Nintendo is always big in Japan (Alphaville, get it? Ok, no.). Be it for the latest 3DS handheld iteration or Mario game, the Kyoto-based company commands big queues for almost all of their important product launches.
Will the Nintendo Switch launch today receives the same love and adulation from its home crowd? I happened to be in Sapporo, Japan, for a holiday and decided to see if that was still so. And also to see if it was possible to get my hands on a Switch at the Bic Camera store next to my hotel.
Just look at the queue at Bic Camera in Sapporo, where only around 30-40 units of the Switch consoles were made available for walk-in customers. The earliest customer was already in the queue since 6am, standing outside in cold winter winds (it was -2 degree celsius this morning). These were the lucky few, as the only way to be guaranteed of a set was through a pre-order program arranged by the store.
Another popular electronic outlet, Yodobashi Camera, also had all its pre-order stocks wiped out. Walk-in purchase was not even available.
I had a quick check with friends living in Tokyo and Osaka, and was told that the situation was the same for both cities. It’s not a stretch to say that the Nintendo Switch is a huge hit here in Japan, and if you happen to be here over the weekend with the intention of purchasing a Switch, tough luck.
In the meantime, reception for the new console back home in Singapore has been overall positive, although it’s still relatively easy to get one. For instance, at Challenger:
Online retailer Lazada also has a healthy stock of the Switch, with a bundle set starting from S$599 onwards.
Our impressions of the console will be up in a bit, as we only got to have a hands on with a Switch today.
What about you? Will you be getting a Nintendo Switch?