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Nintendo to launch $100 Wii Mini in Canada next month
Nintendo to launch $100 Wii Mini in Canada next month
November 27, 2012 | By Mike Rose

November 27, 2012 | By Mike Rose
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    24 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



In the same month that Nintendo launched its brand new Wii U console, the company today announced a new smaller version of its original Wii console -- although it's currently only confirmed for release in Canada.

The Wii Mini is "all about the games," says Nintendo, and includes a much smaller version of the console with lots of the functionality stripped out.

It cannot connect to the internet, for example, and therefore does not support online play for any games that have online features. The console also is not compatible with Nintendo GameCube discs or accessories.

Nintendo believes that this cut-down model will be "great value for first-time Wii owners who just want to jump in."

The recommended retail price for the console is $99.99, and it will launch on December 7 in Canada. It comes in matte black with a red border, and thrown in is a red Wii Remote Plus and a red Nunchuk controller.

It appears strange that Nintendo is launching the console solely in Canada, and the official statement reads, "No information is available about its potential availability in other territories in the future." A Nintendo UK spokesperson told Gamasutra, "Nintendo UK don't have anything to announce at this time."
wii mini 1.jpg


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Comments


Joe Zachery
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I can't lie for the look of it I would buy one just to have. Still not being able to go online kills games like Mario Kart Wii. Which was very important to the Wii's growth.

Merc Hoffner
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I actually don't understand this. The transceiver costs, like $3 and I don't believe there are any technology licensing fees involved. Is $3 worth it? Perhaps, considering the back end costs it is?

David Holmin
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@Cameron

The Wii U redesign will get all the love. Remember DS Lite. ;)

Michael K
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@Merc Hoffner
There are quite a lot of fees you have to pay to random companies (motorola, qualcomm, ericsson,...), e.g motorola sued MS and Apple for wifi patens used on x360 and won. those fees are usually 'build in' into those custom chips you buy, but that makes those chips expensive way beyond the actuall 10cent they'd usually cost.
I think motorolla demands $2 from Apple per sold device.

that's also the reason some Nexus devices miss 3G support and sdcards slots.

I wish they had bundled the wiimini with Zelda or Mario, that would have been the killer gift for xmas, imo.

Michael K
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double post

Eric Pobirs
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@Merc Hoffner

There is more involved than the transceiver. Ther eis also the cheaper redesigned board and simplified manuafacturing. Also reduced firmware complexisty with the entire online infraturcture gone.

But lets consider just that $3 transceiver. On a $99 retail product the amount nintendo is collecting is closer to $90. Markup is about $5 on a console, at best, and ther eis some cost for actual physical delivery.

So now we have $3 out of $90. Almost 4% of the product cost. I don't know if you've ever dealt with manufacturing but cutting 4% off the cost of a product manufactured in the millions of units is a huge win.

Let face it. Online for the Wii was something of a joke compared to any other modern platform. Everybody who really cared bought a earlier model Wii a long time ago, just as those who cared about GameCube compatiblity stopped being an issue as that market became limited to used product in the retail channel. (Expect GameCube titles to be offered as download purchases on Wii U sometime next year. Way too much money potential for Nintendo to leave that stuff fallow.)

This new model is about catering to the cheap seats and helping retailers clear out the mountain of third party garbage Nintendo allow to be published. Anyone looking to play online multi-player on Mario Kart will be pointed to the Wii U, and soon to a Wii U version of that game.

Duong Nguyen
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They are probably just trying to find ways to monetize the remaining Wii properties and also undercut any potential sub-100$ 360.. It's price so low that it doesn't cannibalize the Wii U sales.

Bob Johnson
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Ugly console.

They took everything out so they could sell it dirt cheap. And remember it is for Canada. Netflix ain't big there. Not sure if they have the same store either. Doesn't matter now. Online was never that big on Wii save for Mario Kart maybe.

A W
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Monster Hunter Tri

Conduit 1 @ 2

Medal of Honor: Heroes (32 players online)

Those did work online and have / had a sizable number of players.

