Nintendo has surprised everyone by announcing a redesigned version of the current Wii console which will be released in time for Christmas this year.
The redesigned console and bundle deal was announced by Ninty today at the Gamescom expo in Cologne, much to our surprise, as the next-generation Nintendo Wii U is just around the corner.
Nintendo say that the new Wii will be slimmer and designed to sit horizontally, whereas the original Wii console sat vertically (and also horizontally if you really wanted to). We’re yet to find out if the inner workings of the new Wii have been changed in any way or improved, though if they haven’t then it would seem even more pointless a release.
Official Nintendo Magazine confirms that this Wii will be released in the UK in time for Christmas, but doesn’t mention a U.S release. The title image shows the new Wii bundle including the new vertically-challenged Wii console, Wii Remote Plus, Nunchuck controller and the Wii Sports and Wii Party games.
Strangely, this console won’t have the same backwards compatibility as the current Wii you’ll find on sale everywhere. That means you won’t be able to play Gamecube games on it, or plug in Gamecube controllers to play classic titles such as Super Smash Bros Melee. What?
With sales of the Wii gradually falling and a new next-gen console on the way from Nintendo, it seems that a whole new console is a strange move, but perhaps the Wii U is further away that we initially thought, and Nintendo hopes to use the redesigned console and bundle to boost sales until its release.
We’ve also got word from Eurogamer that Nintendo have confirmed the current Wii model will become discontinued to make way for the new model in Europe.