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February 26, 2013

Wii Mini to Invade the U.K. in March

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

Word about the Wii Mini had been coming out at a pretty rapid clip going into the end of 2012, but one particular fact that seemed regularly ignored was when the system would make the jump from the Canadian market, which seemed to be the first target, into the U.K. market. It certainly seemed like a rational development to go from Canada to the U.K., but now we finally have that last piece of the puzzle.

The U.K. will get its shot at the Wii Mini starting March 22. While no prices have been announced for the U.K. release, it's a safe bet that it will come in somewhere near 64 pounds sterling--around $99 dollars Canadian right now, or about $96.50 U.S--as that's what the price is currently running in Canada proper. Of course, that number could certainly change when it hits U.K. shelves, but suggesting a fairly universal pricing structure is far from out of line. The Canadian version, meanwhile, got its launch back on December 7, which provides something of a framework as to how a U.K. release would go.

The Wii Mini is pretty much exactly what it says on the box: a miniature version of the Wii that has no Internet connectivity, but still works with most current Wii accessories. With the launch, Nintendo plans to offer up a little augmentation to its Nintendo Selects budget collection of game titles, including Mario Party 8, Super Paper Mario, Wii Sports Resort, and Mario Power Tennis among others.

Of course, some may conclude that spending $96.50 for a scaled-down Wii with no Internet access is a little on the unnecessary side in light of the sheer number of used Wii systems that are currently available, especially now that the Wii U has made its appearance. Getting a full-sized Wii with all the bells and whistles in tow for the same price--or even less--than a new Wii Mini with no Internet extras doesn't exactly make a lot of sense, unless of course space is at such a premium that only a Wii Mini will fit in the room in which it will be used. The Wii's popularity, however, is still fairly substantial, especially given the sheer number of users still enjoying games for the Wii. Several titles are even still set for release on the Wii by the end of the year.

Still, with the Wii U starting to flounder a bit in terms of sales, the end result is going to be, hopefully, a large number of satisfied gamers to help provide a shot in the arm for Nintendo cash-wise, to hopefully help grease the wheels of game development, where the Wii U is clearly falling down on the job. The Wii Mini may well be the key to helping Nintendo get over this brief slump and back in action.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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