Would you buy a discounted Wii U?

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So you’ve seen a certain games console on sale for what seems like a bargain price in CNA or ToysRUs and you’re tempted to splash out on deal that looks too good to be true? Can’t say I blame you, but my advice would be to steer clear if you can. While the Wii U is undeniably a lovely little console and R999 is a stupidly good price for it, retailers aren’t doing these massive discounts because they want to do you a favour.

They’re getting out of the Wii U business and selling off stock as cheaply as they can afford to. You should follow their lead.

We’ve spoken to a few people in the business now, and all are agreed. Wii U sales have been more than disappointing, they’ve been a disaster. Fewer than 2 000 consoles are in circulation on South African shores and it’s just not viable to stock games in multiple retail outlets for such a small customer base. With all eyes on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 – both considerably more powerful than the Wii U is and able to go feature for feature against it plus some – there’s not a lot of optimism left that sales of Nintendo’s flagship can recover.

The worst news is that we’re hearing distributors say that they can no longer afford to bring Wii U games in to the country, since selling a few dozen games can’t cover the shipping costs for a batch. That makes me worry that your bargain-priced console is going to be left with nothing to play once current stocks of big titles runs out. Even if they change their minds, EA has already admitted a loss of faith in the console, and other publishers are likely to follow.

In other words, if you’re a console collector and the kind of gamer that likes to own one of everything, go ahead and avail yourself of a Wii U next time one of these firesales starts burning (and there will be more). It’s a funky little machine that’s enjoyable company to be around. However, if you’re after a console that you plan to keep playing with for the next couple of years and don’t want to rely on digital downloads for your entertainment – sadly you’re probably better off saving that thousand rand to put towards the competition.

Adam Oxford

Adam Oxford

Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar, Wired.co.uk, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.