As Xbox One Launches in Japan, Akihabara's Gamers Really Aren't Standing in Line (UPDATED)

By Giuseppe Nelva

September 3, 2014

The sun has finally risen on an uncharacteristically mild September 4th in Tokyo, and stores are finally about to open with their shelves loaded with Xbox One consoles.

Yet, perhaps as a sign of changing times, Japanese gamers aren’t standing in line at the gaming mecca of Akihabara like they used to do at previous console launches.

The Yodobashi Camera store in Akihabara is the “go to” place to buy a new console in Tokyo, which is why the shop always gets organized to stand long queues. This time, though, it’s simply not happening as you can see from the picture below, shot between 7 and 8 AM by various Twitter users.

Things aren’t very different at another popular store, Sofmap, which opens a bit later:

The lack of queues shouldn’t probably be chalked completely to the Xbox One itself, but also to a generational shift in the purchasing habits of Japanese gamers. Online shopping and pre-orders have become more and more widespread in the archipelago of the rising sun, as more and more day one purchases shift to Amazon and similar outlets and away from brick and mortar stores.

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Ultimately we’ll have to wait for next Wednesday with the release of the Media Create charts to know how the Xbox One’s Japanese launch is really going.

The spectacular queues snaking around the block we used to see at the times of past consoles and big games like Dragon Quest or Monster Hunter may have become a thing of the past. Times change.

at the end, just before opening, a few people did show at the Yodobashi Akihabara store. I guess you could call this a mini-queue.

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Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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