I still stand by my disappointment in Nintendo’s marketing and release strategy as of late, but I do need to retract my narrative about it being “impossible” to buy. Because it’s now the morning after launch, and I have a Nintendo Switch. Here’s my story…
So, yesterday was launch day, and I was pretty disappointed that I wasn’t able to get a Nintendo Switch. Many gamestops, Fry’s, and Targets in the area were having midnight launch events, but most of them only had 5 or 10 consoles, and you can bet there were far more people than that waiting in line.
There were no units available online. Best Buy got my hopes up by showing an “Add to Cart” button…I went through the checkout process almost entirely before it threw me an error message stating something went wrong, and that the product was no longer available and was removed from my cart.
This morning, I woke up with a bit of a sore throat. I decided to head to the nearest Target to get some Day-quill. But before I left, I decided to check all the retail shops selling the Switch, just in case they had any in stock and I could grab one while I was out.
To my surprise, all the Targets in the area were marked as “In stock”. So, I walked by booty out the door, got in the car, and went straight to Target. About 30 minutes before they were open.
Outside stood a German guy with a backpack and a jacket who clearly saw the “In Stock” messaging on Target’s website. As I got out of my car, I noticed in my peripheral two other people – a young couple – getting out of their car and starting to walk toward the entrance. My calm, slow pace immediately changed to an almost awkwardly paced power walk.
Once the four of us were all gathered around the front door of Target, we all looked at each other and said “Switch? Yep.” Straight away, we went into conversation about the games we were looking forward to playing, and how our dreams were pretty much trampled on the day before having not been able to obtain the coveted Nintendo Switch.
Turns out, the young couple I attempted to beat to the door was in fact Charmie Sweets – a talented cosplayer / singer who I’ve had the pleasure of photographic at Fanime 2015 and 2016 – and her boyfriend! A very bizarre coincidence and pleasant surprise. Very rarely do I run into anyone I know who also knows wtf Fanime is, or what Anime conventions are all about.
Waiting outside the Target door turned into more of a social gathering after that. After a good 20 minutes, a line slowly started to form, growing from 4 of us, to about 20 or 30 of us. I’m assuming at least most of us wanted that Switch. All of us constantly glancing at our phones, checking the time. “Two minutes till the doors open” someone uttered in anticipation.
Finally, presumably the store manager opens the door.
“Now, we only have three Nintendo Switches left. So, the first three people in this line who are here for a Switch will get to buy one”. He then proceeded to guide our German friend who’s name I did not get, me, then Charmie and her boyfriend to the customer service area, where three switches were waiting for us to claim. Half the line left in disappointment, while others who were simply there to run errands did just that.
What I anticipated being a potentially competitive and stressful event turned into something a bit more lax and enjoyable. The stress and disappointment from yesterday’s failed attempt was drowned out by the friendly atmosphere and enjoyment of being around people with a common interest.
Right now, my Switch sits on my entertainment center hooked up and ready to go. I have yet to turn it on; I’m the type of person who wants to charge his devices so I can use it for as much time as possible in one sitting.
Again, I’ll be updating my blog with my initial thoughts on the Switch, so stay tuned if you’re interested in that kind of thing.