GameStop Jacks Up Wii Accessory Price By 25 Percent

Last week Nintendo released the Wii Motion Plus, a box you stick on to the bottom of a Wii remote to make the cute little video game system’s motion controls spaz out less and start obeying to your precise motion commands. Motion Plus only works with new games specifically made for the add-on, including Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 and Grand Slam Tennis.

The fact that Nintendo is charging $19.99 for something that in a perfect world would be provided for free is bad enough — after all, the accessory only fulfills the original promise of the console — but it’s even worse for gamers who buy the accessory at GameStop, which has marked up the accessory to $24.99. Every other major retailer I found, including Best Buy and Toys ‘R Us, is sticking to Nintendo’s $19.99 MSRP.

I cruised by a local GameStop to confirm the inflated price wasn’t online only, and when I quizzed the clerk about the price gouging he just shrugged and shook his head.

Suffice it to say if you want the accessory get it anywhere but GameStop. Your best bet is to buy the new Tiger Woods bundle, which comes with the accessory for $60, as opposed to the $50 the game costs on its own. If you want to go sports/Motion Plus crazy, Target will give you a $20 gift card if you buy the Tiger Woods bundle and Grand Slam Tennis together.

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  1. MostlyHarmless says:

    “… a box you stick on to the bottom of a Wii remote to make the cute little video game system’s motion controls spaz out less…”

    I love how you put it, as a consumer blog, as opposed to a gadget blog, which would basically be lusting over it.

    No doubt, they will still insist that it should have been free/included to begin with… but I like your lead-in much better :D

    • SteveZim1017 says:

      yey for the article writer’s assumptions! Wii never promised 1:1 controls, just cause you are an idiot and assumed it because you saw the word “motion” (gasp) doesnt make this something that should be given for free.

      Good thing you aren’t paired up with Gizmodo anymore, as I’m sure they would be yelling at you as well.

  2. heybtbm says:

    As neither a spoiled, fat 13 yr. old, clueless Soccer Mom or a ignorant Grandparent…I’m having a hard time caring about this. Does Gamestop really have any other type of customers?

    • calquist says:

      @heybtbm: Yes.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @heybtbm: Um, yeah. It’s a good place for used games. We’ve bought almost all of our PS3 games used, from Gamestop (they don’t charge as much as other places).

    • William Brinkman says:

      @heybtbm: Basically anybody who has not heard of the internet. Otherwise, you have the entirety of their customer base.

    • steveliv says:

      @heybtbm: i’m not defending their markups but they are about the only place you can find older games at decent prices. throw in their buy two get one free sale, and you’ve got a deal!

      • Radi0logy says:

        @steveliv: They’re called eBay, Amazon and Craigslist. Check em out sometime! The internetz aren’t as scary a place as they seem!

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @Radi0logy: But you can’t examine the quality of the disc on any of those places. You can when you meet someone off Craig’s List, but since there’s only one copy, what are you going to do if it’s not up to snuff? Leave and go somewhere else? At least Gamestop usually has several copies.

        • superberg says:

          @Radi0logy:

          Jet Set Radio Future on eBay? $19.99.
          Jet Set Radio Future at GameStop? $3.99.

          Yes, some of us do our research. Back when GameStop carried 16-bit games, it was the only way to get Earthbound or Chrono Trigger for under fifty bucks.

          GameStop is hardly perfect, but sometimes they are better than online retailers, particularly when a game goes rare and the troglodytes hoard them in their parent’s basements.

          • Radi0logy says:

            @superberg: Dunno what you’re talking about… I found jet set radio future for 99 cents on eBay… you were saying about research?…

    • Cyco says:

      @heybtbm: So sorry that the site doesn’t cater to your specific tastes. You should write a complaint to the editor letting them know that you are the only person that matters and that hey need to pass all articles by you first. That way you don’t come across an article you don’t care about and feel the urge to post an ignorant and idiotic statement telling everyone how little you care and how stupid you are.

  3. Radi0logy says:

    Oh ok – THIS is the kind of article that requires personal research and hard-hitting journalism. We didn’t need an interview with Continental when the kid was put on the wrong plane, or with Time Warner when they abused their customers and overbilled them for years. Yep, apparently if the new Wii accessory is overpriced at your local Gamestop, that gets the Consumerist cast pounding the pavement to verify the story.

