$99 has always been something of a golden figure when it comes to getting the American consumer to hand over cash for a piece of technology in something of an impulse purchase. However, there has to be at least some motivation behind the purchase for even a $99 price-tag to appeal – so what exactly is the motivation for shelling out $99 for the new Nintendo Wii Mini with a notable absence of Wi-Fi?
Take a look at its tiny outer casing and delightful colors and there’s little denying that the Wii Mini looks the part. Furthermore, there’s also the automatic appeal that comes with any major brand releasing a “Mini” version of anything – just look at the tablet PC and Smartphone markets for hundreds of examples.
With the Wii Mini however, it’s difficult not to feel that its question marks somewhat overwhelm the wow-factor.
Right off the bat comes the rather strange fact that the Nintendo Wii Mini will only be on sale across Canada for the time-being at least, with no release dates announced for the US and no word from Nintendo as to why exactly they chose Canada and Canada alone. It could of course be that Nintendo wants to focus all efforts on the recent Wii U release date in the US, which would see the Wii Mini arriving a little later once the hype has died down a little.
Next comes the way in which the Nintendo Wii Mini lacks Wi-Fi, which in this day and age makes any gaming system feel dated and limited to a largely unacceptable level – even for $99. Nintendo chose to call this lack of internet a “family-friendly” feature, which is a creative play on the reality of the situation but not something most of us would agree with.
Last but not least, given the fact that the full-fat version of the original Wii with Wi-Fi and all the other bells and whistles is no more than $120 these days, where exactly does the Wii Mini fit into the market?
Unless the Wii Mini turns out to be a strictly limited edition Canadian release with huge resale value, Nintendo might have its work cut out in winning us over on this one.