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With the very recent release of the Wii U, you would think Nintendo would have their plate full in terms of console management. So the announcement of the Wii Mini must come as quite the surprise. Honestly, I'm just flabbergasted over the whole thing. Why would Nintendo release a new revision of their last generation console along with the Wii U? I don't have an answer for that. No matter how I look at it, everything about the Wii Mini just comes off as an incredibly bad idea. And I think Nintendo just might feel the same way. Obviously they're banking on the console to do well this holiday season, but do they have faith in their product? The Canadian Connection Tell me, how many times throughout the history of video games have you heard the phrase "This console will release exclusively in Canada?" If you said more than once, I must remind you the maple syrup box doesn't count as a real console; it doesn't even have any good exclusives. Not that there is anything wrong with our neighbors to the north. Yes, they are a part of the North American market, but if you want big number returns then you're really going to have to slug it out in the United States. Don't hate me for undervaluing Canada in the global gaming market! Just to give you a nice Wikipedia example as to why this is, here are the sales numbers for Call of Duty 4: 3,000,000 in the United States and 78,000 in Canada. A bit of a gap, don't you think? I would have used a newer game as an example, but most of the time sales charts will just add the Canadian numbers to the United States numbers. This was just a chart I could actually find that separated the two. So why release the console in Canada? Well there's multiple reasons for this, and they all involve the Wii U. First of all, production. Nintendo is putting more of its resources towards getting as many Wii U consoles out as it can for the holiday season. This means they likely had to cut back on Wii production. Now Nintendo has less money to spread these new Wii Minis around the world. If only there was a smaller market they could tap into to see how people take to the new design! Oh wait, that's exactly what Canada is. Nintendo can save money while also seeing if the Wii Mini has a place on American store shelves after the holidays. But why even bother? Why not just go 100% on Wii U production? The Wii Mini Is A Fall Back Nintendo has had plenty to worry about going into the first days of the Nintendo Wii U's first day on store shelves. The main problem being recognition. Will the average consumer want to buy a Wii U if they think its some sort of $400 add-on for their original Wii? The fear is that people won't understand it's a new console and then get turned off by the seemingly insane price of the thing (remember these people would think the Wii U is something like the Wii Fit) and Nintendo could end up losing parts of their casual market over something as silly as a misunderstanding. Releasing two consoles side by side is never a good idea. This is where the Wii Mini comes in. Those same people who are hesitant to buy the new Wii for $400 will still probably end up buying the "new Wii" for $100 seeing as how much of a bargain it is. This isn't some dastardly trick by Nintendo to squeeze out some more Wii sales before Christmas either. Think of it as a stepping stone console. Those consumers that ended up buying the Wii Mini for $100 are all potential Wii U customers. They just don't know it yet. Once they get more into the Wii games, they might actually realize there's a difference between those two consoles, and by then they'll hopefully actually want to buy a Wii U. It's a stretch, but it could end up working in Nintendo's favor. And Then We Go Back To Canada Before we close this out, I want to talk about Canada just a bit more. We've already talked about the fact that Nintendo isn't producing as many Wii consoles as they used to and how that would factor into Canada getting a new exclusive Wii. But there's also another reason. Canada is a test market for the rest of the world. Let's say the console ends up selling well. Of course Nintendo is going to start spreading it out to countries with larger user-bases, but what happens if it has a worst case scenario? What will happen if parents all around Canada accidentally buy the Wii Mini for Christmas instead of the Wii U? It certainly looks neat, but will it sell? It'll look bad on Nintendo's part, of course. There would certainly be a lot of returns and angry consumers come Christmas time. But here's the thing - it's Canada. I'm not saying that Canada getting screwed over is okay, I'm just saying that it is a contained market. If things go bad for thousands of people then Nintendo can take the hit and fix things. But if the Wii Mini was a worldwide console and millions of people ended up making a mistake, it could end up being a doomsday scenario for the console giant. So why is the Wii Mini exclusive to Canada? Because its the safest place Nintendo could think of to release it. They spend less on production, they don't have to ship out things across the world and if things go bad, they can still scrape things together. It's a triple win! Good or bad, what do you think about this whole Wii Mini thing? Do you think there's a reason for Nintendo only releasing it in Canada? Why not post your thoughts in the comments below? As always, thank you for reading.