News Article

The Wii Mini Will Arrive in the U.S. in November

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Includes a copy of Mario Kart Wii and will cost $99

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?

From the web

User Comments (106)



MegaAdam said:

Might pick one up for the collection. I'm sure this will be a novelty that's hard-to-find in fairly short order.



shigulicious said:

Be done with the Wii and focus your resources on the WiiU Nintendo! This move is going to cause more confusion for shoppers and a loss of potential WiiU buyers. Well IMO anyway.



Pod said:

The Wii Mini is quite cute in that it resembles an old-timey kind of console much more closely.

As for its real market potential, though, they've should've made it smaller and put an HDMI output on it.

They way it is, it'll only serve to sucker a few couple people into buying it for their children or console collection, and these people will then be forced to get retail copies, as it doesn't do online and can't be softmodded.



tripunktoj said:

It was about time, it released a couple months ago in Mexico, only US was missing.



Darknyht said:

I expected this to happen, now they just need to support it by expanding the Nintendo Selects and doing their best to stock stores with games.

I expect the Wii to be officially retired soon in the US also.



JuleyJules said:

@shigulicious Exactly! Why are they putting out the Wii mini anywhere?? I don't understand why they are not focusing on the Wii U and letting the Wii go away? Makes no sense to me.



mike_intv said:

If it had on-line or the ability to transfer saves, this might be worth it.

But a used Wii can be had more cheaply with more functionality.

This move is designed at those looking to go low-end with their purchase. I wonder if it will be at closeout stores like Big Lots.



TruenoGT said:

It's surprising at this point that they couldn't profitably make a Wii with online and component (if not HDMI) for $100. I'm not convinced that low fidelity, offline gaming is really compelling against something like a Roku to the mass market. Do they really have such low confidence in their ability to sell online software that this couldn't have been a vehicle to sell VC and WiiWare?



Senario said:

Wait, why? We don't need the wii mini currently and need to distinguish the wii from the wii u. Well whatever earns them money I suppose.



eza said:

2012: Nintendo release Wii U
2013: Nintendo retire Wii
2013: Nintendo release Wii Mini

Consumer: "Err, which one do I buy? The cheapest one? The orange one? Oh look, the new Playstation......"



WaxxyOne said:

I wonder if they've altered the code of Mario Kart Wii to hide the online functionality, and if so if they did it in any kind of competent way (or are we talking Oracle of Seasons/Ages-style disabling that leaves the omission glaring?... "Go talk to that snake about connecting your systems to transfer items. (Except that you can't, so don't.)")



zeldagaymer93 said:

If all Wiis are off the shelves then it will make consumers way less confused and they will realize that the Wii U is actually a new system. Poor move, Nintendo. You really do know how to confuse those casual consumers, don't you?



rjejr said:

"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."

Irony is the understatement of the year.

If it included 20-30 Wii games and sold for $50 it might be good competition for these 2 systems currently selling at BBB:

Honestly, for $40 I think the Sega system is a better deal w/ 40 Genesis games (and 40 "other" games?) and 2 wireless controllers. Its somehow even compatible w/ original Genesis cartridges, in case you have any laying around. I might even buy this just b/c. but I'm not buying a Mini.



LittleIrves said:

Such a strange little offering. I'm intrigued by hardware revisions, especially so late in the game. I always wish I had a NES v. 2.0 with the top-loader, so I might have to get this, if only to store away and look at in 20 years and think, "whoa."



LittleIrves said:

Still think the exact opposite of this would've been more appealing (ONLY online and downloadable stuff) but I get that it's for people who have little internet access / just want access to cheap games. Still a bargain IMO, coming with Kart and the Wii's huge library of games. Well, maybe not a "bargain," but there's value here for the right person.



Slayer said:

Aww. They made a mini Wii. I'm keeping mine, but that is just downright funny.



jkirchgessner07 said:

@shigulicious I actually think they just made a smart move. People have been confused about the Wii vs. Wii U for too long. Especially when they were sitting side-by-side on store shelves. Now, when those same people go to purchase a system, they'll at least be able to understand the difference because of the naming. Second...the Wii can still be an entry to the Wii U. It might be a longtail solution, but it's still the cheapest way to introduce a kid into the world of Nintendo.



biglee said:

@shigulicious I agree 100%. First the wii then the wii u and now the wii mini. Isn't the point to stop confusing consumers and have them see the wii u as their only option. This is a very, very stupid move by Nintendo!



rjejr said:

@WingedSnagret - Yeah, that thought just occurred to me.

