Channel 5

Nintendo Wii Mini

Tuesday 12 February 2013


Rating of 2

The basics

Amid the fuss surrounding the launch of the Wii U it’s easy to forget that Nintendo also released another new piece of hardware at the end of 2012: the scaled-down Nintendo Wii Mini. Essentially a Wii in different clothing, the system is currently exclusive to Canada but could be coming to other regions down the line. Is this revision worth a look, or is it just money for old rope? With our beloved copy of Super Mario Galaxy 2 at hand, we set out to find out.

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The good

The most obvious advantage of the Nintendo Wii Mini is the price - it retails for $99 Canadian dollars, which equates to about £60. Second-hand Wii consoles aren’t exactly expensive these days of course, but if you’re looking for a brand-new system that hasn’t been gathering dust in someone’s bedroom for the past six years then this could seem like an attractive option. Another plus point is the console’s new design; while it’s clearly intended to appeal to youngsters, the black and red colour scheme is easy on the eyes and we can’t help but be taken in by the old-school flip-top disc drive.

The package is rounded off by a matching red Wii Remote and Nunchuk controller combo, complete with a red Wii Remote silicone jacket. As far as external beauty goes, the Wii Mini certainly isn’t a duffer - sadly, what’s underneath that plastic skin is considerably more disappointing.

The bad

Where to start? Once you’ve gotten over the appealing case design, the Wii Mini is a catalogue of schoolboy errors, the most glaring of which is the lack of online connectivity. The console cannot connect to the web in any way, shape or form. That means no online gaming, no Virtual Console downloads, no WiiWare, no YouTube - nothing. In this day and age, where even the youngest mobile user is connected to the net via their sub-£100 smartphone, that’s an almost unforgivable omission.

Alas, it gets worse. The only way of connecting the console to your TV is the bundled composite cable, which produces a middling picture that looks muddy and ill-defined on a large-format LCD screen. Amazingly, superior Wii component cables won’t work on the console - Nintendo has removed the support on a hardware level, crippling the system from an AV perspective.

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The bottom line

The Wii Mini is a good idea on paper. The Wii is now six years old and has sold millions, so a cheaper hardware revision is an excellent way of rejuvenating interest and picking up some more fans. Sadly, Nintendo has robbed the machine of so much functionality that you’d have to be potty to even consider picking one of these over a second-hand (or even brand new) original Wii system. The Wii Mini may be cheaper, but it sacrifices online support and can only output via composite.

Nintendo has a successful track record of reinventing its consoles with hardware revisions, but the Wii Mini sadly does not continue this proud tradition.

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User comments (4)

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Stefan Hammock

Typical Nintendo re-hash. It was only a few weeks ago I decided to buy myself a Wii console again. 2nd hand but pristine condition with remotes, nunchucks, cables, you name it, all for 30 quid. There is nothing wrong with the old system so why release an update that is less functional that the original? I just can't see Nintendo's logic for making this.

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I have the first wii, and it is perfectly fine. Why would i want to buy it again?

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I think its great as the wii mini is so cheap and if it is cheap as they say in Canada id buy one if I didn't already have one but saying that the concole is really tiny and id like one as its a nice lil gadget to have in the kids bedroom to watch their tv and stuff on. yeh u can do the same on the original one but its preaty big concidering this one they've brought out in Canada, so yeh id like it as you can put in a small place where the kids cant mess it up and stuff as my otherone its just bit to big to put it in the place I want it togo and it look nice for the hse bedroom ect too that's if you are goin to have it out on show ect ect!! and it looks kool aswell to look at,well that's if that's your kinds thing for you even if you got anotherone???? kool really if that's your kinda thing like I need it for!! but if u don't its not for you then is it!!? not even worth reading this then is it ????

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