New Wii Mini's Guts Reveal Some Crazy Nintendo Decisions

The tech wizards at Digital Foundry got their hands on a Canadian Wii Mini and did the only thing the internet ever wanted them to do: rip it open and see what was inside.

You would think their findings would be pretty boring — "hey, it's a Wii, but smaller" — but what they found with regards to internet connectivity is interesting.

Unlike the Wii, the Wii Mini doesn't ship with Wi-Fi, this we knew. But what DF found was that even a Wii USB ethernet adaptor failed to get the console online, meaning Nintendo "deliberately nerfed any kind of internet access". They even went to the trouble of removing sections of the Wii's menu so you couldn't configure online access. Bizarre.

Even weirder is that the console doesn't support component cables. A standard in home entertainment for a decade (you could even get component cables for the GameCube), and even in this HDMI era still a means many people use to connect their console, the Wii Mini only support composite cables. You know, the red, white and yellow cables your SNES used.

Technical compromises aside, they also put one next to a regular Wii to find... it's not even really that "mini".

So it won't play GameCube games, won't go online and won't use 21st century AV connections. Most pointless console "upgrade" of all time? Surely.

Nintendo Wii Mini review [Digital Foundry]


    That angle doesn't offer much of a fair size comparison though at a glance they look the same size. This is not true.

      It's almost the same size dude, why are you splitting hairs?

    Obviously this is aimed at those families who want wii sports etc., for cheap.

      It's aimed at the Marge Simpsons buying for their kids who have no idea they're being ripped off.

      "Would you like to play again?"

        "You have selected, no."

        You have selected: POWERDRIVE

        Holy shit this is from 2012. I never even heard of a wii mini until I saw the related articles and I thought it was new. I apologise to literally everyone.

        Last edited 02/07/18 12:45 pm

    My SNES used an RF modulator switch thank you very much. Not one o' those newfangled colorful cable dingies you kids and your rap music off my lawn blargh waugh.

    The removal of internet is the wierdest one. Gamecube support I get. Even the newer Wiis from 2010 (I think) onwards took away Gamecube support.

    But not supporting internet or Component just seems so stupid. Especially at the price they're charging for it.

    Indeed, what is the fucking point at all? New name, more sales?

    Just a cheap piece of plastic, something you would see in a cheap wii rip off.

    Buy two. Leave unopened. Sell in 30 years as collectible. Yes please.

    Looks like shit. Is shit. Nintendo have lost the plot.

    Someone please join the company as an industrial designer and save us from visual hell.

    There are thousands of Wiis in great condition at Cash Converters for $70 tops.
    Why would you ever get this thing?

    Wait, Wii supports gamecube?

      It did before the latest hardware revision. The new one where the Wii is supposed to be horizontal has had the GameCube ports removed as well as some other components. You can put them back in however....

      Last edited 14/12/12 10:56 am

        I had no idea they removed Gamecube compatibility. That would be a deal-breaker for me. I barely use my Wii as it is but the GC support is one of its best features!

        Wow.have to read that later. Weiner if my Japanese wii would work with local gc stuff

        The 2010 remodel was basically Nintendo releasing factory seconds that had fallen over and broken.

        *Not literally, but removing GameCube compatability was mind-bendingly dumb.

    Alister is right i work for A cash converters store an we have over 100 wiis all at like $30 hard enough to sell that not to mention people are always bringing them in to loan/sell

    I'm more confused why they released the nerfed Wii so close before the release of the Wii U

      It's not an accident - I think they're trying to capture the bamboozled (grand)parent who have heard about a "new" Nintendo console, but don't have the cash to splash on a Wii-U for Christmas.

      It's devious and a little evil IMO. There are going to be a LOT of devastated Wii-owning kids come 25 December.

        Yeah, that's a good point. Cynical, but quite believable. Wouldn't most people that buy it be disappointed? Or a lot. Yep, you can imagine a few spoilt brats getting peeved either on Christmas day or sometime shortly thereafter when they discover that they've been given last gens hand me downs.

    So why have Nintendo done this? (made a crappier version of their already defunct console)

    Presumably the mini is cheaper to make. But then, wouldn't the cost of designing this new unit and putting together a manufacturing plan (whatever its called) out-weigh any savings?

    Seems completely pointless to me - and if anything, damaging. What happens when people buy this just to be disapointed - because it doesnt connect to their TV, has standard definition, has no online. Not a strategy to win favour.

    I like the fact the fact that the WiiMini looks like the Nintendo Famicom Disk System

    Will be great for modding. Rip the guts out and make an NES+SNES+N64 Multiloader :D

    I really don't understand a lot of the moves Nintendo have been making lately. The decisions they've made with the 3DS seems bizzare, such as not including a second analogue stick. This was something a lot of people wanted and they just seemed to ignore it.

    Then there's the WiiU. I don't understand how the WiiU's touch screen controller has such an appalling battery life, and then their pro controller has a battery life of up to 80 hours per charge! I get that it would have cost more to ship the console with a better battery, but surely the extra cost would have been worth it?

    And now this... I just don't see how they wouldn't have the foresight to see how damaging a lot of these decisions are to their reputation and to their sales, especially in comparison to the great innovation the company comes up with from time to time.

    That is friggen retarded. I love Nintendo, but I hate Nintendo.

    Still, I would buy one just to get a red remote+nunchuk set.

    Lol there goes any hope of having collectors value.

    And the Nintendo army continue to claim Sony is the one doing all the copying.

    Pretty sure the wii needs an internet connection to softmod? Is it just an attempt to stop people hacking and playing roms?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now