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I want to get a Wii to play the new Zelda game, but I am on a pretty tight budget. I have only about $150 to spend, so my best option appears to be buying a used Wii at GameStop for $80 and buying Zelda and the motion plus.

My only concern is the reliability of a used console. Are there any common console failures that I might be at risk for with the Wii?

My main alternative would be to get the black Wii + Mario bundle, but then I would have to wait to get Zelda, which would not be the end of the world. The last thing I want is to get stuck with a broken console because I was cheap.

Most of my Nintendo stuff in the past has been high quality and I am not particularly worried, I was just wondering what common types of Wii failures occur, and what to watch out for.

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Gamestop refurbished or pre-owned consoles usually come with a warranty. Check to see how long it is in you area. –  Raven Dreamer Dec 11 '11 at 4:10
    
You might also think about buying Zelda elsewhere, since you'll pay tax at GameStop. A good tool for checking prices is the CAG Price Tracker –  agent86 Dec 11 '11 at 4:54
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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Wii systems tend to be less problematic when purchased used, since Wii mods and hardware failures are a bit more rare compared to their install base. It's still possible to get a lemon, or a modified console, so do your research ahead of time.

Wii remotes tend to take a decent amount of abuse as well, owing to the fact that many of the games are aimed at an audience that might tend to be rough on the controllers, and they're intended to be flung around. I've had some bad experiences with used controllers, but I've managed to get good service at GameStop when issues came up.

GameStop publishes their return policy online, which states that used consoles can be returned for your money back within 7 days, and can be exchanged for an identical item within 30 days, if you save your receipt. This is the US policy, and there's a chance that it is enforced differently at your local store, so make sure you confirm this with the local GameStop before you make a purchase.

GameStop can't/won't do an exhaustive check of a system before accepting it for trade; doing so would cause excessive delays for the customer. They'll make sure it turns on and loads a game properly, and that the buttons on the controllers are in working order. Make sure you put it through its paces the first few weeks so that you can confirm it's in good shape before your exchange window runs out.

If you can, you might wait a bit and see if you can get a sale. In the run up towards Christmas, and especially post-Christmas, there are likely to be some good deals.

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Boxing day at Gamestop/EB is insane. I believe a couple years ago I was able to get Halo 3 for the sole reason that they had accidentally put an opened copy on display with the disc still inside and I checked all of them hoping for such a mistake. –  Matthew Read Dec 11 '11 at 4:34
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Yeah, I tend to be a "spend a bit more but don't have to deal with the crazy sale times" kind of guy, but if you're on a tight budget and want to maximize your game per dollar spent, waiting for a sale might be worth it. –  agent86 Dec 11 '11 at 4:46
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