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Feature: We've Unboxed A Wii Mini So You Don't Have To

Posted by Damien McFerran

Getting to grips with the newest Nintendo console

Exclusive to Canada and lacking online functionality, the Wii Mini might seem like an afterthought on Nintendo's part but that didn't stop us ordering one as soon as they became available and mobbing the courier the moment the package arrived. Nintendo hardware is still Nintendo hardware, after all.

We'll be following up this short unboxing piece with some first impressions of the $99 system, but in the meantime feast your eyes on the Wii U's little brother.

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User Comments (88)

Schprocket

#2

Schprocket said:

Looks reminiscent of a portable dvd player - I take it's a top-loader?
That'll bring costs down heaps as well.
Any chance of pics 'with the hood open', Damo?

Void

#4

Void said:

It's cute, like Animal Crossing.
Wait a second... Where do you put the disc in? Pop the hood like a PS1 or GameCube?

thekhaos

#6

thekhaos said:

For all the gripes people have over this Wii model you gotta admit, it does look incredibly sharp. That red is really pleasing to the eye. Stripped down as it is though I can't predict the after market will be scrambling for them in years to come like they do over many of the Nintendo end of production cycle versions.

Scollurio

#8

Scollurio said:

I'd love to have it, if it weren't so technically stripped down. Just beware Nlife guys, if you're firing up the first time you might find that it upscales all Wii games to beautiful 1080p :D

19Robb92

#9

19Robb92 said:

I kind of want one.. I have absolutely no reason to buy one, but I want it.

yobucky

#10

yobucky said:

Awesome! I actually can see the logic here. Lots of people don't spend $250 dollars plus on presents for the kids at christmas, so here's a cheap console with a huge back catalogue and a good reputation for family fun. Online functionality? Psshhtt, kids and casual gamers don't care bout that. I just wish they'd send this little hottie to my country, I'd totally buy it as a backup/ kids console.

Drawdler

#11

Drawdler said:

Oh my, I love that. I want one so utterly badly now. Make it happen NoE! Adjajjdhewifdfbuushsfbfbybnbmnnnnnn it's so kawaii...
I've actually had those Wiimotes for a long time from the Mario bundle. Gorgeous, I wouldn't mind having another pair.

Otto-Soq

#12

Otto-Soq said:

This one is a nice christmas gift for a minor. I think i'll pass and save a lil longer for a fresh, white WU! ;)

Schprocket

#16

Schprocket said:

@Damo Cheers!

Just wondering if this release is a 'toe in the water' thing.

Most casual gamers aren't likely to be bothered with online, so if they have Wii and it breaks down, here's a low-cost alternative. It'll also have inherited the current Wii's lack of GC backward-compatibilty for the same reason (casual gamer with no prior Nintendo demeanours...)

The rest, they figure, will buy a Wii U, which despite contrary protestations in other threads, is relatively cheap for a new HD console that has backward-compatibilty.

All arguments critical of the Wii U RRP that I've read seem to forget that the other consoles (ok, specifically the PS3 since I bought one at launch) were up to twice as costly on launch - possibly three times factoring in inflation -, it was pathetically supported in terms of launch titles, and the degree of 'compatibility' varied with region and I wonder how much of the protestation is due to personal finances rather than making a credible point. It will become cheaper - relatively static technology, such as consoles - always does, or you get more for the same price-point - as with dynamic technology, such as PCs.

grenworthshero

#17

grenworthshero said:

Hey, if I was broke and didn't already have a Wii, I'd totally pick this up. It looks freaking awesome, and I couldn't really care less about playing online. Of course, no Netflix or WiiWare or anything sounds terrible, but you can't miss what you never had. On the other hand, if I was super-rich, I'd also pick this up, as it looks great and it's another addition to my console collection

Omega

#18

Omega said:

The thing that interests me most:
How does the system menu look like?

DamoAdmin

#20

Damo said:

@Omega Exactly the same as the normal Wii menu. It even has multiple pages for channels - channels which you're never going to get because it can't go online.

Omega

#21

Omega said:

This is weird. It's like living in a house where only one room is in use.
So the only channel is the disc channel?
Really?

Shiryu

#22

Shiryu said:

@Damo I apologise if this has been written above already, but since it does have an USB port in the back, plugging the USB-LAN adapter will enable to console to go online and be used like a regular Wii?

DamoAdmin

#24

Damo said:

@Omega There's the Mii channel and a Wii Guide Channel at present. Perhaps Nintendo will allow the installation of additional channels via a disc in the future?

DamoAdmin

#25

Damo said:

@Shiryu I don't have one of those adapters to hand so can't test that, but seeing as the Wii settings menu has no online settings (there's just a blank space in the settings where it should be) I doubt you'd be able to configure it anyway.

