New Wii System: Enough to Rekindle Europe?

New Wii System: Enough to Rekindle Europe?

The Wii hasn’t exactly enjoyed a stellar year in terms of sales, but Nintendo needs to get one more holiday season out of the ol’ girl. This time next year, we’ll be bouncing off the walls about the Wii U, so how does Nintendo propose to keep us interested in the Wii for that long?

It has an answer, at least for Europe: A slimmer version of the Wii that’s packed with the Wii Remote Plus and copies of Wii Sports and Wii Party. The unit also lacks backwards compatibility with GameCube games, which should drop the price of the system substantially. But will all this slimming down add up to a system that Europeans will want to buy this holiday season, or has the Wii simply run its course, full stop?

The days of desperate parents queuing up around the block to buy the Wii are long gone, but Nintendo has engineered a nifty little package that will attract the right audience: People who have been curious about the Wii, but simply weren’t motivated to cough up the money for one. Anyone who was interested in GameCube compatibility bought their Wiis ages ago. What’s left are the men, women, boys and girls who think the Wii actually boasts a pretty attractive library (and despite all the criticism the Wii has endured during its lifespan, its first-party games are magnificent), and might decide to treat themselves after all.

Another good audience for the new Wii will be families looking for a relatively inexpensive holiday treat that suits the whole family. Which, no doubt, is what Nintendo had in mind when it decided to pack the system with Wii Sports and Wii Party.

In fact, serious traditional gamers might find the new Wii unattractive, since it removes compatability with GameCube games and accessories–including the GameCube controller, which remains an “Oh yes, must have” for fans of the Super Smash Bros. series.

According to Nintendo, this “stripped-down” version of the Wii won’t be making its way to North America–but that doesn’t mean we won’t see some kind of Wii-related hardware surprise on this side of the pond before the cold weather gets its claws into us. Nintendo needs to entice the world, not just Europe, into buying the Wii for just one more holiday season.

About Nadia Oxford
Nadia is a freelance writer living in Toronto. She played her first game at four, decided games were awesome, and has maintained her position since. She writes for 1UP.com, Slide to Play, GamePro and other publications, and is About.com’s Guide to the Nintendo DS.

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