[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, Nintendo confirmed the Wii Mini as a Canada-exclusive to be sold through the holiday season. No mention was made of a release in other territories. A landing page at the company's website confirms the earlier reports. The Wii Mini cannot connect to the Internet or play GameCube games.
The original story follows below.
The evidence for the Wii Mini continues to mount. Though Nintendo has not officially announced the hardware revision, Best Buy Canada has posted images of the device, and now Future Shop has provided even more details. A post to the retailer's blog corroborates earlier reports that the Wii Mini will be available December 7, but also reveals a price: $99. The current MSRP for the Wii is $130.
The lower price tag does not come without functionality setbacks. The Wii Mini does not include Wi-Fi support, and according to the retailer, will not be able to connect to the Internet at all or make use of online features in games. Additionally, the Wii Mini does not have GameCube functionality. The system is not compatible with GameCube discs, with controller ports and memory slots stripped from the system.
As for the system itself, the Wii Mini will sport a red case with a black matte finish on its top. It will come bundled with a red Wii Remote Plus and matching Nunchuck controllers. The Wii Mini is, as its name suggests, smaller than the original Wii, and requires the unit to be laid flat. The original Wii allowed users to either position the system horizontally or vertically.
The Wii Mini's power-on button is positioned at the system's bottom left corner, with an Open button on the right. This suggests the Wii Mini will be a top-loading system, similar to the GameCube.
A Nintendo representative was not immediately available for comment.
If the report is true, it would mark the second Wii redesign, following last year's Europe-only "Wii Family Edition" bundle. This console did not feature GameCube controller ports.
Last week, Nintendo director of product marketing Bill Trinen said the Wii remains a viable platform because of its large install base. He also suggested Nintendo could spur hardware sales by making the system available "at the right price."
"I think there's also the potential for a lot of people who still haven't purchased Wii, believe it or not, who might be interested at the right price," Trinen said at the time. "So we'll probably be looking at it more from that standpoint."