Nintendo Switch Pre-Orders Sold Out at All Major Japanese Retailers: Yodobashi, BIC, Sofmap and More

Nintendo Switch pre-orders have dried up in Japan at all major retailers, including Yodobashi Camera, BIC Camera, Sofmap and more.

By Giuseppe Nelva

January 21, 2017

Today the Nintendo Switch went up for pre-order in Japan, and all major local retailers ran out of their allocation quite quickly, including the most popular ones like Yodobashi Camera and BIC Camera.

Checking online reservation pages on Yodobashi Camera (grey, blue/red), BIC Camera (grey, blue/red), Sofmap (grey, blue/red), Edion (grey, blue/red), Rakuten Books (grey, blue/red) and Amazon (grey, blue/red), we notice that all major retailers are currently out of stock for both models of the console.

While Amazon isn’t as popular in Japan as it is in the west, it’s quite interesting because it lists external sellers as well. Both models (grey, blue/red) are still available from a large number of smaller stores across Japan, and there isn’t much price gouging going on, indicating that getting a Switch close to the launch date (counting the fact that smaller stores normally don’t send the merchandise ahead of release) should still be possible without lining up in front of a store on March 3rd.

Interestingly, prices are also rather reasonable on Yahoo Auctions as well.

We then get a report from the manager of the popular  Tokyo-based independent store Games Ma-Ya, in the Edogawa district. She actually planned to open earlier so that her customers wouldn’t have to wait in the cold Japanese morning, but while in the end she did not manage to do so and opened at the usual hour, the whole launch allocation she had from Nintendo was sold out by the evening. Incidentally, she also posted a “thank you” to Nintendo for opening a new market.

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In the morning, popular stores attracted lines of gamers looking to pre-order at brick and mortar locations. Below you can see the photo report of Twitter user ツルミロボ, who often takes pictures of lines in this kind of occasion.

The pictures were shot in front of the entrance of the Yodobashi Camera megastore in Akihabara, which is the classic location for gamers based in Tokyo to line-up for pre-orders of popular electronics products, as it normally receives big allocations. There were already three people waiting in front of the entrance at 10 PM yesterday night, even if the lines weren’t set up yet at midnight.

Roughly at 6 AM there were about 80 people in line, but that amount grew up to 350 by 8:30 AM.

Of course, we still don’t have a precise indication of how many units will be sold locally on launch day, as we don’t know how many of the two million Switch consoles Nintendo plans to ship in the first months have been allocated to the Japanese retailers mentioned above.

Initial allocations of new consoles selling out quickly is certainly nothing new in Japan. The same happened with PS4, Wii U and Xbox One, to mention some of the most recent. That said, so far, so good.

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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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