Thursday, 16 May 2013
What Is A Wii Mini? Is It Worth Buying? Read On To Make The Decision Yourself.
There is nothing new with a console trying to expand its life with a new model and Nintendo have exploited that concept from the very beginning. Their first home console the NES introduced the Toploader very late into its lifespan and went with critical acclaim, it’s just a shame that didn’t get released in the UK, though I’m not holding a grudge for computer companies withholding merchandise from Europeans. Then you had the Gameboy Pocket which became an instant hit since the biggest criticism for the Gameboy was its size. Now nearly 20 years on from those days and Nintendo are doing it again and with a very little marketing push to boot, we saw the Wii Mini hit the shelves.
What is the Wii Mini I hear you ask? And that’s not a blind question by the way because most people I’ve spoken to don’t know what the Wii Mini is and in most cases, they haven’t even heard of it. Well here’s my answer to the people who are filling in a blank at this moment, the Wii Mini is Nintendo’s attempt to prolong the Wii’s lifespan by reducing the components of the Wii to make it cheaper for the general public. It is a stylish looking device, sporting a smaller black and red box and opens in the conventional way to place your games in rather than sliding them in. It is proudly placed in my collection but is this console really needed in current day climate?
Let’s look at the facts, when the Wii first came out, it sold by the bucket load when it offered it’s USP, motion sensing controllers. The introductory price wasn’t breaking the bank by any means at a reasonable 180 pounds, you could experience the innovation first hand and many people did. That system is now 7 years old and you can easily score a 2nd console for 40 quid. The Wii Minis introductory price is a less then appealing 80 pounds compared to a cheaper, and perhaps more worthwhile original Wii and what are you getting for your extra buck? Nothing really as it goes, if anything, you’re losing out.
The things that make the Wii so great apart from the motion sensor gaming is for one thing, the Mii universe and how you can interact with you friends and share tips on games you’ve been stuck on. The other is the Virtual console, downloading and playing classic games from the past is something anyone should be excited about. These and the added bonus of being able to use BBC iPlayer and Netflix also sees the Wii being a fairly functional product. However, the genius’s at Nintendo took out the internet functions out of the Wii Mini to make it cheaper to make and therefore, making the product so cheap from release. This is one of the reasons as to why the Wii Mini isn’t that great since internet functions on consoles are so vital nowadays that we live in a generation where they can’t even image a console without this necessity. This also makes it hard to download new updates to the console where it is vital for certain games. For instance, you will not be able to complete The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword on a Wii Mini because there is a glitch which requires an update to fix the system. Not good if you hope to complete the best bloody game on the console!!
The other major stick is that Nintendo didn’t just take out the internet ability from the Wii Mini but the SD port as well. So if you have saved files on a Wii and are looking to transfer them to your Wii Mini, then it’s impossible. What you have instead is a closed console that stores its own memory. I can’t think of another console that does this since all retro games give out either passwords or the game cartridges have a save feature in place. I don’t know how much it would have affected the price of the Wii Mini but surely the SD card slot would have been essential?
And that’s where I lost it with this console. Taking the internet is one thing but when you’ve been playing the Wii for 7 years and you want to transfer you data to another console, it shouldn’t be a hassle, but this surely is a hassle. I get what Nintendo where trying to do here, to celebrate a great console and to expand its lifespan for a few more years before the Wii U takes over. But I thought the reason for Nintendo not doing this with the Gamecube was because you could play Gamecube games on the Wii via playback feature (sadly another feature the Wii Mini lacks).
The whole point of re-releasing a console is to make improvements to it where the older console has built up a host of problems. For instance, the NES toploader made it easier for games to connect to the pins inserted in the cartridge and made crashing and glitches happen on the rarest of occasions. The same goes with the GBA when the SP was released. The GBA didn’t have a light fitted in the back and thus made it hard to play games in the sun; the GBA SP solved that problem and has since been the norm in handheld gaming. The Wii Mini offers zilch.
Since the Wii U offers that with Wii games and it’s been in existence for nearly half a year now, it’s strange why Nintendo would give the go ahead and release this gizmo over the world after it was only supposed to be a Canada exclusive product.
If you want to get a Wii Mini however, your best bet is to find a store online to purchase it. I went to all of the computer game shops in my area to find a Wii Mini but I was left with the responses, ‘you need to pre-order it’ and ‘what is that’. Without this entry, the Wii always be remembered as a revolutionary game console with a host of great games and hosts the start of some great features including the virtual console. The Wii Mini, though very slick will sadly not be remembered in this fate.
Verdict: Only got the Wii Mini for my collection. If you are in need to own a Wii, I would suggest with the original console at a second hand price.