It’s rare that we here in Canada get exclusive access to devices, especially from big manufacturers like Nintendo. But that’s apparently what the Wii Mini is, which first surfaced this morning on Best Buy’s Canadian website. Nintendo has officially detailed the Wii Mini, which will retail for $99 starting December 7, and is described as a gaming-only system that lacks Internet connectivity.
So for users of the current Wii, that means you won’t the same level of access to Netflix and other web-based content, and it likely leaves out downloadable Wii classic console titles, too. Instead, it looks like Nintendo has opted to create a budget machine for gamers interested strictly in playing Wii games, which could turn out to be a very wise move in positioning the budget console as an alternative to the Wii U that doesn’t really have the bells and whistles necessary to compete with the newer generation device for consumer interest. Nintendo seems to be trying to avoid cannibalizing its own product, in other words.
Field testing apps in the Canadian market on mobile software platforms is a pretty standard move these days, and this could be a hardware version of that. Nintendo says that “no information is available about its potential availability in other territories in the future,” and that could be because this is a test to see how consumers react to its concurrent availability with the Wii U, and what effect it ultimately has on sales of both consoles, before potentially introducing it in the U.S. and Europe.