In a rare Canadian exclusive, Nintendo announced today that it will be launching a miniature version of its Wii console, the Wii Mini, ahead of the holiday season on December 7th.
For $99, Canadians will be able to pick up the Wii Mini in matte black with a red border and matching red controller and nunchuck. The console is "designed exclusively to play Wii games" BGR reports, so no backwards compatibility with GameCube games like the full-sized Wii, which has been on the market in North America since 2006.
In fact, the only games the Wii Mini will play are hard-copy Wii games. The Wii Mini has no Internet connectivity, which means no Virtual Console games or download-only titles, as well as no online features in other games.
Having said all that, though, this low-priced move could prove extremely beneficial to two key groups: families who found the original Wii too cost-prohibitive, and gamers who never bought into the Wii because of the lacking library for the "hardcore" crowd.
While the Wii has been largely panned as having catered more to the casual gamer crowd over Nintendo's loyal fanbase, for $99, it's the perfect opportunity to try out some of the gems that have been released for the Wii. At such a low price point, gamers don't need to feel like they need to invest much in order to play the great titles that did emerge from this generation of gaming. Super Paper Mario, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, both Super Mario Galaxy games, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, The Conduit, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Epic Mickey and Trauma Team would be just a few of my personal suggestions. And with a library of over 1,300 (as Nintendo claims), there are at least a couple of others that might convince you to pick up a Wii Mini.
If you've opted for a PS3 or Xbox 360 and have decided it's finally time to give the Wii a try, this is your chance, Canada.
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