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Nintendo Joins the 'Cheaper, Less Functional' Party With a New Wii Model for Europe

New Wii revision will ditch all GameCube support, including controller hardware.

The world has often looked to Europe for the latest trends to emulate. Apparently, the latest trend in Europe is cheaper, less-functional versions of gaming systems we probably already bought like three years ago. Following yesterday's news of a new Europe-only version of Sony's PSP handheld that ditches wi-fi functionality and costs less, Nintendo has hopped aboard the train with a new version of the Wii that ditches GameCube support and also costs less.

Set to release this Christmas and effectively replace the Wii model currently on store shelves, this new SKU will remove any backward compatibility for GameCube titles, as well as the ports used for plugging in GameCube controllers. This of course means that if you're particularly fond of using the GameCube controller for any of your Wii games, you might finally have to bite the bullet and buy a Classic Controller.

Oddly enough, the new console also is designed to exclusively sit horizontally. The original model could be turned vertically or horizontally, so presumably this means that Nintendo may have just removed the plastic holder that let you set it vertically from the bundle package.

Nintendo hasn't announced a price for this smaller, sleeker, slightly neutered Wii bundle yet, but did assure that it will be out in time for this Holiday season. Again, this is currently only pegged for release in Europe at this time, but as with all things European, it seems likely that at some point, Nintendo of America will bring its own version of this bundle to the U.S. Though like all things we steal from Europe, it'll probably just be a less interesting, artistically bankrupt facsimile designed to cynically capitalize on the European version's rabid fans.

It'll be just like The Beatles and The Monkees all over again. Literally just like it.

Alex Navarro on Google+
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Posted by Alex

The world has often looked to Europe for the latest trends to emulate. Apparently, the latest trend in Europe is cheaper, less-functional versions of gaming systems we probably already bought like three years ago. Following yesterday's news of a new Europe-only version of Sony's PSP handheld that ditches wi-fi functionality and costs less, Nintendo has hopped aboard the train with a new version of the Wii that ditches GameCube support and also costs less.

Set to release this Christmas and effectively replace the Wii model currently on store shelves, this new SKU will remove any backward compatibility for GameCube titles, as well as the ports used for plugging in GameCube controllers. This of course means that if you're particularly fond of using the GameCube controller for any of your Wii games, you might finally have to bite the bullet and buy a Classic Controller.

Oddly enough, the new console also is designed to exclusively sit horizontally. The original model could be turned vertically or horizontally, so presumably this means that Nintendo may have just removed the plastic holder that let you set it vertically from the bundle package.

Nintendo hasn't announced a price for this smaller, sleeker, slightly neutered Wii bundle yet, but did assure that it will be out in time for this Holiday season. Again, this is currently only pegged for release in Europe at this time, but as with all things European, it seems likely that at some point, Nintendo of America will bring its own version of this bundle to the U.S. Though like all things we steal from Europe, it'll probably just be a less interesting, artistically bankrupt facsimile designed to cynically capitalize on the European version's rabid fans.

It'll be just like The Beatles and The Monkees all over again. Literally just like it.

Posted by Corvall

Nice

Posted by AP3

I like the thumbnail.

Posted by Daiphyer

Yo Dawg I heard you like Yo Dawg jokes, so we put a yo dawg joke in your article, so you can get carried away while you get carried away.

Posted by craigbo180

I thought I read somewhere that it was priced at 99 Euros? Either way at this point I think everyone who wants a wii already has one, the shame about the lack of gamecube slots is a lot of games on the system do play a lot better with cube controllers.

Posted by SockLobster

God damn it, I just bought a PSP Go and convinced my mother to give me her Wii!
 
This is slightly inconvenient!

Posted by BaconGames

@craigbo180 said:

I thought I read somewhere that it was priced at 99 Euros? Either way at this point I think everyone who wants a wii already has one, the shame about the lack of gamecube slots is a lot of games on the system do play a lot better with cube controllers.

My broke ass friend who wants to buy one will be somewhat pleased. Not so much about the lack of Gamecube support though. (Now that I've said it, isn't that a console name that sounds fake? Gamecube? Weird.)

Edited by nintendoeats

@SockLobster: Why did you buy a PSP Go? And why is this inconvenient?