I even stumbled across a guy on BLOPS 2 Wii U, that was telling me he only played MW3 for the Wii and was mad because Activison did not support DLC for Wii.

Bob Johnson
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Well I wasn't going to name every game that can be played online.

Just saying Wii online isn't big and that I bet MK dwarfs all the other online titles combined.

Adam Bishop
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I have no idea why you believe Netflix "ain't big" here in Canada. If I turn on my 360 or PS3 at virtually any time of the day I see people on my friends list logged into Netflix.

Bob Johnson
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@Adam

I actually have no idea. I just heard it from a couple of Canada folks and assumed the comments were accurate.

Sounded like it jived with this Mini model and it being released in Canada only.

So I did some Googling...and it looks like there are 2 million Netflix subscribers in CAnada as of June 2012. Doubling YoY. And that 15% of Canada are Netflix subscribers according to CBC/Radio-Canada's Media Technology Monitor.

And from Wired.com, ...

"Two, Netflix isn’t nearly as big a deal in Canada: The Globe and Mail reported in October that growth has “plateaued,” it doesn’t have nearly as much content as the U.S. version does, and extra charges for bandwidth in Canada can make streaming video a very expensive proposition.
"

Garnet Thomas
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@Bob
Netflix has 25.1 million subscribers in the US, making it roughly 12.1% of the adult population
2 million subscribers in Canada would make it roughly 8.5% of the adult population.

I couldn't find that 2 million number anywhere though, so if the 15% is correct, that indicates that Netflix is more popular in Canada than the US.

Ujn Hunter
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Remember folks, you can still buy a fully functional Wii w/ a game included for the same price in many stores here in the U.S. Don't let the cool retro sexy look of this new gimped model fool you!

Bob Johnson
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AT Walmart you can get a Wii for $89 sans GC compatibility and no game.

Wylie Garvin
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Sans GC compatibility? Omg.. I wouldn't have any use for my Wii at all, if I couldn't play Metroid Prime on it!

John Flush
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sans GC compatibility?! hum, I'm going to have to look at my console I got for cheap for black friday and make sure it has it... if not, I might as well take the piece of shit back. I only got it for a replace of my current Wii that is on its last legs.

John Flush
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grrr... sure enough - no GC support. I guess I'm just another dumb consumer these days. Might just have to get the old one fixed instead. Sure beats buying each one on the Wii U VC (eventually - if at all) at $20 a pop

Eric Pobirs
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This model is for wiping up the dregs from the retail channel, much like the final model of the PS2. They left out the ATA interface, so it couldn't support a hard drive (connecting over the USB 1.1 ports was painfully slow) and anything needing it. But that was a tiny portion of the PS2 library and most of it didn't sell much.

This is standard industry practice for a successful platform in its decline after its successor has appeared.

Wylie Garvin
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The only widespread usage of the hard drive in PS2's was with HD-Loader (which allowed you to copy game discs onto the hard drive and then play those games... basically it was great for piracy, you didn't even need the discs in the drive to play those games). I had (well, still have) an old-gen PS2 with a hard drive in it. Mainly because GTA:SA streamed much better off a hard drive than it did off a DVD :P

Ricardo Barnhill
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As for the Canada exclusivity, I would take a guess that they are testing the market and seeing what happens. Even if it is successful in Canada I don't think it will do so well in the States because of the obvious lack of features; the biggest of which is the lack of Internet. How ironic is it that the thing that everyone is connected to, and by extension connecting everyone together, is being removed in order to connect newer users?

Cordero W
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A Canada joke can be made here, but I like maple syrup too much.

Adam Bishop
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Why do you believe Internet connectivity (or any other feature for that matter) is a less important feature to Canadians than Americans? According to the OECD, Canada has a higher penetration of broadband access than the U.S. does.

http://www.oecd.org/internet/broadbandandtelecom/oecdbroadbandpor
tal.htm

Leon T
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Well it is a game console and nothing else. I refuse to call that a bad thing.


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