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Plugged In

Wii gets a new look

Plugged In

With the Wii U releasing sometime next year, Nintendo's hoping to give its predecessor one last big push.

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New-look Wii (Nintendo of Europe)

For the first time since its introduction in 2006, the Wii has gotten a facelift. Rather than being designed to stand vertically, the buttons on the new streamlined system are labeled for horizontal placement. It's a small shift, but one that will make the system easier to integrate with other audio/visual components, like your cable box and other consoles.

It's also one that comes with a hitch.

Actually, it comes with two: The nip/tucked console is only headed to Europe for now, and if you want to play your GameCube games on the new system, you're out of luck.

Nintendo of America is downplaying the new hardware (and its exclusion of GameCube compatibility), saying in a statement: "The Wii hardware currently available at stores in North America is able to play Nintendo GameCube discs. We do not have any announcements to make about future hardware configurations."

Not having any current announcements is different than saying it's not coming to the States in the future, though.

If so, expect that to be sometime before Nov. 20 -- the date The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will hit U.S. stores. That game's expected to be the last truly big Wii game, with the possible exception of Kirby Adventure Wii (formerly known as Kirby's Return to Dream Land) due out in December.

Anything to make the Wii stand out this holiday would be helpful. Just yesterday, Sony cut the price of the PlayStation 3 by $50, and Microsoft is expected to lower the price of the Xbox 360 at some point before the end of the year as well.

Nintendo slashed Wii prices in May, but that hasn't' impacted dwindling sales of the system. Perhaps the company is hoping a new look could give the Wii a last hurrah — and help it span the bridge between now and the launch of the graphically superior Wii U.

-- Play Bricks Breaking on Yahoo! Games --

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