When Nintendo announced the Limited Edition black Wii was on its way to the UK and Europe this month, our first reaction was a sense of satisfaction - the Wii has been stuck in its whitewash world for too long, so the added choice of another colour is more than welcome. Not all of you were so thrilled though, particularly you poor, forgotten North American readers with naught but a hope and a dream of when the black Wii is flying across the pond.
Well, this article probably won't help at all, as we here at Nintendo Life Towers have got our well-worn hands on one of the noir consoles and wanted to bring you the exclusive report on all its suave blackness, in the time-honoured form of words and pictures.
When you buy your own black Wii, it's worth mentioning yours won't be signed to you with the phrases "Mamma Mia! and Let'sa Go!" by Charles Martinet, voice of Mario and Luigi for over ten years. Don't worry, that's not a factory defect - we met him last week and he obliged. Sorry guys - no signed black Wiis for you.
Inside the box is everything you would get in the Wii Sports Resort pack available here in the UK: one Remote, Nunchuk, MotionPlus, Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort, as well as the standard definition cables, power adaptor and sensor bar. There's also a rather nice little cleaning cloth resting on top of the console - now practically shrink-wrapped to keep dust out - with instructions on how to keep your Wii clean. Just from taking ours out of the box it seemed to attract dust and fingerprints like some sort of black hole, so you'd be well-advised not to obsess about the presence of tiny specks or impurities as you'll never get any time playing the thing.
The black Remote is nice and glossy, and the Remote jacket is actually quite nice in the flesh: now totally opaque, it looks less like a silly add-on we never use (sorry, Nintendo!) and more like a part of the design. Your fingerprints will be spattered all over the Remote's face in no time, but the lovely colour of it all will more than make up for it. There's something undeniably exciting about holding the black Remote that put us all in mind of the original Revolution unveiling, when all the colours were revealed and our imaginations ran riot with the gaming possibilities. It's odd for a brand new product to inspire this kind of nostalgia, but as soon as we saw that red power button on the Remote it was like May 2005 all over again.
Our favourite part of the package so far is the two-tone Nunchuk, now resembling an Alien's head more than ever. The matte finish underneath feels a little odd on your hands, and it's not unlike picking up a DSi after years of DS Lite: after a few minutes it's very comfortable and natural, and makes a nice change from the extremely glossy finish of everything else in the package.
Now, onto the console itself. The only disappointing part - just to be slightly nitpicky - is the white surround over the disc tray, just between the foam barriers and the drawer itself. With almost everything else being jet black, having a white mouth around the disc entry seems a bit out of place, but it's hardly a deal breaker as the rest of the machine is so very, very black. With such a high-gloss finish the console does suck up dust like there's no tomorrow, so you'd be well advised to hide it away in a cabinet or suchlike where possible, as looking at its impossibly dusty, fingerprinted case could be too much for some sensitive souls to bear. Such a finish does lend the Wii a much less "plasticky" feel however, and means the machine is far more likely to fit in with the rest of your entertainment equipment rather than standing out like a white sore thumb.
Intrigued about our meeting with Charles Martinet? Wondering if you might hear more about it later on in the week, perhaps on Friday in the Nintendo Life podcast? Our lips are sealed!