Wii Mini vs. Wii News: Nintendo announced the $99 Wii Mini in a timed-exclusive for Canada this holiday season, so we look at the new vs. the old in a side-by-side compariso
The Wii Mini's mini price
The Wii Mini vs. Wii from six years ago seems like an easy choice if you're in Canada and looking for the previous generation Nintendo console at an entry-level price. However, this is more than an old console in a newer smaller body.
When it comes to the price, form factor and tech specs, there are subtle differences that make the black-and-red Wii Mini either more desirable or less. Here is a quick side-by-side comparison of the Nintendo Wii Mini and the Wii original.
Hands-down, the Wii Mini at $99 has the better price of the two consoles if you're on a budget. There are no pack-in games with this version of the system, so Wii Sports and Wii Sports resort don't come with it, while the original Wii is bundled with both.
However, if you've played both of these pack-in games to death or are replacing a broken Wii, buying the Wii Mini is better than paying the full $129.99 price for the original and two coasters.
Wii Mini release date
Two strikes against the Wii Mini release date. You have to hold off your shopping until Dec. 7 and, so far, it's only available in Canada. The language used by Nintendo in its press release seems to indicate that the Wii Mini could come to the U.S. and other territories after the holidays.
The Mini is... mini
The Wii already the smallest of the consoles compared to Xbox 360 and PS3, so it's interesting to see Nintendo make the six-year-old machine even smaller. It's top-loaded CD drive and red-and-black color scheme make the Wii Mini as unique looking as it is small.
Next to other devices under a cramped cabinet, the Wii Mini fits in well, albeit if you're able to open the disc tray with enough cabinet headroom.
Wii Mini has no internet connectivity
With the reduced size, Nintendo axed Internet connectivity in the Wii Mini - you won't find an Ethernet port or wireless receiver in the machine, according to reports. That means no online gaming, so Mario Kart Wii multiplayer matches over the Internet are out.
The lack of Internet, however, might not be a big deal. After all, Nintendo hasn't been known for robust online gaming this generation (and the same may not be the case in the future in the case of the Wii U
). Plus, you won't have to input friend codes into the Wii Mini this way.
No GameCube support either
Another tech spec missing from the Wii Mini is the lack of GameCube backwards compatibility. Again, this may or may not be a big deal when you think about how many times you've actually used or ever even wanted to use the original Wii for playing old GameCube games. Is it worth spending an extra $30 for and living with a slightly larger console?
As you can see, there are quite a few questions potential Wii Mini buys will have to consider before the Dec. 7 launch. For U.S. consumers, mulling over the Wii Mini vs. Wii original debate will go into overtime, as they anticipate a Wii Mini release date in 2013.
What are your thoughts on the new Wii Mini system over the original Wii?