Parents who buy their kids that ugly 2DS b/c it doesn't have 3D will buy this for their kids b/c it does't have that evil awful online stuff. Sad but true.

For $99 Wii Sports and Resort (no online) w/ 2 Wiimotes and nunchucks might have been a better package.



DreMurf313 said:

@shigulicious Agreed!!! Nintendo, I implore you, ditch the Wii for good!! Focus on Wii U sales this holiday!! This will make those Seasonal gamers you're trying to get to buy a Wii U become confused & buy this $99 piece of crap instead!!!



LztheQuack said:

@Senario Actually there's more of a difference between the Wii Mini and Wii U. I think they need to update box arts to reflect this.



unrandomsam said:

@Darknyht Thing that stops us getting selects like we used is people still just sell stuff on. (All that happens is the stores only stock the selects used at the same or a pitiful amount less).



TreesenHauser said:

Like the article said, that really is an ironic choice bundling Mario Kart Wii with it. I used to lose sleep playing that game online.



WebHead said:

Yay the most pointless thing Nintendo has ever done hardware-wise is coming to the US! Nope don't care.



ColdingLight said:

'Sigh'....This is going to probably cause even more confusion about the Wii U. We now have the Wii, Wii U, and Wii Mini. I don't even understand why this thing exist. You can't even play online with this damned thing, or put in a SD card, or play your beloved Gamecube games. Not to mention, if you go on Amazon, they have a crap ton of Wii's for like $50. 'Sigh'...I have to admit, the Wii is sadly dead. I kinda thought they would localize some more Wii Games like that Project Zero or whatever you call it but I'm beginning to doubt they will. You know...I've always criticized Nintendo of America's crappy localization team for not localizing more games/systems. But this...It's so trivial...And I doubt Nintendo will come out with more compelling software for the Wii, so why release this here in the states? Look, it's nice that it's red and it comes bundles with Mario Kart Wii, but the flaws I stated earlier should make you think twice about getting this. Plus I doubt this thing will sell considering everyone and their mother owns a Wii, why would you need a smaller version? the original Wii is pretty small in itself. And finally, this is going to cause more damage to the Wii U....'Sigh'



Darknyht said:

@unrandomsam It is a supply/demand issue for most games and an overvaluation on others (such as Mario Kart, Mario Galaxy 2, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and Skyward Sword). Animal Crossing: City Folk is selling for $39.99 used at Gamestop because you cannot get stock of the Nintendo Select version that sold for $19.99 anymore.

I would like to add that it would be a better deal had they included a wi-fi adapter and built Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, and Hulu into it.



fluggy said:

Rotten concept... Mario Kart minus online (the most appealing feature) = crap!!



Worthy said:

Here's a better idea - advertise the Wii U more and point out in the advertisements that it's backwards compatible with the Wii?



rtr0GMR1 said:

It would be cool if they sold the red wiimotes individually now. I need one more to go with my red Wii.



Zaphod_Beeblebrox said:

Nintendo of America was worried the Wii U wasn't going to have enough competition from the PS4 and Xbone. So they're releasing the Wii Mini. Let's see how the Wii U does now, sandwiched between all these competing systems. On the upside, at least Nintendo makes money on the Wii Mini. So there's that.



Shambo said:

That's a bargain! Mario Kart Wii, a remote Plus and a nunchuck with a free collectible system! I already got mine, but we didn't get MK in that price.



Ralizah said:

I might pick this up, actually. I've never owned my own Wii, and I'd like one to play some of my favorite Wii classics (like Super Mario Galaxy). I don't really want to invest much in original Wii hardware now that the Wii U is out, but it might be a while before I get that system, so this should do in the meantime.



Shworange said:

It seems like short term gains and long term losses. They need to post more sales. This may help during the holiday buying frenzy. It may again detract from people buying the WiiU. I don't know. It seems to be a tight rope being walked.



coreyerb said:

Different markets. It's no different from marking down your last gen system's price once your new one comes out - you can still grab a few sales from people who never picked up a Wii but want to play its back library, and you're not going to compete at $100 with the people who'd want a Wii U at $300.

Intriguing little device, and I'd recommend it to a friend who never got into Wii before I'd recommend a Wii U. Same as I'd gladly take a $100 PS3 "Lite" since I never got to try their exclusives from that gen.



