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Nintendo moves into refurbished sales, eats more of GameStop's lunch

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3ds xl
3ds xl

Nintendo has begun selling refurbished 3DS and DSi XL consoles at aggressive price points, offering buyers the same one-year warranty that typically accompanies new hardware. The units are guaranteed to be in working order, though the manufacturer admits they may contain "minor cosmetic blemishes." That said, if you're willing to put up with some wear and tear, there are good savings to be found here. Available options range in price between $99.99 and $169.99 depending on the specific bundle you're looking at, but you'd be hard-pressed to find better rates elsewhere. Nintendo says its latest store additions are "the only refurbished products in the market that have been cleaned, tested, and inspected to meet Nintendo’s high standards."

That's sure to be unwelcome news for GameStop; sales of used hardware and software make up a significant portion of the retailer's business. Unlike other gadget manufacturers, console makers have rarely veered into direct refurb sales, leaving that source of profit to resellers. (The Verge went inside GameStop's Refurbishment Operations Center last summer.) Not only does GameStop need to worry about next-gen consoles disrupting the used games market, but it must now deal with Nintendo pulling away customers shopping for a bargain.

Nintendo's latest experiment comes after back-to-back years of disappointing financial results. Aside from the Wii U's lukewarm reception, the company's portable line has also failed to meet expectations despite the 13.95 million 3DS units that left shelves in 2012.