    • consumerfan says:

      @Radi0logy: Which is more difficult: travelling to the exact airport where the problem occurred, or to your local mall or anywhere else you have Gamestop?

      If a consumer issue can be verified in the normal course of someone’s day, in a few minutes, I call that a “quick win”.

    • silver-bolt says:

      @Radi0logy: Ability to get through to someone at Continental, slim to none for a blog. Asking Joe Smo at gamestop while they where already there buying something else, easy.

    • Cyco says:

      @Radi0logy: Hey look another one. I’m sorry, when did Consumerist become the place for only one persons wants? Last time I checked, the site isn’t updated every 5 minutes with hard hitting consumer complaints. Know what else? This site offers articles to wide spread interests, not just yours. Some people like and care about video games and this article was informative for them. If you want continious atricles about things you care about, submit them yourself. Stop whining otherwise. Idiot.

      • Radi0logy says:

        @Cyco: Lol dumb douche. I’m not complaining about the content of the article. I’m complaining that THIS article seemingly warranted more in-depth research and a personal interview with a representative of the company, while articles that actually mean something (and are many times disproven or have their factuality called into question) do not. Go troll somewhere else kid.

        • Cyco says:

          @Radi0logy: Right, get pissed off cause I was trolling a troll. And did you ever think that the writer of this article may life right down the street of a GameStop. May just take five minutes out of his time to hit a store up? Hell, maybe he was in there buying for hisself and noticed the price increase. You don’t know the reason cause he didn’t explain hisself. Become the editor, then you can start whining about how the articles are written.

          You are right about one thing though. I did misread the intent of your point when I replied the first time and I’m sorry about that. You’re still an idiot though.

          • Radi0logy says:

            @Cyco: Lol are you implying that getting into a car, driving to a store, and asking the moron behind the counter a question he obviously will know nothing about is easier/smarter than picking up a phone a dialing 11 numbers? Yeah. I’M the idiot. Lol.

  4. balthisar says:

    >>”Suffice it to say if you want the accessory get it anywhere but GameStop.”

    But if I’m already at GameStop, it’s worth the extra $5 to avoid driving someplace else that may or may not have it. Time is money, too. This is why convenience stores thrive. It’s why brick-and-mortar stores like Microcenter can still stick around.

    Granted, you’ve been forewarned, now.

    • Geekybiker says:

      @balthisar: You shouldn’t be at gamestop in the first place. Those places are about the worst place you can go to get video games.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @Geekybiker: Why? I’ve had good experiences with Gamestop, especially their used games.

        • PinkBox says:

          @pecan 3.14159265: I’ve had good experiences too. Recently they had a deal where you spent $10 on Guitar Hero: Aerosmith (new, which was marked down from the usual $30 price, I think), and you’d get both the game and a brand new guitar to go along with it.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @balthisar: This is exactly why Gamestop jacked up the price. If a halfway savvy mom or dad knows their kids are going to want a game while they’re in the store getting the Anti-Spaz Wii Box, they can buy it for them used. Best Buy’s used game section is ridiculously tiny. I bet they make more money off the brand new ones anyway, and don’t actually do much to check out the used games before putting them back on the shelf.

    • ShinGetterPoPo says:

      More important than the gas in the long term is what your buying dollar is saying to the company. If you buy items at inflated prices, then they know that the inflated price is ok. This will lead to more inflated prices and soon your $5 to avoid driving someplace that may not have it becomes a $20-30 saving.
      @balthisar:

  5. StitchPirate says:

    “when I quizzed the clerk about the price gouging he just shrugged and shook his head”

    You can’t blame the clerk here. This drove me nuts when I worked in retail, the poor guy or girl at the cash register doesn’t make the prices, someone much higher up the food chain does and the clerk has nothing to do with it.

    • Anonymous says:

      @StitchPirate: I strongly agree here. What did you expect out of a register clerk? As a retail employee myself, its incredibly frustrating to watch the kinda of abuse Consumerist always recommends customers should push onto us register jockeys.

