News: Just How Gimped is Wii Mini?

Digital Foundry goes under the hood and reveals other missing features.

By Kevin Knezevic. Posted 12/13/2012 17:00 6 Comments     ShareThis

We already knew that Nintendo was releasing a special miniature version of the Wii exclusively in Canada, and that the new console would be lacking many of the original’s features (including Wi-Fi support and GameCube compatibility), but just how limited is it? Digital Foundry recently went under the hood to find out, and what they discovered may puzzle many fans who were considering purchasing the console.

For one thing, it’s not all that “mini.”

According to their analysis, not only does the Wii Mini lack Internet functionality, the console can’t even go online through a Wii USB ethernet adapter. Even more confusing, the system doesn’t support any component cables, only the composite ones it comes packaged with. For reference, even the GameCube supported component cables, so seeing this omission is pretty baffling.

Still, considering how many units the Wii has shifted throughout its lifetime (a lot), these features will hardly matter to those who are just picking one up now, and may in fact even convince some to upgrade to Nintendo’s new Wii U instead. For everyone who wanted to purchase one because of its novelty, though, this will probably come as a disappointment. What do you think? Were you planning on importing one? Have these findings made you reconsider? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Kotaku

6 Responses to “News: Just How Gimped is Wii Mini?”

  • 849 points
    ejamer says...

    No internet is bad in the short term, but probably not a big deal a few years down the road when online gaming servers are shut down.

    No SD card slot is disappointing, and will prevent gamers from backing up save files, viewing (and sometimes saving) photos, using custom soundtracks, etc. It’s an understandable measure to curb easy piracy though.

    But no component video support? Ouch. Do new TVs even support composite connections these days? Although a cheap Wii Mini was potentially interesting, this has changed my mind.

    Seems like Nintendo did more than trim the fat with this budget release – they’ve stripped this little console to the bone.

  • 288 points
    JPtheNintendoFan says...

    I’d get one for the novelty of having it even though I already have a Wii and Wii U.

  • 1379 points
    xeacons says...

    Nintendo has always been top notch. To see this half-ass excuse is shameful.

  • 156 points
    excaliburguy says...

    Think of the Wii Mini in the same way you would the SNES 2. That console was gimped and was released at the end of the SNES’s life, just like the Wii U. So why did they release it in the first place? Many people at the time wouldn’t commit to buying an expensive 3D console. So Nintendo stripped many features off the SNES, making the product much cheaper. Then Nintendo could sell the system at a much lower price. This was perfect for people who were just starting out in video games. Think of it as an impulse buy. In the end the SNES 2 boosted the SNES line’s overall sales. It could be that the Big N is trying to do the same thing with the Wii Mini…

  • 276 points
    Nicolas Vestre says...

    I live in Canada and saw Wii Mini at Walmart yesterday, but I had absolutely no desire to buy it. I’ve been using a component cable (and Virtual Console) on my Wii for years, and having to downgrade makes no sense.

    And now with Wii U, the only thing my Wii needs to do is play compatible GameCube games in 480p. Sadly, the component port was taken off all GameCubes manufactured after May of 2004, making it easier to find a readily available Wii with GameCube ports than to hunt down an old GameCube and the component cable.

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