Back in December 2012 we imported a Wii Mini from Canada — before it was confirmed for Europe — and gave our assessment in a hardware review. Here's what we said in summary:
The Wii Mini is, as we were largely aware - a scaled-down version of Nintendo's best-selling system. The lack of online connectivity and removal of support for component AV are going to be insurmountable negatives for dedicated players, but you have to remember where this console fits in the grand scheme of things; it's unlikely that many hardcore Nintendo fans are going to be looking into buying a Wii now - what with the console being six years old and the Wii U being available - but for casual players who simply want to play all the popular titles, this $99 package makes a little more sense. Even so, you have to ask yourself if it's not a better idea to simply pick up a Mark 1 Wii on the cheap - with over 100 million systems out in the wild, it's not as if they're expensive or hard to come by these days.
In stripping away online functionality, in particular, this seems like a fairly odd machine, and it would have been tempting to think that the release in Canada and limited availability in Europe would be the extent of the run for the system. And yet it's not done — possibly due to the original Wii being discontinued, Nintendo of America has now confirmed that the Wii Mini will come to the U.S. in "mid-November". This will include the red Wii Remote and Nunchuk, as in other regions, and also a copy of Mario Kart Wii; there is a certain irony that the game with the best online play on the system (arguably) will be bundled with the strictly offline Mini.
Availability will "differ somewhat according to location", in Nintendo's own words, but perhaps this will attract a few sales from collectors and gamers on a tight budget, especially with an extensive library of cheap games joining the Nintendo Selects range.
So, U.S. gamers, are you interested in picking one up?