      You’re asking a corporate drone to somehow have intimate knowledge of corporate markup strategy and then asking him to comment on it without thinking it will get him fired. We all know Gamestop has fired for much less, and employees making comments to ‘media’ is a hot issue with them.

      Shame, consumerist. That was not fact-finding but simply abuse. There’s no cause to treat minimum wage folk like they’re so thoroughly below you.

    • MooseOfReason says:

      @StitchPirate: Absolutely. You know they aren’t buying anything, but they walk up to you and say something negative about your store, like you have any authority to change it.

  6. tinky XIII says:

    I’m not surprised at this. They’d charge an entrance fee to the store if they could get away with it.

    • GMFish says:

      @tinky XIII: “if they could get away with it.

      They could probably get away with it in the months leading up to Christmas. Like a $2 “black friday fee” to enter the store, which you get back if you buy something.

    • superberg says:

      @tinky XIII:

      They do make money just by having customers walk into the store. All the marketing GameStop bombards you with is a significant portion of their profit, at least when a store first opens.

    • Charlotte Rae's Web says:

      @tinky XIII: i disagree – they let people play games upfront for free forever, driving some paying customer nuts.

  7. Canino says:

    …and when I quizzed the clerk about the price gouging he just shrugged and shook his head.

    I’m not sure what other response was expected from the Gamestop clerk. There is a less than zero chance that person was in on the pricing decision or was given an explanation for pricing decision.

    Maybe the real story is that you got any kind of response other than a blank stare.

  8. GMFish says:

    I quizzed the clerk about the price gouging he just shrugged and shook his head.

    Game Stop can charge any price it wants and you have every right to shop elsewhere. Shop around before you buy. Problem solved.

    • catnapped says:

      @GMFish: I hate to agree with the peanut gallery, but the price is manufacturers SUGGESTED retail price…nothing saying the stores have to abide by it.

  9. Gaambit says:

    Or just wait for Wii Sports Resort (aka Wii Sports II). Nintendo is bundling that with the add-on much like they bundled the original Wii Sports with an extra Wiimote.

  10. GMFish says:

    The fact that Nintendo is charging $19.99 for something that in a perfect world would be provided for free is bad enough

    When does Nintendo ever give away stuff for free? I’m shocked they don’t charge us for the wrist straps!

    • BigPapaCherry says:

      @GMFish: I don’t have the facts to back this up, so maybe I’m just detoxing from Nintendo fanboy-ism, but Nintendo is the one of the big 3 I WOULD expect to give away something for free. Microsoft and Sony seem to like to nickle and dime their customers.

    • Taliskan says:

      @GMFish: They did give away the rubber wrappings for wiimotes if you bought the console early on when it didn’t come with. You just had to go onto their website to tell them where to ship it to. Though they are kinda useless now with the motion control addon. Presumably new rubbers for the wiimote will come with.

    • catnapped says:

      @GMFish: Does Nintendo even sell the wrist straps (the OEM ones with the locks and not the 3rd party crap)?

    • subtlefrog says:

      @GMFish: Given the cost of development of the new add on, I can see why they are charging for it. Most technologies improve as they are out for a few years – and we pay as we upgrade. Upgrades on the Wiimote are, I think, like anything else – you want, it, pony up. Nintendo admittedly has more money than half of the free world, but I think that is irrelevant.

      I’m sure lots of people disagree, but the stuff costs a lot to develop – it’s a lot of person hours. So…I think they are within their rights.

      • Ratty says:

        @subtlefrog: I’d agree if 1:1 motion weren’t pretty much promised for release. They’re asking people to pay for what should have been included for free.

  11. ncpeters says:

    I was at Wal-Mart last night and they had a huge stock of the Wii motion Plus so it’s not a case of demand being greater than supply. I suppose Gamestop assumes that ignorant people won’t know the price is higher or will want it so bad that they’ll pay the extra $5.

  12. Jim Topoleski says:

    “- after all, the accessory only fulfills the original promise of the console “

    Um no it doesn’t. Nintendo NEVER promised 1 to 1 control on the Wii ever.

