So what is the Wii Mini?

$99.99. It’s the magic price that all hardware eventually aspires to. And it’s exactly the price the Wii Mini will launch at.

And that’s the point of the Wii Mini. Affordable gaming hardware for that ever alluring mass-market.

"Yeah, of course it is," Nintendo of Canada’s community director Matt Ryan told Polygon when asked whether cost-cutting was the reason for the console’s omission of online and memory functionality.

"We want the system to be as affordable as possible to everybody, and the widest audience possible. By taking out functionality, that allows us to keep the cost down.

"The reason that we took [online functionality] 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.

"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. When you look at that price, and you look at what you get for it, we’re pretty confident that that’s the right tipping point to get Wii Mini noticed."

Nintendo has since the console’s announcement maintained its claim the Wii Mini is not scheduled for a release outside of Canada. We all know that’s nonsense, of course – the idea that Kyoto would spend R&D on new hardware destined to only be sold at Canadian retail is absurd.

But that’s the current PR line, and it’s one that Ryan is still having to toe.

"Frankly, I don’t know when the R&D department in Japan decided that this was the product coming, and when the decision was made that it was going to be in Canada only,” he added.

"It’s not the fact that there’s red in it, and we love red in Canada. That’s not it at all. It’s just, we’re the market that’s been chosen to launch this product, and no other territories has made the announcement that they’re launching it. Whether or not we’re a test market will have to be seen, but we plan on it working really well."

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