Nintendo is certainly beefing up its holiday lineup to appeal to thrifty shoppers who are eager to put a console under the tree. In addition to slashing the prices of the Wii U and introducing the budget handheld 2DS, the company has announced that it will bring the Wii Mini to store shelves by mid-November.
The console is a stripped-down version of Nintendo’s previous generation console, the Wii, and will retail for just $99. The system itself lacks several features from that generation, including an internet connection, backwards compatibility with the Gamecube, and an SSD card, so it’ll lack the access to classic games and expandable space the Wii had. However, the console will be one of the lowest-prices devices on the market for the holidays and will open gamers to a Wii library now filled with $19.99 games. The Wii Mini is already available in Canada and Europe.
While it’s nice to see that Nintendo hasn’t completely killed the Wii for Americans after it announced it would stop manufacturing the console in October, the Wii Mini is missing one of Nintendo’s biggest selling points: backwards compatibility. That feature is responsible for not only extending the shelf life of many consoles, including the Gamecube and the Nintendo DS, but also in making newer consoles a perpetually appealing sell. Not to mention that an exclusion of the internet kneecaps the Nintendo eShop, making even the $129 2DS a better sell for its connectivity alone.
That said, the Wii Mini appeals to a narrow market, but it’s commendable that Nintendo is bringing cheaper consoles stateside.