    And the honest truth is, if your developers are not lazy, and you respect them and dont force deadlines, you can get the Wiimote to work perfectly fine WITHOUT the Wiimotion Plus. Not one of my games I own (which are many) did I ever think, “hey this could use some more 1 to 1 support”

    MAYBE Force Unleashed, but they did perfectly fine without it.

    Stick to being a consumerism blog and keep the gadget comments to yourself, you look like fools when you dont.

    • Skeetz says:

      @Jim Topoleski: They don’t look like fools at all by stating that. here’s a description found on Best Buy:

      Unique Experiences
      Wii makes you feel less like a player and more like you’re in the game. Frenzied sword battles are no longer confined to pushing a button. With Wii’s unique freehand controller, Nintendo puts you in the middle of the action. Forget about pushing a button to start a golf backswing. Wii lets you swing the club! Don’t push a button to swing a sword, actually swing the sword. Video games have always been a part of you, now you get to be a part of them. Step up to the next level of gaming.

      Might not say 1 to 1 but the implacation is there. Swing your sword instead of pushing a button implies that it will respond at that moment (like the push of a button).. Nintendo released a more finely tuned product that is closer to that 1 to 1 goal. It’s not unreasonable for people to wish it had been there in the first place. I can attest to that after countless frustating hourse of non-compliance from my wii.. but i guess that’s development..

      so in essence: chill

      • superberg says:

        @Skeetz:

        Of course, note that your source is NOT Nintendo.

        so in essence: read first, react second.

        • Skeetz says:

          @superberg: @superberg: I’m not 100% sure but I’m going to go out on a limb here and imagine that the crap best buy spouts off about the wii probably has to go past the eyes of the Nintendo PR department.. and was probably given to them by nintendo.. don’t you think most companies would give prefered product descriptions for best buy to post?

          The problem i addressed was the importance of the 1 to 1 statement.. which is the impression we all got when nintendo unleashed their product even though they didn’t say it.. they didn’t pimp it saying “oh yeah you swing now it swings later” right? they always said it acts with you.. that’s the reason i posted the item from best buy.. it’s proof of advertising handed down from nintendo (or at least the impression they want to give)..

          so in essence: don’t steal my line pooface.

          • Jim Topoleski says:

            @Skeetz: You would be mistaken, Best Buy is under no obligation to send their ad to Nintendo to be checked.

            And your impression is different from ANYONE’s who followed the Wii. They where quite clear as far back as when it was still called the Revolution, that it would use motion sensing tech, but not be 1 to 1. People where actually disappointed about this fact before the release.

            • Skeetz says:

              @Jim Topoleski: Not obligated but probably heavily encouraged considering the amount of money Nintendo brings in.. i mean they can sell their product elsewhere and certainly do provide enough promotional info for them to copy/paste..

              and your ANYONE does not equal the mass public.. there were tons of people dissapointed after the release as well (outside of the gadget savy people and the fanboys who knew it wouldn’t be perfect.. and you know that’s a lot of people..)

              anyway.. bleh

  13. TheBursar says:

    Man, I hope “Anti-Spaz Wii Box” will catch on as the internet name for this device.

  14. William Brinkman says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: I will always pay the extra $5 to get a new copy of a game and make sure that some of that money goes to the developers/publishers instead of sending the entirety of the money straight to Gamestop.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @William Brinkman: Extra $5? I wish it was only the extra $5. I can’t imagine spending $60 on a game anyway, so I am patient enough to wait until it drops by at least $30. If I get it new for $25 to $30, that’s one thing. But if I want to get it used, it’s not really a loss for the game developers because their product is still finding an audience, and someone had to buy that game in the first place. I understand what you’re saying about buying a new copy so the money goes to the developers, cause buying a used copy means they don’t get extra money – but I’m not sure that the $30 matters so much to them in the long run.

      • dragonfire81 says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: Usually by the time a game gets to the “Greatest hits price” the different between new and used becomes either $3 ($29.99 vs $26.99) or $2 ($19.99 vs $17.99).

        At a game store I used to work at, customers would ask me all the damned time why the price difference from new to used was so small. I just told them our pricing is determined by corporate and I had no control over it.

