Black Wii 'Holiday Bundle' coming October 23, removes GameCube support

A new Wii "Holiday Bundle" is hitting retail stores on October 23rd. The bundle includes a black Wii system, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and an "exclusive" music CD featuring tunes from Super Mario Galaxy. In addition, it includes a Wii Remote Plus controller and Nunchuck for $149.99. The standard Wii bundle, which includes Mario Kart Wii and wheel attachment, will continue to be available for the same price.

The console included in the bundle is the "newly configured" system, which made its debut in Europe a few months ago. The new design lets the console sit "horizontally rather than vertically" and is designed "exclusively for Wii game play and entertainment experiences." That means you won't be able to use GameCube software or accessories. (No WaveBird for you!)

Oddly, while the redesigned hardware removes backwards compatibility, it does not change the hardware in any meaningful way. The new Wii has the same dimensions as the old one.

While it's unlikely that ardent GameCube fans have yet to pick up a Wii, now would be the time if backwards compatibility is dear to you. The upcoming Wii U is also unlikely to support GameCube discs and peripherals.