Nintendo of Canada communications manager Matt Ryan has explained that the Wii Mini was designed with a priority to keep manufacturing costs as low as possible.
To reduce the amount Nintendo has to pay per sale, and to provide a console with a release price of CA $99.99, Nintendo has decided to not include online functionality, nor an SD card slot or GameCube backwards compatibility.
Speaking to Polygon, Ryan explains that, "we want the system to be as affordable as possible to everybody, and the widest audience possible. By taking out functionality, that allows us to keep the cost down."
Ryan says that "there are gamers who have not bought a Wii yet, and there are gamers who have a Wii and want a second one for the cottage, or the chalet, or whatever, who actually don't need the online functionality."
It is these consumers that Nintendo is targeting with the Canada-exclusive Wii Mini, set to launch this Friday. The system will likely carry a high profit margin for Nintendo; providing some relief to the money it loses on each sale of its new Wii U console.
When asked if Ryan was worried about it launching so close to the Wii U, Ryan said he wasn't as they are "fundamentally very, very different products".