OPOAO

#30

OPOAO said:

Why would anybody want this? It has no internet connections, WTF? My original wii is still running like a champ!

ajcismo

#31

ajcismo said:

I kinda want one, and have no idea why.
It would be perfect for having in a camper or cabin, someplace where the internet isn't going to be.
Maybe I missed some of the tech specs along the way, but how bare-bones is the A/V on that thing? I assume it pumps out the same resolution with the same cables that the old Wii uses with the same audio capabilities?

SilentHunter382

#32

SilentHunter382 said:

I love the look of it and like Ajcismo said that it would be great for places with no internet or for holiday trips when travelling.

ejamer

#37

ejamer said:

Regarding the main menu not changing, remember that a couple of Wii games install their own channels. The only one that comes to mind that would still be useful (without internet) is the Wii Fit channel, but that's a big enough property that Nintendo probably wouldn't want to remove channel functionality from the main menu. Being able to create Mii figures is an essential part of the Wii experience too, so that channel needs to be available.

(Also note that code changes take at least some time/effort and Nintendo probably wanted to put this out with the lowest possible cost attached - why pay to change and test the menu if that change wouldn't save any money?)

eigafan

#38

eigafan said:

Engadget couldn't get this new console to work with a component AV cable. Rumor has it, that Nintendo has cut 480p capability (NA redesign SNES has no S-video).

eigafan

#40

eigafan said:

Nintendo says on page 10 of the Wii mini Operations Manual "IMPORANT: The Wii mini console will not work with any AV cable other than the model supplied.." This explains why the component AV cable (even the official Nintendo ones) don't work with this console. This came directly from Nintendo's tech support forum topic "Wii Mini Component Issues." BTW, they even misspelled the word important.

AVahne

#42

AVahne said:

Might get one when they drop to $50. At least it's small enough to not be a distraction or draw attention away from it's older brothers and sisters.
Still nowhere near as awesome of a mini console as the godly Micro though.

Rapadash6

#44

Rapadash6 said:

This thing looks god aweful to me. The lack of WiFi and an SD card slot make it a rather expensive paper weight, in my humble opinion. The original Wii might be my favorite console design ever, and this might be my least. How ironic.

Omega

#45

Omega said:

It looks like a mixture between a Virtual Boy and a lunch box for school. But I kinda want one as "reserve" console. (If the other two break due to abrasion over the years.)

Sausimo

#47

Sausimo said:

@eigafan Thanks for that tidbit of information, the 480i output only really squelched any desire I had for getting one of these in the future. I could live without the wifi and SD card support, but decreasing the resolution is a death knell for my interest.

Looks awesome, though.

retro_player_22

#48

retro_player_22 said:

@SheldonRandoms It could possibly may still work with the Freeloader that once came out for Wii. Without internet means no firmware update and no firmware updates means unofficial software could work with it with no prob.

DamoAdmin

#49

Damo said:

I can confirm that component doesn't work - just tested it.

ogo79

#50

ogo79 said:

its a shame it doesnt support any online services, if it did it would be extremely cool

Ren

#52

Ren said:

weird. it really has so little, but it looks so nice. even the reduced resolution makes this pretty sad. Great if you live under a bridge, but I can't see this as anything more than an accidental purchase by a parent during the holidays, but disappointing for any kid that just wanted a new console. really only worth it for that controller. Seems like they could have still included everything but GC support and still kept it almost this small and cheap. With the redesign a machine like that would sell like hotcakes, I'd rather get one like that than a WiiU! This is NOT like the "dogbone" NES redesign, since that didn't take out functionality, and worked better. Just the time factor makes it all cheaper to produce so long after it's release, why skimp on so much?

sonik

#53

sonik said:

@retro_player_22

Well I'm quite sure Nintendo have the latest frimwire included to this mini version, the freeloader did not work after frimwire 3.1 or something, now the frimwire is 4.3 and it's "no dice" for freeloader for wii mini unless make a complete new freeloader (and that is never goning to happen)

HawkeyeWii

#54

HawkeyeWii said:

Why are so many people gripping about the no online. Seriously how many people actually play Wii games online besides Mario Kart Wii?? Nothing else is even worth it. And I understand that online can also be used to download games. But the majority of you gripping already have a Wii that can do that.

Ren

#60

Ren said:

of course no one cares about 'online' gaming, we're complaining because some of the best Wii experiences come from download WiiWare games and Virtual console. In todays world anything 'mini' almost universally means 'lots of online everything' to keep the hardware side small/cheap, so it's pretty strange to see this now. It's like getting a cell phone that only works indoors, because "phones are really home calling devices" right? Even 3 or 4 years ago this would have made a lot of sense; Now? not really. It's as if Nintendo has to stubbornly fulfill it's itch to stay in the past so they can justify the WiiU's ability to try some real online functions.
like a stubborn old man with emphysema sneaking a cigarette just so he can still feel like he didn't really give in to the young peoples demands, even though he had to to stay alive.

