While the Wii console became a phenomenon in 2006 when it was released, the legacy now continues with Nintendo’s launch of the Wii mini console in the U.S. at $99.99. Nintendo has caught on the “minaturalisation” of products, seen more commonly in tablets like the iPad. The Wii mini is a smaller, redesigned version of Wii that plays the entire library of more than 1,300 Wii games. The compact system is matte black with a red border, and comes with the Mario Kart Wii game, a red Wii Remote Plus controller and a red Nunchuk controller. While availability will differ somewhat according to location, shoppers can expect to see Wii mini in stores by the middle of November.
Wii has sold more than 100 million units globally and the Wii mini positioned to capture the market segment of those who want to enjoy Wii games at an affordable price. It is also for families who want an additional console in another room, allowing siblings and friends to play while the rest of the family enjoys other entertainment and games on the main living room TV screen. While Wii mini is not compatible with the Internet and will not allow online functionality when playing games, select multiplayer games can still be played locally with friends and families, which is the ideal way to enjoy such entertaining games like Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart Wii. As a companion to the Wii mini system, a large collection of Nintendo Selects Wii games is available at a suggested retail price of only $19.99 each. These games include modern classics like Super Mario Galaxy, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Super Paper Mario. In addition, three newly discounted Wii games – Super Mario Galaxy 2, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Wii Sports Resort – are also available at a suggested retail price of $29.99 each.
Nintendo is confident that it will be able to milk more value out of its existing offering by going mini, a move made famous by Apple. The success of this move can only be seen after Nintendo reports its profits after the seasonal sales. Thus far, it has been successful with tablets, in extracting value out of existing customer pools. It is likely that this will also work for the Wii set given its lower price range. However, it has to be something that Nintendo is willing to allow to cannibalise the sales of the existing Wii set. If this adds to revenue and profit, I’m sure Nintendo would not mind the marginal cost complexities since the economies of scale are evident!
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