      • Ratty says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: It isn’t of a benefit to a developer for you to buy used, though. Sure, it may get you into the series–but if all you buy is used they honestly don’t see a single dime. The only money a used game gives is to gamestop or the seller (if it’s eBay or CL), not the publisher, developer, designer, etc. It doesn’t even encourage them through sales numbers because GS and other used game sellers don’t report total used sales for a title.

        I refuse to buy used as a result. if a game is worth buying, it’s worth the few extra dollars to make sure the company sees SOME financial incentive to continue to make great games. I’m also a hardcore PC gamer though and used hasn’t worked on the PC in general for years.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @Ratty: I doubt Rockstar needs incentive to make money off me, seeming they sell millions and millions of copies every time they release a Grand Theft Auto title. Ditto to Bungie for Halo.

          • Ratty says:

            @pecan 3.14159265: You say that, yet if more and more people take that tack less and less money and innovation goes into new game lines. If the game’s worth buying and worth playing it’s worth making sure the development team reaps SOME reward for the efforts and you’re not doing that for them. Buying used is tantamount to piracy for how well it benefits the game developers.

            • dragonfire81 says:

              @Ratty: But let me ask you this, let’s say I buy a NEW copy of Grand Theft Auto IV, I beat it and resell it. Next year I decide to get that game again but new copies aren’t available any more so I buy a used one. The developer still got my money off that first purchase, am I still screwing them over?

              Conversely, you can buy a new PS2 for a hundred bucks now. Let’s say I do that and decide to pick up some games for it. Let’s say I want the first God of War, Final Fantasy X, Shadow of the Colossus and Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando. Well most (if not all) of these games are only available used now. They ceased manufacturing new copies awhile ago. Should I forego buying some of these older games and stick only to new so the developers benefit from me?

              It seems wrong to me that I should have no right to back and enjoy games I might have missed the first time around.

              • Ratty says:

                @dragonfire81: If they don’t sell it new, they can’t exactly lose profit from diverted sales now can they? That’s not what I was talking about at all. obviously you won’t find new NES, SNES, Genesis, Dreamcast, etc. titles that are anything other than something a collector hoarded.

                But find me titles on most systems not available new after a year. it’s extremely uncommon and usually due to poor sales often made worse by used game purchasing. The more people buy new, the longer the shelflife for a title available as a new copy.

        • Pyrusticia says:

          @Ratty: A few extra dollars? If that’s what it was, then I’d buy new. However, it’s rare that I find a game that I consider worth paying more than $20-$30. If the manufacturer chooses to come out with a ‘classic’ or ‘greatest hits’ edition that includes old games, I snap them up because I get the game I want at a price I’m willing to pay, and I support the manufacturer as a bonus. However, if they’re still trying to sell a game that’s years old for $50 or $60, then I’m going to get it used for half (or less) of the price.

          I don’t see this as piracy, because when the person I bought it from purchased the game, they purchased the right to do what they want to with that copy (aside from make more copies, of course). If anything, my purchasing used games supports the new game industry, because there are plenty of people who buy new games intending to beat them and sell them. If people like me did not provide a market for used games, far fewer people would be willing to cough up the dough for a new copy in the first place.

  15. coan_net says:

    This is news? It has always been like that!!!

    I remember when Mario Cart came out with the Wheel accessory. I wanted to get 4 wheel’s so we could get everyone playing quickly.

    I preordered the game from Gamestop (went to midnight launch to pick up game.)

    But at around 11:30, I walked next door to Wal-mart and picked up 3 wheels for $5 cheaper each then what gamestop was going to be selling it.

    (Wal-Mart would let me get the wheels before midnight, but not the game – so I then headed back to Gamestop to pick up the game – and have a big grin as I seen many others buying the $5 more expensive wheels from Gamestop then I did. When I picked up the game, they asked if I wanted any extra wheel – told them I went over to Wal-mart and picked 3 up for $5 less then what they were selling them for.)

    Anyway, back to the point – Gamestop has always done this, haven’t they? What is the news here?

