New Wii Hardware Quietly Announced

Nintendo have sent a fairly normal email to let us know their release plans for the rest of the year. Super Mario Land 3D and Mario Kart 7 are coming in November and December, respectively. There’s Super Pokémon Rumble heading to the 3DS in December. Twilight Princess is getting a new budget re-release for the Wii. We knew most of this already.

Tucked away, almost out of sight, there is something quite substantial:

Those looking for the perfect present for all the family this Christmas can look no further than the new value Wii bundle. It not only offers great value to European fans, but introduces a streamlined Wii console with a slightly altered configuration**, which is designed to sit horizontally, rather than vertically. The bundle includes the newly configured Wii console in white, a Wii Remote Plus controller, Nunchuk™, and copies of Wii Sports™ and Wii Party™.

The emphasis in that quote was added by myself to draw your attention to the interesting, annotated part. A new, horizontal Wii console with a “slightly altered configuration”?

It seems that Nintendo have removed the Gamecube functionality and backwards compatibility of the Wii in order to make it even cheaper for Christmas. The text specifically states that the new Wii won’t be compatible with Gamecube software or accessories, meaning that the Gamecube controller might no longer be an option for Virtual Console games.

No word of whether this new console revision will be available elsewhere or whether it’s just for us Europeans who, apparently, want cheaper hardware with key features removed.

Update: Here’s the first image of it, courtesy of Official Nintendo Magazine:

Source: Press Release

24 Comments

  1. Seems a bit odd, but it’ll be cheaper, and will help ensure that the brand’s there for Christmas.

    • But why make it look like a Wii U? Surely that will only increase the confusion seeing as the Wii U can also use Wiimotes. I just don’t understand Nintendo atm. What planet are they on.

      • it looks almost identical to the current Wii, just with the logo and button text turned to be read horizontally.
        I kind of agree though, there is a good chance that consumers won’t recognise what the Wii U is, exactly, when it comes out. Mostly, that’s the name issue though – as with the 3DS being perceived as a new iteration of the DS rather than the whole new platform that it is.

      • “But why make it look like a Wii U?”

        it doesn’t. =)

      • “it doesn’t” I beg to differ

        http://regmedia.co.uk/2011/06/07/wii_u_2.jpg

      • Yeah, it totally does.

      • Isn’t it simply more the case that they made the Wii U look like the Wii, so of course a Wii looks a little bit like a Wii U?

  2. No Sonic Adventure 2???

  3. The only reason I’m keeping my Wii is because of the Gamecube compatibility, no sale for me.

    • But if you’ve already got a Wii, why would you want another one? Your “no sale” comment makes no sense.

      • Yep theres an element of that, as with the PS3 the backwards compatibility is reasonably niche, but if anything went wrong with it, I would be hunting down an older machine.

  4. Interested.

    If this is cheap I’ll finally take the plunge & pick up all the great games I missed out on

    • Same here, if its in the £79 period, I may get one if I have the money, I’ve never played on a Wii.

      • Tesco had the black console bundle for £83 with a code but it’s OOS now. If you’re tempted at £79 then it’s worth the extra cash for the Gamecube compatibility. I’ve been playing on my Gamecube to play Zelda Wind Waker and what a game. I forgot how awesome the Gamecube is, better than the Wii imo

  5. Well, at least the Wii’s ‘backwards compatibility’ lasted longer than that of the PS3. Could be confusing for customers though.

    • Cue Ninty getting hacked for removing bc.

  6. Kind of sounds like the wii-looking device in the E3 trailer for the wii-u? That little white device next to the tv.

  7. Wii u delayed until launch games are ready? New wii redesign to keep the brand going longer? Lessons learned from 3ds? Wanting to make a bit of money off the tried and tested wii to subsidise the 3ds post price drop and for memory of a price crash to fade and not affect wii u sales?
    Here’s to new playstation xbox and nintendo consoles in 2013/2014

  8. No GC compatibility is a real bitch, but as TSBonyman said Sony were even more stingy, I wish they’d produce that device they got the patent for.
    (I have a brand new never used boxed platinum GC if anyone is interested in backwards compatibility!)

  9. The Wii continues to frustrate me, the only reason I keep mine is the vast amount of Virtual Console games I own. Since the 3ds store launch the Wii VC has been forgotten. 8 weeks since there was a game launched. Just not good enough.

  10. regret the day I got the first one still.

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