Nintendo Wii Mini heading to the UK in March
Compact, cut-price version of the company's popular motion-controlled console finally gets a UK release, but has the company cut too many corners?
Nintendo has finally announced a UK launch date for the Nintendo Wii Mini, a compact version of its last-generation motion-controlled games console, after launching it in December last year for the North American market.
Based on the same internal hardware as the Wii, the Wii Mini is significantly smaller. Some of these space savings come in the form of a revised disc drive, which ditches the slot-loading system of the original Wii for a top-loading drive, but others come in the form of lost features. Unlike the Wii, the Wii Mini does not include backwards compatibility with GameCube games, with the GameCube hardware - including the memory card slots and four ports for the classic console's iconic control pads - having been removed from the console entirely. It's a shame but we can't see anyone who's held off buying a Wii this long is going to be bothered
Another loss from the system is support for an internet connection: where the original Wii was able to connect to a Wi-Fi network for multiplayer gaming, messaging and to download additional applications and games, the Wii Mini loses all of these features in the name of cutting down the price to a barebones level.
This isn't to say the Wii Mini isn't an attractive proposition: its price - $99 in the US - makes it considerably cheaper than the original Wii and far, far cheaper than the newer Wii U. It's also fully compatible with all Wii games, aside from the lack of internet for multi-player gaming.
While Nintendo was quick to launch the device in North America, it has been significantly slower to bring the console to UK shores. Nintendo has officially confirmed that the Wii Mini, in its eye-catching red and black finish, will be coming to the UK on the 22nd of March. Final pricing has yet to be confirmed, but is expected to be around the £75 mark. A pretty good deal if you're yet to enjoy the wonders of Wii Sports, or play either of the brilliant Mario Galaxy games or the latest Zelda adventure.