Nintendo is giving its Wii a facelift, due to arrive on shelves by Christmas in Europe, with new bundles that include the slightly streamlined hardware, a controller and Wii Party and Wii Sports, according to reports.
Nintendo is known to redesign its home and handheld gaming systems to varying extents. This is the first such redesign for the Wii since it released in 2006.
The updated Wii's changes are a bit more than cosmetic, however, as UK's Official Nintendo Magazine said the new model will not be backwards compatible with GameCube games, and therefore won't have the GameCube ports or memory card slots.
Nintendo's UK arm also confirmed with Eurogamer that the company will discontinue the current Wii model. "In Europe we will focus on the new Wii Bundle/s going forward," Nintendo said.
The new Wii appears almost indistinguishable from the current model, aside from a slightly more oblong disc slot and buttons that are labeled more for horizontal placement of the console. Nintendo will reportedly introduce a number of Wii hardware and software bundles later this year.
Nintendo of America has yet to confirm the streamlined console or new bundles for the U.S. market. Gamasutra has contacted the company for confirmation.
[Image credit: Eurogamer]
[UPDATE: A Nintendo of America spokesperson tells Gamasutra the company "does not currently have any plans to release the Wii bundle that was announced by Nintendo of Europe on Aug. 17."]