This just seems silly. From what I understand, those ports are the only additional hardware required to play GCN games. Further, some games play much better using the GCN controller than any of the other options (I'm looking at Smash Bros. here)

Edited by Siphillis

Good move.  I'd wager the GCN hardware added an extra $50 to the launch price.  Removing legacy controller support sounds iffy, though, but anyone who'd care about that sort of thing either owns a GameCube already, or isn't a customer.

Posted by atomic_dumpling
@craigbo180 said:
I thought I read somewhere that it was priced at 99 Euros?
I was just thinking "Man, if this was 99€, I would be really tempted".
Posted by MayorFeedback

Alex doing a good job of illustrating how much he knows about The Monkees, but I get the point.

Posted by _jackbauer

That's too bad because the Gamecube has some AAA titles.

Edited by RE_Player1

I think this along with the PSP without Wifi are great ideas. More choice for the consumer and it allows people who are price sensitive to jump in. I'm sure most families couldn't care less about Gamecube support just like some kids couldn't care less about Wifi on PSP.

Posted by samsaturday

Speaking of which, where is The Monkees: Rock Band???

Posted by themartyr

Oh man, you can spot an Alex Navarro article from a mile off. Loved it.

Posted by craigbo180
@Tuffgong said:

My broke ass friend who wants to buy one will be somewhat pleased. Not so much about the lack of Gamecube support though. (Now that I've said it, isn't that a console name that sounds fake? Gamecube? Weird.)

It's no worse than Xbox, or Playstation. They all sound pretty stupid if you actually think about it.
Posted by pap

Not sure that this is going to have much impact. First, the wow factor of the Wii has long since disappeared. Second, there are already millions of these white bricks gathering dust. A lot of people have a Wii already, and generally don't have great things to say about it. Price sensitivity isn't really the issue. White elephant avoidance is.

Posted by SixtyXCelph

I was all set to call this a really stupid move, but then I thought about it... everyone who would actually want Gamecube backwards compatibility already HAS a Wii.  So, why not cut out that, increasing your own profits, make it cheaper, and maybe sell a bunch more units.  So, I can't really fault Nintendo on this one at all.

Posted by CookieMonster

That meme was actually pretty funny.

Posted by NickBOTT

That picture had me cracking up and totally made my day!

Posted by Chet_Rippo

Haha, Europe....

Posted by BaconGames

@craigbo180: Less stupid and more fake. Like someone who normally doesn't play video games was asked to come up with a fictional game console. Game(noun) sounds like its part of that category regardless.

Posted by Shuborno

I guess it makes sense. It's not like they're taking the GameCube support out of the dusty Wii I already have.

In theory I need those GameCube controller slots for Mario Kart (Wii and Double Dash).

Posted by RuthLoose

So this is the answer to the UK riots and a bankrupt Euro?

Who knew getting rid of one of the two GameCubes duct taped inside that thing would be the answer to all of Nintendo's financial woes?

Posted by CandleJakk

That sucks, since all the best Wii games are actually GameCube games.

Posted by Hagane

So basically it costs as much as a PS2 now? I'm not sure I would choose the Wii if I were to see them side by side.

Posted by MadMagyar92
@Siphillis
That statement is further supported by the argument that if you don't have a Wii yet, but want one, you probably still have a Gamecube
 and therefore this won't effect you too badly. Given, however, it's always nice not having to shell out extra dough on additional peripherals and being allowed to stick with ones you're used to, but yeah, most people could adapt to a classic controller and the lower price allows that purchase to be possible. I don't think theres too many people without a Gamecube who don't already have a Wii either.
Posted by RuthLoose

Goldeneye 007 & Super Smash Bros. Brawl just got a lot less fun to play without GameCube controller support.

Posted by Mesoian

Incredibly stupid, incredibly needless.

Posted by MormonWarrior

Seeing as the only okay way to play Brawl is with the GameCube controllers, this is bad news. That is, if you're intending to play that game. The Wii controls are horrific for that game.

Posted by ryanwho

Nothing about this is stupid. Its a cheaper version with less parts. The people who still don't have a Wii don't give a fuck about the 5 Gamecube games worth playing. Using your fucking head, clueless "real gamers".

Posted by rmanthorp

Dat picture.

