So I was coming back from Galveston this evening when I witnessed something at the Fry's Electronics store near Lyndon Johnson Space Center and I-45. A young couple wanted to buy a Nintendo Wii and the attendant said they would have to buy two additional accessories. Did I hear that correctly?!
When they said they also wanted to buy WiiFit, the attendant told them they'd have to buy another accessory and an additional battery. The customer asked him if the battery was necessary for the board and the attendant said "No," and that the game would work without the extra battery.
Just to make sure I was hearing him correctly, I asked the Fry's attendant if I could just buy WiiFit and nothing else. He said "No," and that I would have to buy additional accessories, as well as WiiFit. Wow ... just wow.
So, I was joking with the customers and said "I bet you have to buy accessories with your Wii."
The man nodded. "Actually, we have to buy two accessories."
My mouth dropped.
The Fry's attendant nodded too. "That's correct. I don't make the policy - I just work here."
What I think is so sad is how retailers are still forcing bundles on customers - even though Nintendo is not a fan of forced bundles.
Check out a 2007 Reuter's interview with Nintendo's top man, Reggie Fils-Aime, who says Nintendo is against forced bundles.
From the article:
Nintendo, which is striving to meet Wii demand more than a year after the machine first went on sale, was also trying to discourage the practice of bundling the consoles with extra games or accessories and selling it for a higher price.
A Wii by itself sells for $250 -- cheaper than Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) Xbox 360 and Sony Corp's (6758.T) PlayStation 3 -- but some retailers have offered bundles priced for double that price.
"Retailers have already been given feedback that we are not big fans of that. We think it masks some of the price advantage we have versus our competition and, frankly, the consumer should decide what they want," Fils-Aime said.
Please, readers, if you see this kind of foolishness, please report it here on this blog. We would like for gamers to not be conned into buying unnecessary accessories with high markups that definitely aid the retailers at the expense of their customers. This kind of treatment really makes me disgusted.
I saw the couple on the way to the checkout. They still bought the Wii and the forced accessories, but passed on WiiFit. I told them to check out Wal-Mart, where they don't have to worry about buying additional accessories just to enjoy a game.
Shame on you, Fry's ... Shame on you.