As of November 2011, the Nintendo Wii will be 5 years old. That's a long time in game years; in fact, it's nearly a console generation. To no great surprise, then, Nintendo has already announced the Wii's successor, the Wii U, with a likely release date of 2012. Until then, the Wii still survives, but as a lame duck console. That doesn't mean it should be overlooked. Nintendo's latest Wii console bundle--the fourth since the Wii's debut--is the lowest price ever, at $150, although the components in the bundle since last year's $200 have changed.
Gone is Wii Sports, the perennial Wii console pack-in. Gone, too, is Wii Sports Resort. Instead, the new Mario Kart bundle includes a Wii Remote Plus, nunchuck, a copy of Mario Kart Wii, and a Wii Steering Wheel plastic accessory. Mario Kart's a fun casual racer, but Nintendo has taken its most popular motion-control game, Wii Sports, out of the equation, forcing people to buy it separately. It doesn't make much sense, especially considering the game's 5 years old. Those interested in multiplayer games will also have to buy an extra Wii Remote Plus and nunchuck, $40 and $20, respectively.
Europe has announced an even less expensive redesigned Wii bundle, but the $150 Mario Kart version remains the least expensive Wii console in the U.S. We'd love to see this system drop down to $99, but that's just wishful thinking for now. That said, it can be found for under $135 at such major retailers as Wal-Mart and Amazon.
So the question remains: at those prices--about half that of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360--is the Wii worth the investment for first-time buyers?… Read more