Nintendo Takes Things Down a Notch With The $99 Wii Mini

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - we seem to have an unhealthy obsession with miniaturizing everything. We do it with our computer technology, with our smartphones, with our cars, and even with our gaming consoles. Nintendo's the latest developer to hop on the bandwagon, with the Wii Mini - a smaller, more compact, less expensive cousin to the Nintendo Wii.

Late last month, Nintendo opted to discontinue the Wii in Europe, replacing it with the smaller, less expensive Wii Mini. This announcement came only a few days after the studio's revelation that the console's siren song was sung in Japan - its home market, and the revelation that  It looks like North America is soon going to follow suit. Nintendo yesterday announced that it plans to bring the Wii Mini to the States, which doesn't exactly bode well for its big brother.

Now, with that said, Nintendo has assured fans that the Wii will remain available in the States, and that the discontinuation of the console in its home market won't have an impact on the West. There, they claim, the console will be available indefinitely. 

The Wii Mini is a smaller version of the original Wii console. Although it doesn't have GameCube support or out-of-the-box WiFi capabilities, it offers support for the Nintendo Wii's library of over 3,000 games, and does so at a significantly reduced price ($99). It's an interesting move for Nintendo, but not necessarily a wise one.

For one, the console developer is still having trouble moving Wii U's.  According to Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, this is primarily the result of the console's somewhat weak offerings as far as games are concerned. While there are inarguably a few gems, Iwata feels that, compared to the Nintendo Wii, the Wii U's current catalogue isn't really enough to merit a switch for most people. Releasing the Wii Mini might well dilute that market even further; given the choice between the Wii U's $300 price tag and the Wii Mini's  $99.00 cost.

What's more, factor in used console sales and special offers, and the Wii Mini's price tag doesn't even seem all that much of a steal, either. Why pay $100 for a console with no WiFi or backwards compatibility when you can just shell out close to the same amount for a Wii? 

'Course, I might just be blowing hot air here. I don't claim to be an economics or business major. Just an enthusiast who likes to think he understands how things work. Take from this what you will, folks. 'Tis just my two cents on an otherwise interesting (and I suppose, a somewhat innovative) move from Nintendo.