KingofSaiyans said:

Great. Confuse consumers even more by throwing another Wii iteration in their faces. It's not like they have a hard time figuring out what a Wii U is anyway



N64ever said:

Oh for the love of...just let the Wii die already how are they going to get the Wii U to sell if you keep releasing similar products to confuse people. The 2DS I'll give you it's designed for younger children. But the Wii Mini is just asking for more confusion from American moms and dads. UGHHHHHHHHH!!!!! >



AVahne said:

It's a home console version of the PSP E1000; a console stripped of most of its features, leaving behind only the ability to play games. Basically made as a cheaper console for the manufacturer to make, but not necessarily cheaper for the consumer since the superior previous versions can be bought for a similar price, either new or used.



jeb_leeds said:

A quick search shows that the Wii used goes for like 50$. Why would anyone ever buy this besides the slick design.



sdelfin said:

Any confusion between the Wii and Wii U is the fault of Nintendo and its marketing, not the continued existence of the Wii. Perhaps they should have just called it Wii 2 to make it simple. But it is a marketing failure. If there is still any demand for Wii, they should have a product available to meet it, and it's a product they can sell for a profit. Better to take someone's $100 than nothing at all because they don't want your $300 system. I got my Playstation 2 in 2009 and was happy it was available as I had, and have, no interest in the PS3.

As for the Wii Mini, I think without online it's a disaster. Wii games are harder to find in stores, and Wii ware and the virtual console especially would give it added value.

Not everyone likes buying a system used. A used Wii for 50-60 bucks isn't a tremendously better value than a new Wii mini with a new copy of Mario Kart for $100 with a warranty.



retro_player_22 said:

I simply do not get why NOA is bringing this garbage of a console here especially since Europe and Japan are discontinuing the Wii over there. Just let it die Nintendo and keep your focus on the Wii U.



HopeNForever said:

Not sure why so many people are so riled up about the Wii Mini in a very negative light. Sure, for those experienced gamers already familiar with the original console the Mini may not make sense for them to own, but think about the many super-late adopting people out there who are still on the fence in getting the Wii console from the beginning. This will be pretty attractive to them considering the price goes just under the $100 range.

Besides, for those of you who still care about the Wii software, the Wii Mini is assurance that Nintendo will keep a stock available as they keep re-printing their best-selling Wii games, especially for those who missed some of those titles the first time around. I personally am looking forward to seeing a North American Nintendo Selects re-release for WarioWare: Smooth Moves and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. (The latter which I even missed during the days of the Nintendo GameCube! You might argue that there is always eBay, but I really prefer getting my games all-factory new regardless.) The best part about this is that Wii games are also playable on the Wii U.



retro_player_22 said:


You had to remember the Wii Mini lacks everything, not just online connectivity. It doesn't even support SD card anymore either meaning if you are buying lots of games for it, you better be ready to make sacrifice on those limited 512MB of memory space on that small hard drive of theirs. Plus without online, games that feature online play will be pretty boring without that feature. It's a nice collector's item but that is it.



HopeNForever said:

I really doubt it is likely a casual buyer taking home a Wii Mini would plan to purchase so many games for it overtime. Without online, there wouldn't even be much to download and hog out the Wii Mini's limited flash memory. Besides, many of Nintendo's own games may take only one or two blocks worth of save memory. Not to mention Nintendo took care many of their games remain quite as enjoyable offline, especially for those families sitting in the same room and sharing the fun. Anyone on Nintendo Life wanna play New Super Mario Bros. Wii with me? Oh wait... I cannot play that game online at all, can't I?



ramstrong said:

A competitor to OUYA, I see. It makes for a good, solid entry-level device. Of course, it's going to be confusing, with WiiU Miiverse and WiiMini not compatible. I doubt that'll hurt much though. Different market.

I see this as more of an attempt to widen user base than it is trying to make money. By making it as cheap as possible, more initially resistant people will get it, and hopefully, be customer for life.

So, this is more of strategic long-term action, than it is trying to shore up Wii U numbers for the holiday. That's brave of Nintendo to do so. I commend them. Hopefully, it'll work well.



hYdeks said:

I'm from Canada and you can already buy a Wii Mini with Mario Kart with it for $99.99 CAD at Wal-Mart, and GameStop is selling the same with Mario Kart for $89.99 CAD new and $59.99 used The original Wii is $79.99 used

Personally, I own a Wii Mini and love the system and use it all the time, but I never used the online and that with the Wii, so thats why it doesn't bug me at all, I own a Wii U and buy my Virtual Console games on that



Gold_Ranger said:

The WiiNi is coming!!!
The WiiNi is coming!!!

