, and have a witch curse me to get warts or something. I'd still take it.

      The Wii was always cheaper than the other consoles and broke less often than at l
    • by salahx (100975)

      I do admit it sucks that purchases are bound to the system and not to an account, leaving you at Nintendo's whim in a catastrophe, but that having been said I've been one of the lucky ones to get Nintendo's assistance [slashdot.org] in having my purchases moved to a new system after mine was stolen. The rep was very helpful, and although it was far from trivial (they required a letter, including documentation of the theft, they needed the old and new serial numbers) and good circumstance (My Nintendo account was linked to

  • by asmkm22 (1902712)

    I'm just waiting for the PS3 and maybe XBox to drop to the $99 price point. I couldn't care less about the a smaller Wii.

  • by sottitron (923868) on Tuesday November 05, 2013 @05:52PM (#45340067)
    Before you complain about the Mini being a butchered Wii, just realize that Nintendo are not going after serious console buyers here or people flush with cash. Those people might have bought a Wii U or are waiting for the XBox One or PS 4. Nintendo is going after people looking for a bargain but who don't want a used machine (these people do exist). They are serving people who don't demand the latest and greatest from a console and who will pay $99 to play the awesome games you could get on Nintendo's old system. The thing Nintendo knows is that when it sells a console, it will sell games for that console. So a Wii Mini probably represents four or five games going out the door as first sales in the next year as well. And I am pretty sure nobody sells more titles for Nintendo consoles than Nintendo itself. This is a play to make some more money on the backend of the Wii's life. Its a smart move to trim the cost of the Wii and keep selling machines and the games that play on them. And some of these people might turn into Wii U buyers when they have more money.
    • by Maudib (223520)

      Lets be clear, they are not serving people, they are serving Canadians. Its pretty clear that Nintendo thinks they are the only people in the world foolish enough to buy this turd.

  • I suspect that the real reason that they have dropped wireless networking support is that Nintendo screwed up, royally, with the original design. The present Wii has an 802.11b/g wireless adapter built-in. Due to flaws in its software implementation, however, it is only capable of working when the 802.11 (legacy mode) basic rates of 1 Mb/s and 2 Mb/s are advertised by an access point. This means that 802.11b support, an additive amendment to the 802.11 standard, must be enabled on an access point for a Wii
  • Regular, barely-used Wii are like $40 tops at yard sales, flea markets, etc. They work fine and normally have all the stuff this Mini lacks. Like, I dunno, what the hell does a Wii DO again? That Mii thing?

    Well, OK old Wii aren't red. Boo hoo. $3 worth of spray paint will fix that up.

    Still leaves $57 for pizza and drinks to entice your friends to come over and get bored quick playing some group game that is not actually fun.

  • This is probably the Wii's last Christmas before Nintendo rides it off into the sunset. In a way, this bundle is priced very aggressively, as the combined retail cost of the pack-ins is equal to the cost of the total system. If you wanted to add a Wii Remote and Nunchuk to your existing Wii or Wii U, you're already over half way to the Wii Mini. Add in Mario Kart (if you don't already have it) and the console is free. You're breaking even, even if you stash it in your closet Christmas night. At any rate, by

  • I bet the Ouya is doing very well in Japan.

    Home of development, keen on lots of games, and several of it's launch titles have an anime styling.

It's time to boot, do your boot ROMs know where your disk controllers are?

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