Wii MiniWith the Wii U and recent release of a $99 Wii Mini in Canada, it seems like Nintendo is doing everything it can to boost sales going into the holidays. The Wii U sold over 400,000 units in the first week, and the $99 Wii Mini certainly appears to be an excellent deal for anyone able to pick one up, but is this enough to make the Wii a wise buying choice for most consumers?

I’ll admit that I picked up a Wii in hopes that I would enjoy countless hours of entertainment bowling and playing other fun interactive games, regardless of the video quality in comparison to slightly pricier Xbox and PS3 consoles, but it wasn’t long before I found myself doing exactly what almost every friend I have did with their Wii. I let it sit there gathering dust, and it has been for almost a year now.

The Wii is an excellent console for some users, but not so much for others. Its slightly less flashy graphics and reputation for having slightly less “mainstream” titles (though not exactly deserved) are just some reasons folks might opt for the competition.

The Wii has seen sharp declines in sales over the past two years. Whether this is due to saturation after leading sales in 2009 and 2010 or market anticipation for significant hardware updates is anyone’s guess, but with sales starting out so strong for the Wii U, it’s probably more likely to be the former.

The Nintendo Wii is fun, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you already have another console.

Both Xbox and PlayStation 3 platforms have received motion-control features by way of additional accessories such as the Kinect in recent years, which only further closes the gap on the Wii’s leading area of the market.

For me, the Wii was just not a good fit. I’m primarily a PC gamer and dropping $30 on a game I could easily pick up on Steam for much less during a sale wasn’t a solid selling point for me. If I threw more parties where a group entertainment system such as the Wii might be a highlight activity, then I’m sure the tables would turn. The opposite might be true for the next gamer. It all comes down to personal tastes, really.

Here are some reasons you might want to pick up a Wii.

  • You enjoy games made specifically for the Nintendo universe.
  • You don’t care as much about graphics as you do just playing a casual game and having fun.
  • You’re on a budget and want some form of motion control without having to pay extra.
  • You frequently throw parties or have company over.
  • You have kids.

The Wii is an excellent platform for kids. There are plenty of excellent titles made exclusively for the Wii platform that appeal to children as young as five, with a comparable number of titles made for a more mature audience.

If the best graphics, performance, or an integrated Blu-ray player are on your list of must-have features, it’s probably best to pass on it until you’ve tried it.

Image: Nintendo