Making sense of the Nintendo Switch’s sold out pre-order rush Making sense of the Nintendo Switch’s sold out pre-order rush
In Japan, the demand for console gaming has diminished over the years. While not completely dead -- with games and systems still being produced... Making sense of the Nintendo Switch’s sold out pre-order rush

In Japan, the demand for console gaming has diminished over the years. While not completely dead — with games and systems still being produced and sold in the East — sales can pale in comparison to that of the handheld and mobile gaming market.

Since the dawn of the Nintendo DS, it’s been clear that Japanese players prefer to have their games on-the-go in contrast to a stay-at-home experience. With the announcement of the Nintendo Switch, it seems that the big company has struck the perfect balance of home console quality gaming and portability.

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Unsurprisingly, when pre-orders opened up in Japan on January 21, gamers flocked to stores, both retail and online. Within moments, major outlets such as Amazon.jp had sold out of all of its pre-allocated stock in an insane 15 minutes.

Thanks to social media, there is photo after photo of people in massive lines outside famous electronic stores all across Japan. Like in the United States, retailers like GameStop had sold out of pre-orders within the first 48 hours, making it difficult for consumers America-wide to purchase one.

It isn’t just the Switch itself that’s hard to find, even accessories and extra controllers, including the new Joy-Con are sold out across many stores and even online. Analysts have predicted that with Nintendo’s new system, there’s really no shortage of gamers out there that want to get their hands on the Nintendo Switch, despite the internet’s views on the upcoming console being so heavily divided.

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While stock has sold out in the US and Japan, we can look at our own market in Australia. It’s no secret that we were definitely gypped in the pricing. While Japan has the console at 29,980¥ (approx. $342 AUD) and the US has it priced at $299 (around $400 AUD), we were slapped with the price of $469.95 AUD.

As a Nintendo fan, like many others, I would be making the expensive purchase, but not all of us are willing to make the leap of faith to be early adopters of the new system. I’m aware that there’s a large number of people out there willing to import the system and spend the extra on games and accessories, but for those unable to, or are still trying to support our local retailers (which I take is the majority of consumers out there), our wallets are taking a larger hit, and in my opinion, unnecessarily.

As Fenix Bazaar editor, Gaetano Prestia, wrote a few days ago, the optimal Nintendo Switch purchase sets back the Aussie gamer a rather pricy $769.95 (without additional Joy-Cons), easily burning a hole in the average Nintendo fan’s pocket.

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My own Switch purchase comes to around $950AUD, but of course, I tend to always put my faith in Nintendo from the get-go, whether it’s the wrong or right thing to do so, speaking exclusively from a financial standpoint.

There will be many consumers out there saving or have saved for this purchase, but for a lot of people, Nintendo slapping the $470 price tag for the base system has turned a lot of heads the wrong way. 

This said, the price point (in regards to the Switch, peripherals and certain games) and perhaps the launch lineup (sans Zelda) seem to be the only two major negative points of the Switch. Having played what we can assume is the near-final model of the console, it lives up to all that it’s promised, delivering a quality home console experience on a system that go portable at the drop of a hat.

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While the Switch currently doesn’t apply to gaming industry buzzwords such as ‘4K’ or ‘1080p 60fps’, it doesn’t have to. There’s a simple reason for this, and that’s solely because “It’s Nintendo.”

Does it justify the extreme price we have to pay for it? Definitely not. But should gamers seeking a new Nintendo or portable experience pick it up at launch, or in the long run? Absolutely.

Josh Joseph Nintendo contributor

Josh was born and raised as a Nintendo fan, but isn’t afraid to step into the alien worlds of the Sony and PC gaming scene. In fact, his favourite series is Persona, yet he would drop everything for Zelda. He secretly enjoys watching Japanese dramas while he designs and draws characters, just 'cause.

  • Colin Thomas Marks

    January 25, 2017 #1 Author

    I know we got stung in Aus. But still. I just bought a Vive for 1000AU (Major discount!), plus it’ll cost for games on top of the PC additional parts.

    My phone retails for near a 1000, it can do nothing in the world of gaming..

     

     

    Im set for Switch day one no question

    • Josh Joseph

      January 26, 2017 #2 Author

      Yeah, the price point is definitely a steep one. The Wii U (Premium) was tens of dollars cheaper and was seemingly alright for the system. I can assume it would’ve been the same case for the Switch, especially with currency conversion in the mix.

      Like you, I’m looking past the tag and looking at the console and it’s seemingly bright future – at least for Nintendo – so the big buy on March 3 is worth it, for me.

      • Barters81

        January 30, 2017 #3 Author

        The Wii U was marketed as a console at a time when the competition were new and still more expensive.  So the Wii U was the cheaper console, justifying its purchase and lower specs.  Of course, the PS4 and Xbone dropped in price quickly.

         

        The Switch is launching as a console 1st and foremost.  This concerns me, as it’s bleedingly obvious that people see value in the Switch as a handheld, and see little value in it as a console.  Why is Nintendo marketing it in this way?  Why are they not grabbing the whole “Look at this nutso portable” by the ears and flogging it to death?

         

         

        Literally everyone I know has justified their purchase through the thought the Switch is a great portable.  That’s the reason I’d buy it.  But the company who makes the damn thing is telling us that reasoning is wrong……….why is this so?

        • Harry

          January 30, 2017 #4 Author

          It doesn’t take too many viewings of Nintendo’s trailers and marketing videos for the Switch to realise the portability (handheld features) of the Switch are why it’s a good buy… That’s literally what it has all been about?

          • Master Fenix

            January 30, 2017 #5 Author

            @Harry they’ve been pretty open in that it’s not a handheld. Once again they are fluffing communication.

          • Harry

            January 30, 2017 #6 Author

            @Master Fenix – what Nintendo figureheads have said in order to attempt to please the hardcore crowd is in stark contrast to what their marketing shows.

            I think there’s a lot of overestimating how much the casual consumer listens to what Reggie/Anouma/x/y/z person says at PAXE3Con South. Sites like these are where casual buyers get their information from.

            I also highly doubt the standard, non hard-core buyer will care to make a distinction between a console that can act as a handheld, and a handheld they can use as a console. What they’ll see is a device that can be both. And that will either be good enough for the mass market or it won’t.. The distinction between the two is unnecessary.

  • Barters81

    January 26, 2017 #7 Author

    I can see how it is easy to get swept up in the Switch.

     

    That said, I’m very proud that I’m staying away from this thing at least in the interim.