It's about time, but, I'm no longer interested in getting it as I now have a WiiU!



Caryslan said:

Without internet, this system is pointless. The Wii Shop was one of the major selling points of the Wii, and being unable to download and play VC and Wiiware games is a stupid move on Nintendo's part. Its not even like the PSP E-1000 which has other ways of getting downloads onto it. Without internet, the Wii loses one of its major features.

Honestly, someone is better off buying a used Wii at Gamestop for 49.99. Not only would they get internet and access to the shops on the Wii, they would also have Gamcube BC as well.

I can understand the lack of Gamecube BC in the mini, but no wifi? It can't be that expensive to add wifi to the system, especially given the overall age of the hardware.

It's a shame, because the Wii Mini would have a market otherwise. I might even consider one to replace one of my agining Wiis. But the lack of VC is what kills it for me.



Zaphod_Beeblebrox said:

@retro_player_22 512 MB of flash memory (assuming it still has that much) is plenty for game saves for disc games. Without online you can't access the Wii Shop and therefore cannot buy WiiWare or VC games.



BestBuck15 said:

The Wii mini is a very clever move by Nintendo similar to the 2DS. It's cheaper to manufacture and the price reflects this. I read you can use the RGB cable which improves the picture and that is how I have my original Wii connected and I've no problems with it.
Any family I know who uses the Wii for the kids don't have it connected online.
I suppose all the nay sayers here are the same people who slated the 2DS only a month ago, but now have shut up since it was the best selling console last month.
Give it a rest guys please, you no nothing about marketing.



Minotaurgamer said:

@JuleyJules The wii u needs a killer app. Not get rid of the wii. Get rid of the wii and people won't but the wii u. Giving options to the customers is always better than coax them to buy a console they don't want or need.
If Nintendo wants the wii u to sell they need to release software that would make customers want to pay for it. Not be forced to.



Caryslan said:

@Falco Here's the key difference, the 2DS loses nothing besides the 3D itself. Other than that, the 3DS, 2DS, and 3DS XL can all access the same shops, play the same games, and share the same common features.

The Wii Mini is a gimped system that cuts away the internet for no good reason. How many servces on the Wii use internet? We have the Wii Shop, Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, and the online play of certain games. All those are useless on the mini. How much does the wifi really cost to include?

Notice I'm not complaning about the lack of Gamecube BC. I can understand why they removed the Gamecube support from the system.

But the lack of internet kills the system for me. For $99 is it too much to ask for Wifi?

The PSP currently sells for $99 dollars in the US and it still has Wifi built in. The Wii is an old system with aging technology. There is no reason to strip away features like this.

And that's the key point. Besides the 3D, the 2DS lost nothing when compared to the rest of the 3DS famly. The Wii Mini on the other hand is a gimped console that takes away too many features for no good reason. For $99, someone is better off buying an old Wii at Gamestop.

Who is Nintendo targeting with this system?



Caryslan said:

@Falco Which makes this even more pointless. If the Wii Mini had wifi, Nintendo could market it as a 99 dollar system that plays Wii games, can access Hulu and Netflix, can play hundreds of classic games and can offer hours of family entainment. Now, all they can market it only as a $99 system that only plays Wii games!

Nintendo missed the boat on this one. Think about, a 99 dollar system that serves as entainment system sounds alot better than a 99 dollar game system that can only do one thing. Nintendo could have gotten themselves into a nice market, but they blew it.

Now in all honesty where is the value? 99 dollars is the same price as a PSP that does more, and its not far from the price point of the 2DS. Maybe if this system were 69 or 79 dollars, I could see some value.

Honestly, Nintendo missed a huge chance to sell a 99 dollar system that could play games and movies with the Wii Mini. Now, they are left trying to sell a gimped Wii that is grossly overpiced and can only do one thing.



BestBuck15 said:

I think the system to collect is the original version Wii with gamecube support. That is the version than is going to be extinct very soon and the version that that will command the best price in the future; in a sealed box of course.



Luke8400 said:

I echo nearly every other statement here. Terrible decision on Nintendo's part given that the Wii U is already confusing consumers. Now we'll have a newer, much cheaper system with the "Wii" branding. Let the Wii die, ffs. What'll be interesting and perhaps sad to see is how the Wii Mini fares against the Wii U. I won't even want to know...

