It seems that even Nintendo has no faith in the Wii U getting sales this holiday season. For some reason I will never understand, Nintendo announced today that they are bringing the Wii Mini, previously exclusive to Canada and the UK, to US stores this holiday season. It comes bundled with Mario Kart, which is great except the Wii Mini doesn't have Internet connectivity and Mario Kart is basically the only game on the Wii with decent online play. The bundle will hit shelves sometime in the next month for $99.
I understand that the Wii is one of the best selling consoles of all time and actually has a sizable collection of decent games, but why is Nintendo still trying to push their 8 year old console? Especially since the Wii U has been selling so pitifully! The general public already has a hard enough time distinguishing the Wii from the Wii U, and now there is even ANOTHER Wii on store shelves to confuse things. When parents and grandparents who aren't 100% up to date on the latest Nintendo news go to the store, how will they know which console to get, if they get one at all? Their son-person already has a White Wii box, and this new black one looks fairly similar, but look at this red small one. Which one is new? And this isn't even taking the PS4 and Xbox One into account. Nintendo needed to sell loads of Wii U’s this holiday season to make up for its slow start, but releasing something that looks and sounds almost exactly the same and is $200 cheaper is only going to interfere with that.Nintendo has been failing the marketing game recently, and this is just one more blunderous step on the way to hardware obscurity. I honestly will not be surprised at all if the Wii Mini far outsells the Wii U this Christmas, which is just a crying shame.