We heard that Nintendo was working on a new version of the Wii hardware back in August, and now comes word that the next iteration of Wii is headed to North America later this month. The new $150 bundle includes a black revised Wii, Wii Remote Plus with nunchuk, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and a Super Mario Galaxy soundtrack on CD. Sounds great, right? There's a catch though. The new model of Wii drops support for GameCube games and lacks the GameCube controller ports and memory card slots. What's strange is that Nintendo will continue offering the existing Wii bundle which includes Mario Kart Wii and a GameCube-capable Wii. Considering that both bundles are the same price, why would anyone choose the new, less capable Wii over the older model that offers more functionality?
Moreover, a few Wii games will not be playable to their full extent on the new model of console. Any game that features GameCube controller support will not be able to make use of that particular option, so say farewell to being able to play titles such as Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario Kart Wii, and a number of Virtual Console games with the older controllers. It's a shame to see current generation games snipped of features by a hardware revision, but it's not the first time that such a thing has happened. Sony PlayStation 2 titles that rely on a hard drive (Final Fantasy XI) aren't playable on the slimline PS2, while third model of Sega Genesis removes compatibility with add-ons such as the Sega CD and 32X as well as games including Virtua Racing and Gargoyles. It's not uncommon for older hardware features to be removed across new designs, but it's always sad to see them go.