Monday, November 26, 2007

Can Wii Play?

The question is, "Can Wii play?" The answer: If you don't already have one of this year's (and last year's) hot ticket items, then probably not. And if you're hunting for this Nintendo game console this holiday season, the chances are not good that you'll (1) find a Wii in a brick-and-mortar store or (2) find a Wii at the base price of $250 anywhere.

There is a chance, though, that you'll find a Wii console bundled with a handful of extras in the $400-$600 range. Here are a few price pointers to keep in mind to make sure any given Wii bundle is not a bad deal:

Wii console (includes the console, one remote, one nunchuk, Wii Sports, basic wireless sensor, A/V cable, electric cable, etc.)...$250.

You'll need at least one more controller to maximize playability: Wii Play with Wii Remote...$50.

You'll need a nunchuk addition for each additional controller...$20.

The above - let's call it a bare-bones multiplayer "bundle" - should only cost $320 plus sales tax (if applicable). However, many stores won't let go of their limited Wii supply and large Wii demand that easily. They'll add more stuff to the bundle:

Wii bundles often come with a battery recharging station to replace the requisite AA batteries needed for each Wii remote...$30.

Wii bundles will force you to buy additional games on top of Wii Sports and Wii Play...$50 each.

Several Wii bundles will offer additional knick-knack accessories for the Wii...$20, plus or minus, each.

Break up the bundle to the sum of its parts, and if you can buy a Wii at a reasonable price...I would write priceless but the term reasonable price is more to the point. Then again, low supply and high demand will inevitably create higher prices, as independent sellers (from eBay and elsewhere) have tacked on $100 on average to the price of a single-controller console.

Also, if you are going to shop online, if you use one of's affiliate links to help you shop, then it'll be a win-win situation for that's priceless.

Wii photograph credit: Jecowa.

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