updated 08:55 am EDT, Wed August 17, 2011
Nintendo Wii Family Edition to bow before Wii U
Nintendo is planning a sendoff for the Wii in at least Europe with a new model. The Wii Family Edition has a new, slightly streamlined design meant to sit on its side rather than the vertical layout the Wii has been known for. The design will lower the price to an unknown level and primarily shed support for legacy Gamecube accessories and games, although it will still have both Wii Sports and Wii Party in the box.
The need for the older peripherals has dropped both through time as well as because of Nintendo's own contributions, such as the Classic Controller and ports of earlier games.
Its arrival is a rarity for Nintendo. The gaming pioneer seldom redesigns its systems mid-cycle and had runaway success with the Wii until last year, when a new Xbox 360 and a possibly saturated market hurt Nintendo's chances. Nintendo is virtually certain to be offering the price-cut system as a way of tiding over gamers until the Wii U arrives next year.
The company's profits have dropped sharply this year and even triggered a rare quarterly loss, prompting it to take drastic action to boost sales that have included a 3DS price cut.