Also, I know a lot of folks who were angry when they bought Wiis after Nintendo quietly removed GameCube support. The returns departments at retailers were no less confused; I remember watching one employee trying to pry open the side door where the ports were supposed to be, because Nintendo clearly didn't communicate the removed functionality explicitly enough. Imagine the anger when they get this thing that is missing what many view as basic, crucial functionality.



sdelfin said:

@Falco, I know Nintendo has been selling models of the Wii without Gamecube support for a while now(black wii sports bundle, for example). It would not surprise me if the model with GC support has been out of production since the new model came to be, but I am not absolutely certain of that.



Wolf_Link said:

I think they are more worried about meeting the results in their annual report other than establish wii u in the market.



Wolf_Link said:

I think they are more worried about meeting the results in their annual report other than establish wii u in the market.



Luke8400 said:

I also agree that removing internet access is the biggest mistake here...with internet, it would at least be worth something to the most casual of the casual who have yet to pick up a Wii. I have a family member who is not a gamer, but was considering buying a Wii for casual games like Just Dance and Wii Sports, as well as to pick up some older games on the Virtual Console and watch Netflix/Hulu so they won't have to buy a Roku. Really, all this thing needs is internet and they could target those last few people who have been thinking about it but don't yet have a Wii in their homes. Without internet, it's garbage.



Uberchu said:

I'd buy one or more just for the Red Chucknorisses/Red Numchucknorrises...

Good thing I don't need online!



Mode7 said:

remote = $40
nunchuck = $20
mario kart = ~$40

we're at $100 and haven't even factored in the console. it's really a great deal.



Megajack said:

Maybe they should focus on the Wii U... people are still confused about what the Wii U is, and this certainly won't help.



NintyMan said:

Here you go, NL, you wanted Nintendo to still market the Wii and this will do it. I still think they should focus on Wii U, but whatever.



UnseatingKDawg said:

Good to see at least SOME hardware is coming over to North America. Still waiting on the Luigi 3DS XL though.



Gate_Shikimuri said:

Hurry everyone! Go to Nintendo of America's Twiiter or Facebook pages and tell them NOT to release that console here!



ModernMARVEL said:

Can I just ask...why? Also I agree with what was said about Mario Kart. It has great, fun online play, but the system it comes with has no Wi-Fi... Why not just bundle it with that Dragon Quest MMO •ω•



Henmii said:

I just don't get Nintendo! They really don't want the Wii u to become a succes, it seems!



Marioman64 said:

oh look, a wii derp bundled with a game made for online play with no online play. it must be a over-protective parent skylanders wii



JimLad said:

People still buy Wii's for WiiSports, Mario Kart and New Super Mario Bros alone. They don't need online, or Gamecube support or SD cards. Why not produce a system for them? It's not their fault the Wii U is being marketed so badly that people can't tell the difference.



electrolite77 said:

One of Nintendo's shoddier moments. Awful piece of hardware designed to gouge the uninformed.

Please don't compare it to the 2DS.



electrolite77 said:


It costs very little to include. In fact it strikes me that (again!) Nintendo are missing a trick here. They could have their Wii back catalogue on the Eshop for purchase and play on Wii and Wii U (obviously not both because they haven't sorted out their online account system yet, amazingly). Serious fans could get the likes of Xenoblade without being ripped off, new fans could get games easily and be introduced to the EShop. Of course they could play Mario Kart online and get Netflix, IPlayer etc. as well.




Kirk said:

In principle the Wii Mini is a great idea. In execution it is utterly abysmal.

The physical design should have been much smaller and sexier.

Why limit it to use only the most basic composite cable, rather than at least a component cable, which is just going to result in a terrible display for most people?

If Nintendo was going to cut out all the online functionality and related features and modes then it really should have redesigned the Wii Mini's dashboard to take this into account. There's no point in using the current "Channel" layout because you can't actually get any Channels beyond the few that are in their by default, which looks weird with all those empty Channels you can't actually fill, so they might as well have just had a few set icons to access all the content available and nothing else. I mean it's not like you can download additional VC games or anything.

It's also still a bit overpriced for what it is and what it's offering too as far as I'm concerned.

It's just an ill-conceived idea in almost every way and yet, with a little more thought, it could have actually been a great budget swansong for the Wii instead of a limp crawl into the shadows.

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