Wii Mini is as bare bones as it gets for a console, and that was exactly what Nintendo intended for the onset, according to Nintendo of Canada communications director Matt Ryan.
Speaking with Polygon, Ryan said the console’s lack GameCube backwards compatibility, online and SD card slot boils down to making the system as affordable as possible – $99.99.
Plus, not everyone “needs” online to play games.
“We want the system to be as affordable as possible to everybody, and the widest audience possible,” he said. “By taking out functionality, that allows us to keep the cost down.
“The reason that we took [online] out was that we don’t believe that everybody needs that to play games. I mean, a lot of the Wii experiences, and there’s over 1,400 of them that are disc-based Wii games, don’t require online functionality for you to have fun. Now, when you played Wii, or you played some of those games on Wii U, there’s enhanced fun factor when you play them online. But this system isn’t designed for the player who’s looking to have an online experience. Wii Mini is designed for families, or a late adopter, or someone who maybe isn’t even a gamer yet, and maybe doesn’t realize they’ve got a gamer hiding inside of them.
“There’s a consumer out there, there are gamers who have not bought a Wii yet, and there are gamers who have a Wii and want a second one for the cottage, or the chalet, or whatever, who actually don’t need the online functionality. So we basically stripped all the online functionality out, and the end result is cost savings for the person buying Wii Mini at $99.”