Ernest_The_Crab

#62

Ernest_The_Crab said:

Hm...it looks a bit like candy. Well if you don't need to go online it could be useful, though the resolution problem would definitely make it not worth having as a back up.

Dauntless

#63

Dauntless said:

Too bad it doesn't have WiFi, more usb ports, gamecube suppport, SD card slot and the ability to softmod it region free. Its kind of like Nintendo wants me to hate it.

I seen a bunch of these red units on the Walmart shelves the other day, with half a dozen 8GB WiiUs. People seem to be ignoring them.

CrashMan

#65

CrashMan said:

Well I never had a Wii, and I could use a remote and nunchuk for my WiiU, AND this is only $30 more then buying a remote and nunchuk separately... looks like I'm buying a Wii!

Zombie_Barioth

#68

Zombie_Barioth said:

This would almost be worth it just for the remote+nunchuk, sensor bar, and a travel/spare console. But couldn't they have at least kept the ethernet functions, not even Sony removed that?

At least this would be good for places that don't need the cut features and just want a cheap source of entertainment, like hospitals or senior housing. I've seen hospitals use gamecubes in their waiting rooms and I'm sure it'd be nice for inpatients, especially children.

Varia01

#69

Varia01 said:

So the wii mini is a small device that attaches to your tv and has lower power than the Wii? Figures. I was expecting a small tablet like screen that can use the wii remote and nunchuck. I don't think very much people are gonna like it given its abilities.

Revolution5268

#71

Revolution5268 said:

this reminds mii of:
1. famicom
2. VR console
3. gameboy micro
4. classic consoles.
I like the color are both control and system.

Jakurdo

#72

Jakurdo said:

Why is that USB-port still there? Is there any peripheral that uses the USB-port? (keyboard maybe? but when would you ever use that?) Curious what would happen if you stick in the LAN adapter. Interesting that they removed the internet section from the options menu, but LAN doesn't require any setup. It usually just runs the second you plug it in.

I assume all "online"-channels (such as the shop channel) have been removed from the main menu though?

ThreadShadow

#75

ThreadShadow said:

It really is a cute/fine looking console. I can buy frozen spinach and various herbs that come in a similar red rimmed pack! Like nutrient rich mini Wii Mini's!
I wonder what the USB port is for...Does it have the Photo Channel? Probably not I'm thinking...hmmm...

Knuckles

#76

Knuckles said:

I have a standard Red Wii WITH Gamecube support, Red Wiimote and Nunchuk. I'm glad Ninty ran that christmas special :P

Hyperstar96

#78

Hyperstar96 said:

If it had an SD card slot then it would be a great revision, but it's not worth it if all you can do is play Wii discs.

StarDust4Ever

#80

StarDust4Ever said:

Nintendo made a USB LAN adapter. They also added a USB port to the back of the console. You know what that means, mha-ha-ha! :D

It's also a shame that it doesn't have an SD slot.

UnseatingKDawg

#81

UnseatingKDawg said:

Meh. I'll be getting a Wii U anyhow. If I need to replace my Wii, it's getting replaced with either another regular Wii or a GameCube, because soon enough that's all it's going to be used for.

IAmNotWill

#82

IAmNotWill said:

We've Unboxed A Wii Mini So You Don't Have To

Hey thanks! Are you going to send it to me now?

Ren

#83

Ren said:

Sooo, when's someone going to stick the lan adapter into this and check it out? We're all waiting with baited breath, N-life. You're getting a first impressions ready now, please check that out for it! Clearly we know everything else it does already and what it looks like so thats the big question here.

DarkNinja9

#84

DarkNinja9 said:

it kinda remind me of the gamecube in a way but a failed version xP

oh well thx for the pics

retro_player_22

#85

retro_player_22 said:

@sonik Or hackers could make a new boot disc similar to the utopia boot disc for Dreamcast which allowed gamers to play import games on their console. With the Wii mini block from ever getting updated, the boot disc could serve as a bridge to allow import game to load.

mastersworddude

#86

mastersworddude said:

wow.
Reaaallly bare bones.
Went out of their way remove ANY possible internet connection, and also went and removed component cable support, so you're stuck with murky RCA picture. It's just hard for me to believe ANY modern gaming console, revision or not, is exclusively RCA compatible.
100$ is too much IMO.

HostX9

#87

HostX9 said:

I'll never understand why they removed the SD card slot.... it's shenanigans. This means you can't buy any Just Dance song or anything else which requires a SD card...

Lopezdm

#88

Lopezdm said:

I honestly have no idea what the point is to this wii mini? The old wii is better and just a little more money.. It does half as much as the old wii, so whats the point? Did Canada not have Wii? This is just a waste of money...

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