Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Mini Wii is Dumb

I wish we lived in a world where I could sit down and say "The Mini Wii is dumb" and list off its features and have the collective read it and go "Oh yeah, that is kind of dumb" without going into detail.  Because it would be so easy and this really doesn't need the kind of elaboration that I'll have to put into this post.  It is honestly baffling that this thing exists and I really don't think there's a way to actually hand-wave it whatsoever.  Don't get me wrong, it -will- be, and when pressed, such arguments will go nowhere and fast, but the important thing to realize is that there is really just no leg here to stand on.  Even from an unbiased stance, which I am clearly not unbiased, but I can see things as such, there are some major issues here and it's less about what it is than what it honestly could mean, or be implied.  If taken as a statement, which everything that isn't Nintendo yet is released to people who play games is apparently a statement of intent, then this is just yet another moment of Nintendo waving their arms frantically with no clear direction.

The easiest place to start is with the feature list of the Mini Wii so that whatever I say afterwards is in context and not me just blah blahing about how terrible shit is.  (Shit is terrible.)  As you can tell, the Mini Wii is...well, smaller.  The exact size, I don't know, but the already smaller Wii (at least, I think the latest Non-BC models were smaller) is now even smaller and I can't help but look at the picture above and suspect it's around the size of a PS3 Game Case, though perhaps a little thicker.  I'm probably way off, but the Wii is already small, so imagine that smaller and you're good to go.  Everything else, aside, it -does- look pretty neat, but I'm a sucker for Black and Red, so that would be the reason why for that.  It seems like the power and eject(?) buttons are the only buttons it has and I can't help but think that it opens from the top.  I could look it up, but honestly, it doesn't matter a whit, as that's all purely cosmetic and that really doesn't determine whether a thing is dumb or not.

Now, being as small as it is, you're probably wondering how it has the stuff that the Wii itself has, like USB Ports, a Wi-Fi receiver (but no ethernet port because whyyyyyyy), storage and the like, and if you weren't, you probably are now.  It's a valid thing to wonder about, and absolutely none of that is known to the public because why would we need to know that when it comes out in two weeks, except the whole Wi-Fi situation.  You see, the Mini Wii cannot connect to the internet.  At all.  For any reason.  Reasons that are emblazoned on Nintendo's Official Wii Page.  Reasons like....online multi-player (like with Animal Crossing:  City Folk that came bundled with Wii Speak so you could talk to your friends while you played Animal Crossing online) or watching Netflix or similar services (which is currently being touted....what, everywhere?) or even buying/downloading Virtual Console games.  You know, the games from the past that are apparently the golden days of gaming and everything was sugar and rainbows and Nintendo games were so good we have so much nostalgia for them to this day?  The games people got really excited to be able to play again in an entirely legal way?  Yeah.  Those games.  Not on the Mini Wii.

So, alright, that's....that's fine, I guess, because it's probably really cheap, right?  Right?  Well, yes and no.  Yes, because the Wii is pretty cheap already so long as you're not buying all sorts of goddamn accessories for it that are vital for only one game here and there, but no, because it's $99.  Now, I was under the impression that the Wii itself, like the (new) basic one that you can go out anywhere and buy one of because everybody wanted one for a while there but not so much anymore, was selling for $99.  I was....not wrong, but the thing is, you cannot find just a Wii by itself for sale first-hand.  Every Wii for sale out there is bundled with at least a game for around $120-$130.  So take out the cost of the game, and you're basically looking at $99 for the starter kit for the Wii which is exactly what's bundled with the Mini Wii.  A Sensor Bar (which isn't optional), a Wiimote Plus (as in a Wii Remote that has Motion+ built into it already for all of five games that support it without paying the extra $20) and a Nunchuck, plus the cables that are standard which you kind of have to include unless it's the 3DS XL in places that aren't America which means that I guess they are not standard to Nintendo.

Oh, and it can't play GameCube games.  But that's not new.  You....you knew about that, right?  That Wiis made in the last year or so don't have GC backwards compatibility.  Because they don't.  I wasn't sure if you heard.  BC is kind of a sticky point for people in other cases.  Apparently not with Nintendo, I guess, but I suppose this is just me being petty at this point.

If, for whatever reason, you really really want a Mini Wii because you hate Online things and don't currently own a Wii or something, then you'll have to wait until December 7th when it launches exclusively in Canada.  Oh, I didn't mention that?  Yeah, it's Canada exclusive through the 'holiday season', so you can't buy it anywhere else.  If you'd even want to.  I mean, personally, I think you'd be better off buying a Wii that is the same cost and has a game and can connect to the internet, or even a Wii U that plays Virtual Console games and won't upscale Wii games at all or anything and you still have to play them with the Wiimote, and possibly not play them online either?  Okay, so maybe you're just better off buying a regular Wii.  If you really really want to play Wii games with the firm knowledge that you can play it online if the game supports it (protip:  it probably won't), or you just want to jump on the Virtual Console and don't want to shell out for a Wii U, then there you go.  But I guess if you want to support Nintendo completely and totally giving the finger to Online after just releasing a system that is supposed to be super-duper online friendly and don't worry that that's really conflicting signals at all then, hey.  Go for it.

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