One of the stranger pieces of news to scme out of Gamescom, this. Nintendo is readying a new version of the Wii for release this Christmas. It's a revision of the current hardware, dubbed the 'Wii Family Edition'. The console will ship with two games - Wii Sports and Wii Party, plus a Wii Motion Plus-enabled Wiimote and a Nunchuck controller. A decent enough starter package, but we're more interested in what's been left out of the machine.
The biggest omission is Gamecube compatibility. You may snigger and say 'well, who plays Gamecube games these days anyway?', but consider this: Gamecube controllers remain the best way to play several big-name games, not least Super Smash Brothers Brawl. Leaving out the controller ports may cut costs, but it's also going to be detrimental to that gameplay on one of Wii's biggest titles. I could also point out that a Gamecube pad is the best way to control NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, but no-one would care, so I won't.
Above: The console looks slightly fatter, although having looked at a real Wii again, we're not so sure it is
Other than that, the console looks very similar to the old version, which is no surprise - it's cheap enough to produce so why waste money redesigning the entire thing? Rumour has it, however, that it now sits in a horizontal position, which looks logical when you notice the 'Wii' logo has been moved around accordingly. Our Wii in the office has been in a horizontal position for about... what, five years now? Much of that time was admittedly spent in storage, but the point is it's hardly a new feature. Look - here's our regular Wii demonstrating the 'horizontal' position.
Above: *Blink* *blink* "What? What year is this? Why do my eyes hurt?" "Easy, Wii - you've been in a drawer"
Wii U is but months away now, but don't forget the ultra-diminutive PSone sold impressively well into PS2's tenure. Just think how many kiddies this could make happy this Christmas. Even if they do have to use a Classic Controller for Smash Bros.
17 Aug, 2011