    • Koinu says:

      @coan_net: They may have been running a special, were they offical nintendo brand ones?

      because gamestop’s price is 14.99, as well as nintendo’s

      [store.nintendo.com]

      I’m curious as to why it’s 24.99 (I didn’t even realize that nintendo’s MRSP was 19.99 until this ad

    • Cyco says:

      @coan_net: Maybe the news is that not everyone is as smart and wise as you. That some people need to be told when certain companies do this because, for what ever reasons, they don’t shop around. Just because you know this little tricket doesn’t mean the rest of the population does. But hey, you’re special. Congrats.

  16. Illusio26 says:

    I’m not gamestop fanatic, but if they want to charge $5 extra, let em. It’s not like they have a monopoly on this item. If a customer doesn’t know the price of something they are buying ahead of time, then they deserve what they get. It’s not like this is a rare item that’s hard to find a price comparison. 30 seconds on amazon would let you know what you should expect to pay.

  17. dragonfire81 says:

    On another note:

    NEVER EVER EVER TRADE IN ACCESSORIES AT GAMESTOP!

    I saw a receipt from a buddy of mine and the accessory trade in values are even more of a rip off than the games.

    A ONE dollar trade in value on a PS2 guitar that gets marked up to 14.99? Are you kidding me?

  18. Shadowfire says:

    This is typical at Gamestop, actually… for some reason, certain Nintendo accessories, and many DS games, are increased in price by about $5. I never understood why in my 11 years with the company that this was the only instance that we sold things above MSRP, but it apparently is some sort of weird Nintendo tax.

    The only thing I could think of… it may be because new games and first party accessories have a very small margin, and the Nintendo brand games and accessories have an even smaller margin. -shrug-

  19. suburbancowboy says:

    This is not the first time that Gamestop has done this. They were charging 5 bucks more than every other store for the Wii Zapper with Link’s Crossbow training.

  20. Outrun1986 says:

    They charge 5$ above retail for pretty much every new first party Nintendo DS game. Its funny when your shopping in a mall and there are multiple stores right next to each other (with lower prices than GS) and you still see people paying GS’s overpriced prices because OMG my kid must have it NOW or they are going to die.

    I just think they mark it up because they know people will pay it no matter what. They are preying on the consumer’s ignorance. I will never understand people who have to go to GS to buy games, when you can buy the exact same game somewhere else for a lower price. Your getting the exact same product, just at a cheaper price.

    Toys R Us used to mark up the price on Pokemon games probably because they know every soccer mom in town went there to buy the games. I remember seeing Pokemon Colloseum for 70$ there when everywhere else it was 50$ or less.

  21. parad0x360 says:

    I almost bought one in Gamestop last week but I noticed it was $5 more and went to Target instead.

  22. MarvinMar says:

    Selling something for something more than the MSRP and more than everyone else sure as hell IS a consumer issue and Consumerist is fine for reporting it.
    I noticed this in the latest add and was telling my wife that if anyone gets it for me (Birthday is the 18th) to tell them not to go to gamestop cause they are ripping people off.

    This is no different than Kmart selling $20 Wii points cards for $24.99

    This is just another black mark on Gamestop in a long list such as opening NEW games, and throwing “Played it? Trade it” stickers on the property I JUST BOUGHT
    Vote with your dollar people.

  23. MarvinMar says:

    Also, Sam’s Club had it for $18.49 or something like that yesterday

  24. Anonymous says:

    “The fact that Nintendo is charging $19.99 for something that in a perfect world would be provided for free is bad enough”

    Yeah, and so should the Wifi connector on the Xbox or the HD cables in the PS3. While we’re at it, Nintendo and all of them should include FREE upgrades to the NEXT generation when they come out, because only then will expectations possibly be met…
    [what a bunch of whiners you game-nerds are]

  25. Thomas Osborne says:

    This is not new for Gamestop, never shop there period.

  26. MooseOfReason says:

    Yes, because charging $5.00 more than another store is “jacking up” the price.

  27. OKBOY says:

    What do you expect from a company which sells used games as new? Gamestop really blows..

  28. spikespeigel says:

    Gamestop needs to die a horrible death. Places like this give gaming a bad name. I’ll gladly go to Best Buy or Target for videogames before stepping into a Gamestop.

  29. Bs Baldwin says:

    Why would they give this away for free? Only a couple of games actually use it and it only now came out because the cost was too high before.