Also fuck this!

Moderator
Posted by Vexxan

I'll probably wait until Wii U to play Wii games...unless Skyward Sword gets to me.

Posted by Bartman3010

There are Wii games out there that support GCN controller only, and not a Classic Controller. Brilliant move, Nintendo.

Posted by Scrumdidlyumptious

Doesn't seem like the missing features will be a big deal breaker for most of the Wii's audience. I don't see anything wrong with these new cheap entry level models for nublets.

Posted by louiedog

I wonder if this has to do with Wii U hardware. If both this new Wii and the Wii U share a lot of parts (same bluetooth, same optical drive, same USB controller, etc.) and they drop some of the stuff that the Wii U won't have (backwards compatability, ports, etc) it would probably save them a lot over continuing to pump out the existing Wii hardware.

Edited by Slaker117

For some reason, the concept of "slightly neutered" seems terrifying.

Posted by The_Nubster
@ryanwho said:
Nothing about this is stupid. Its a cheaper version with less parts. The people who still don't have a Wii don't give a fuck about the 5 Gamecube games worth playing. Using your fucking head, clueless "real gamers".
And the people who still don't have a Wii don't care about the Wii, either. By the way, no one claimed to be a "real gamer", and you're not more of one for swearing.
 
@CandleJakk said:

That sucks, since all the best Wii games are actually GameCube games.

Man I haven't played a Wii game on my Wii in so long. I recently played through Majora's Mask. More engrossing than any Wii game I've ever played.
Posted by Warchief

the problem with buying a wii, is that you then own a wii.

Posted by Duffman

Not sure if "we already bought" and "Sony PSP" belong in the same sentence.

Posted by MisterMouse

I mean I guess this is a good idea... but I don't feel like people will go out in droves to buy this unless the price is crazy good.

Posted by PillClinton

Weird times for the games industry...

Edited by tadros

People still care about the Wii?  I'm sure the new Kirby, Zelda, and possibly Mario Party will extend it's life a bit, but come on!  My Wii has been untouched for nearly a year.  - That sounds kind of funny.

Edited by Jimjamjaha

Xenoblade is just about to come out and some more interesting japanese titles are on their way to europe so this would actually be a pretty good time to pick up a cheap wii.

Posted by Dick_Mohawk

I doubt there is going to be much of an increase in sales. Just sounds like a last minute push before marketing the hell out of the Wii U... another Nintendo product I have no interest in.

Posted by dagas

Sucks, but then I doubt I would play many GC games, but I like having the option.

Posted by YukoAsho

"How do we make our failed systems more appealing?" 
"Take out functionality!" 
 
Huh? 
 
I don't give a crap about playing Cube games on the Wii because I have a Cube already, but sometimes Cube controllers are just better for several Wii games, even over the Classic Controller.  Either way, between this and the no-WiFi PS3, I can't help but wonder if Europe's just being treated as a testbed to see just how little they can do with future consoles....

Edited by StrikeALight

@Jimjamjaha said:

Xenoblade is just about to come out and some more interesting japanese titles are on their way to europe so this would actually be a pretty good time to pick up a cheap wii.

Exactly. Xenoblade does looks incredible. (out on Friday in EU)

But does this mean GC downloadable titles won't work on the new machine as well?

Posted by ThePilgrums

@CandleJakk said:

That sucks, since all the best Wii games are actually GameCube games.

Are we forgetting Mario Galaxy?

Posted by ryanwho
@The_Nubster said:
@ryanwho said:
Nothing about this is stupid. Its a cheaper version with less parts. The people who still don't have a Wii don't give a fuck about the 5 Gamecube games worth playing. Using your fucking head, clueless "real gamers".
And the people who still don't have a Wii don't care about the Wii, either. By the way, no one claimed to be a "real gamer", and you're not more of one for swearing.
 
@CandleJakk said:

That sucks, since all the best Wii games are actually GameCube games.

Man I haven't played a Wii game on my Wii in so long. I recently played through Majora's Mask. More engrossing than any Wii game I've ever played.
Nintendo is making appeals to the Wii audience which you clearly aren't a part of. That makes you clueless. If you think the Wii is the failure, you're not part of their very large active audience and you can have an opinion I guess, just not one that matters.
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