Wii Mini…Why?

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We are now two weeks past the launch of the Wii U, a console that I have mixed feelings about. Sure I love being able to take a new system out for a test spin, but there is a lot about the Wii U that puzzles me. Is it a console that is trying to appease the hardcore gamer that was shunned by those who went towards the Wii? How will the new Gamepad work out? And most importantly, will stores be able to keep it in stock? Or will retailers intentionally hoard them to sell on eBay for a profit?

I can answer the last two questions right now. To my shock, I am able to find Wii U consoles in stock. However they tend to be the white Basic unit; finding the black Deluxe Set has been more of a challenge. As for the Gamepad, I’m not impressed. Sure I love the idea of an independent touchscreen, and the fact that I can switch gameplay to it should I want to have something else on my TV, but the primitive single touch resistive screen is no match for the capacitive touch screen of my Android tablet and phone. I’m already having troubles with the resistive touchscreen on my car GPS and I don’t want that to happen in my games.

Even worse, the Wii U’s infrastructure is not complete yet. Those I know who purchased it had to deal with an initial system update that took at least an hour to download. Sure it was slow due to network load, but Nintendo should have had it up and running before the Wii U was launched. We still have to wait for elements of Nintendo’s TVii service to be functional.

So for those who want to get a Wii U, I would suggest waiting until after the holiday. It might end up like the PlayStation 3. Remember how limited and incomplete that was during its launch, yet people were still willing to spend at least 599 US dollars for one. Eventually the architecture improved over the time. There are still a few nagging issues like the lack of PS2 compatibility, removal of installing other OS’s, Sony’s stock dropping down to junk status, and of course the PlayStation Network security breach. The PlayStation 3 ended up being wildly successful.

But yeah, I’m going to hold off on the Wii U myself, but what about those who, for some strange reason, still want to get the original Wii? They can still get it in stores, but for some reason, Nintendo is offering Canadian customers a strange alternative. Earlier this week, they announced the Wii Mini.

Almost sounding like something that Apple would come out, the Wii Mini is being released for 99 Canadian dollars and is being described as ‘all about the games.’
It would make sense that they would release a smaller version of the Wii with the release of a new advanced system. After all, they did it with both the original NES, the successor best known as the Top Loader, and the SNES (the lesser known SNES 2,) so why not the Wii?

I’ll tell you why not. The Wii Mini is missing something critical: WiFi access, or for that matter, Internet access of any kind at all! What does that mean for those who buy the Wii Mini? No Netflix. No Nintendo WiFi Connection. And worst of all, No Virtual Console!

That was one of the reasons I owned a Wii in the first place, as I could legally replay some of the classics I grew up with. Why release a Wii console without Internet access for $99, especially when an Internet capable Wii console is only $30 more?

To me, the Wii mini is a missed opportunity. I dare say it might be this year’s equivalent of the PSPgo. Sometimes I have to wonder what Reggie is thinking when he approves something like this.

Currently Playing: Halo 4 (360)

Waiting For: MAGFest

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