Canadian ad suggests Nintendo launching ‘Wii mini’

Anders Krusberg/AP - In this photo provided by Nintendo of America, a fan purchases one of the first Wii U systems in the world at the midnight launch event at Nintendo World in New York on Sunday Nov. 18, 2012. Wii U is set to change the way people interact with their games, their TVs and each other. (AP Photo/Nintendo, Anders Krusberg)

Fresh off the launch of the Wii U, rumor has it that Nintendo is preparing to revamp and shrink its older console, the Wii. An ad on the Best Buy site for Canada lists an upcoming “Wii Mini,” which appears to be set for a Dec. 7 launch.

Nintendo did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post, but has declined to comment to other news sources.

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As Joystiq reported, the retailer’s home page lists an announcement for “Wii Mini” pre-orders for a device that will cost $99.99. The link for pre-orders leads to Best Buy’s Wii site, though there is not a way to pre-order the device. The company also featured a write-up of the console off of its main page, which says the rumored device is a top-loading console and, somewhat surprisingly, does not have Internet connectivity.

According to the post, the device will be compatible with all Wii games and peripherals. The product pictured in the post and on the Web site is black, with a red plastic trim and red Wii remote.

It would be very odd timing for Nintendo to release another new console, since the company, at least in public, has been almost wholly focused on promoting and selling the Wii U for the past year.

The console, which has a tablet-like controller, launched last week to strong — if not spectacular — sales.

Nintendo’s Wii U console sold 400,000 units in its first week on the market, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime told CNET, making the console “essentially sold out of retail.”

Fils-Aime said that the console is selling out almost as soon as it hits shelves, and that those supply constraints all but capped the Wii U’s opening sales figures.

The new console did not manage to catch up to the record-breaking sales of the original Wii, which sold 600,000 units at its launch in 2006. The Wii was very hard to find in stores even years after its launch.

Fils-Aime said that the company learned from that launch and will try to keep retailers well-stocked to prevent similar problems.

The Wii was still selling well during the Wii U’s launch week, with about 300,000 units sold. The company also sold 500,000 handheld units, with 250,000 3DS units and 275,000 DS units. Sales of the older devices, Fils-Aime, were likely boosted by Black Friday deals.

 
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