It wasn't that long ago that the Nintendo Wii was one of the most sought-after items on the planet. Especially around the holidays, when supply simply couldn't meet demand. The then-revolutionary game console was selling on eBay for double, triple, even quadruple its $249 list price.
Now you can get it for 80 bucks.
Specifically, GameStop has the refurbished Nintendo Wii console for $79.99, plus $4.99 for shipping (and not including sales tax, where applicable). That's the lowest price I've ever seen.
Of course, Nintendo's next-generation, expected to arrive in time for the holidays. This raises the question: Is the original Wii a good buy, even at $80?
I'll make the case for yes. The Wii may lack state-of-the-art visuals, but it remains a great source of entertainment. Kids love it, and it's still fun for parties, family game-night, and other gatherings.
What's more, not only is the console itself cheap, but so are the games and accessories. For example, you can pick up MLB Power Pros, widely regarded as one of the most entertaining baseball games for the Wii, for just $4.99. And Meritline sells a generic Wii Remote and Nunchuk for $15.99 -- items that previously would have cost you $50.
In other words, you can trick out your Wii for considerably less money, especially if you troll the likes of Craigslist and eBay for used games and such.
Now I'll make the case for no. We haven't touched our Wii system for the better part of a year. My kids, ages 12 and 9, do most of their gaming on the iPod Touch or iPad, with occasional visits to the Xbox. For us, the dew has long been off the Wii lily.
And I suspect there are a lot of other neglected Wiis out there. The reality is that mobile gaming has exploded since the Wii's heyday, to the point where I think all consoles are starting to lose their luster. There's a hassle factor involved in juggling all those discs, keeping the remotes charged, and tethering yourself (even if it's wirelessly) to the TV.
So I'll throw it out to you, readers: Is the Wii a good deal at $80? Or has the sun set on this particular console? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.