Not making the headlines is that Nintendo systems are out of stock nationwide at online retailers and extremely sparse at brick and mortar locations. It’s been a major headache for many parents trying to secure a 2DS, 3DS, or Wii U for their kids. Even though the holidays have come and gone, Nintendo has yet to replenish retailers with adequate quantities. As quickly as they arrive, they sell out.
There are several reasons for this shortage on Nintendo hardware. The first is Pokémon fever. Ever since Pokémon Go captured the nation last summer, the sales for the 3DS and 2DS have seen dramatic increases. The price reduction on the Nintendo 2DS to $79.99 and new colors only made the in-stock situation worse. Compound the problem with the increased demand during the holiday season and two brand new Pokémon games (Sun and Moon) in November and a perfect storm hit, laying waste to 3DS inventory levels across the country.
Wii U is a different problem altogether, since it’s been discontinued. Nintendo is readying its new home console, the Nintendo Switch, which will come out in March. As such, it wound down Wii U production last year and shipped its remaining inventory out to stores ahead of the busy holiday shopping season. What this means is that unless a retailer finds a bunch of Wii U systems in its warehouse somewhere, you won’t be able to buy it brand new. You might be better off waiting to see what Nintendo has to offer on its new system since it’s only two months from release. We will learn much more this Thursday night when it has a live press conference from Tokyo, revealing the price, release date, and launch games.
Still, if you’re dead set on tracking a Wii U down, or are still eager to find a New 3DS XL or 2DS, there is a way to get one directly through Nintendo. You see, the company doesn’t sell brand new consoles directly to avoid any retailer bias, but it does carry refurbished systems. I’ve dealt with these consoles before and they are practically brand new with perfect screens and very minor blemishes, if any at all. Plus, they come with the official Nintendo warranty and are lower priced than what you’d find them for brand new in the store. In the case of Wii U, it’s pretty much one of your only options unless you want to pay exorbitant prices for a brand new one on eBay.
As of this writing, you can pick up a refurbished 32GB Deluxe Wii U with Nintendoland for only $200. For $15 more you can also get Super Mario 3D World thrown in. Refurbished New Nintendo 3DS XL systems are available in either Black or Red for $170. Keep in mind, that just like if you bought it brand new on the store shelf, the New 3DS systems do not come packaged with a 3DS AC adapter. You’ll want to add a refurbished one of those for $5. If you’re looking for a 2DS, Nintendo has the original Red and Blue ones refurbished for $60 each. These do come with an AC adapter, so no need to purchase another unless you want a spare.
Of course, if you wait long enough, the 3DS and 2DS situation should be resolved in the coming weeks or months. We just don’t know how long it will take for supply to meet demand. If you want one now, you can’t really go wrong with the refurbished quality of products sold directly from Nintendo.
We asked Nintendo for comment on this story and didn’t hear back before it was posted. We will update the article if they respond.